AND YOU SHALL BE MY WITNESS

“But, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My Witnesses…”

Some people ‘witness’ by leaving printed tracts containing Bible verses, lying around on countertops or in public bathrooms.

Some people ‘witness’ by sketching cartoon-like drawings of ‘cliffs and stranded characters separated from God by imaginary chasms’, quote a scripture or two and invite others to ‘accept Jesus by praying a little prayer’.

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A few people go door-to-door, handing out religious literature or by standing on street corners handing out tracts, leaflets or pamphlets. So, what’s the harm?

Have we, tragically, reduced one of the greatest commandments and prophecies uttered by Jesus, to a “handout” or a sideshow?

Please read what the Bible actually says about being a witness:

Acts 1:4, “Gathering them together, He (Jesus) commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;

Verse 5.  “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Verse 6. “So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

Verse 7.  “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

Verse 8.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

These foregoing verses are both a PROPHECY and a command. A prophecy is a foretelling and a forth-telling, commanded by the Word of God.

Defined by Strong’s Bible concordance from the Greek language: Prophecy, (propheteia, pronounced, prof-ay-ti’-ah) is a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events;

A prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations and admonitions pertaining to it, the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due;

Gifts and utterances of the predictions, set apart to teach the gospel, accomplish for the works of the Kingdom of Christ

Prophecy begins with a declaration or an utterance. Then it is always manifest in this natural world. The prophecy will continue to reverberate throughout time and will culminate only when the Perfect (Jesus) comes.

Jesus said, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18)

We must know this because Prophecy is accomplished and continues through God’s people and His creation. We must be obedient to His Word.

His Word, accomplishes His Work, in and through His people

The Bible describes and defines The power (δύναμις dunamis doo’-nam-is) from the Holy Spirit as a mighty work, strength, the working of miracles, of might and of virtue.

God’s Word says you will receive this power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. 

  • You shall be given power, by the Holy Spirit, a strength, a power and the ability to be a witness for God.
  • You shall have an inherent power residing in you by virtue of His nature.
  • You shall exert and put forth miracles.
  • You shall exhibit moral power and excellence of soul.
  • You shall have the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth.
  • You shall have the power and resources as if arising from numbers which rests upon armies, forces and hosts.

So, what does “And you shall receive power”, say, and mean to you and to me?

God’s Word says when you will receive this power you shall be His Witness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit you will become a witness, (witness in the Greek language is, martus, pronounced, mar’-toos).

  • You shall also be a martyr, both in a legal and a historical sense.
  • You shall be one who will hear and will see and will touch the things of God.
  • You shall be one, who, after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of your faith in Christ, even if necessary, by undergoing a violent death.

So, what does “And you shall be My witnesses”, say, and what does this mean to you and to me?

God tells us that His Word which goes forth from His Mouth will not return to Him empty, without accomplishing what He desires, and without succeeding in the matter for which He sends it. – Isaiah 55:11

So, if you and I were to obey the Word of God, what would this look like?

Perhaps it would be like the time Jesus walked the earth, showing us the Father and doing the Works of the Father.

Jesus would preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, and as He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Jesus went, going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. (Matthew 4:17-24)

These are His Works which He prepared ahead of time for us to walk in.

Let’s Go. Let’s Preach and Teach the Gospel. Let’s make disciples, heal the sick, set the captives free.

It is our time to go into the ‘fields ripe for harvest’ and to do His Works.

Your Brother and Friend,

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Mike Young

Two helpful books online

A Simple Guide to Miracles  

Alpha to Omega – A quick Chronology and History 

STAND FIRM

Are Christians allowing themselves to be led by sheep instead of being led by     The Lion of Judah?

Someplace along the way, over the last two thousand years, it seems that many of the people calling themselves Christians, have come to assume that Jesus was either some kind of a ‘progressive left-wing ideologue’ or a pacifist and have modeled their lives as such. Let’s be crystal clear: Both assumptions are wrong. Dead wrong! (If you are thinking, “I don’t believe either one of those attributes about Jesus”, then, please take this little test, just to make certain:

PART 1.
The Bible CONTAINS the Word of God. We can subjectively pick and choose what parts of the Bible are true.  YES__  NO__
Jesus Christ was a GOOD MAN, probably the BEST MAN that has ever lived, but He was not necessarily God.   YES__  NO__
The birth of Jesus Christ was NATURAL and not SUPERNATURAL.   YES__  NO__
God is the FATHER OF ALL MEN and not just Christians.  YES__  NO__
Man is the product of EVOLUTION  YES__  NO__
Man is the unfortunate VICTIM of heredity and environment, but through self-culture and self effort, he can save himself.  YES__  NO__
There are MANY ROADS that lead to Heaven  YES__  NO__
ALL PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY BE SAVED   YES__  NO__
PART 2.
A loving God would never condemn anyone to hell. YES__  NO__
The judgment and wrath of God was Old Testament. YES__  NO__
It is OK to have “MANY FAITHS” and “many faith expressions”  YES__  NO__
It is OK to UNITE all churches and all faiths to believe in God.  YES__  NO__
THE GOSPEL is equal to Social action  YES__  NO__
It is OK to meet a person’s PHYSICAL NEEDS (food, clothing, medicine, etc.) without giving the Gospel message. YES__  NO__
Concerning the RESURRECTION: Jesus did not literally come back from the dead, it was “The influence and example of Jesus that lives on” YES__  NO__
THE PROPHETIC TEACHING of the second coming of Christ is all allegory. YES__  NO__
Jesus was a good man and a good teacher, but, He is not God. YES__  NO__

IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO MORE THAN ONE QUESTION, PLEASE GO TO THESE LINKS. READ, PRAY AND THINK.

Christianity and socialism

Christianity and communism

 Bible hub.com

The examples being set by many post-modern preachers and pastors is appalling. Their agenda and practice ranges from CEO-types, dictators and control-freaks, to showmen, and the timid pacifist. (Finding an authentic ‘Fully devoted follower of Jesus styled pastor’ is a tough assignment. But, they are out there, and I strongly suggest you keep looking until you find one. And, for your own sake, don’t put anything ahead of finding a Church and pastor who models and follows the One and Only, Jesus.)

You may be asking, “So, what does the REAL JESUS look like?” It would take more time and space than I can afford at this time to describe all of the characteristics and traits of Jesus, found in the Bible. But, referring to Him as ‘The Lion of Judah’ will get started in the right direction. You can do that in your spare time. I want to focus on just one trait: The dependability and resolve of Jesus.

WHY DID JESUS COME INTO THE WORLD?

 1. TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH

John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”  

 2. TO BRING A SWORD

Matthew 10:34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Verse 35, For I came to TURN A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; verse 36, and A PERSON’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” 

  3. TO FULFILL THE LAW

Matthew 5:17 “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.”  

 4. TO CALL SINNERS

Mark 2:17 “And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

 5. TO SAVE THE WORLD

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

 6. TO CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH

Luke 12:49 “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! Verse 50,  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Verse 51, Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather to create division;  

 WHAT HE REALLY MEANT?

John 14:12 “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

I have heard so many preachers and bible teachers try to justify or explain away these Words of Jesus because they just cannot fathom the gentle and sweet ‘dashboard Jesus’ saying such things as we find in the verses cited.  These same confused preachers really get tied in a knot over John 14:12.  They will begin their commentary of teaching it with, “what this really means is…”.

Jesus said what He meant and meant exactly what He said.  We need to get over it and get on with it.

 Jesus’ time on earth was spent fulfilling the purpose, and will of His Father (Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:39). Jesus was on a singular mission (John 6 :38) and nothing would stand in the way of accomplishing that mission: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Jesus had a divine appointment with a cruel Roman cross. Read what He said when Peter proposed to get in the way of His mission:

Matthew 16:21– 23, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

Jesus always, taught the Will of His Father, then, demonstrated what He taught. He expects us to do the same. Ephesians, chapter six, gives us a clear teaching and picture of the type of preparation and resolve we are to assume.

Strong’s Concordance: STAND FIRM (histémi): to make to stand, to stand

Definition: to make to stand, to stand

Usage: make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint; mid: place myself, stand, set in balance, weigh; intrans: stand, stand by, stand still; met: stand ready, stand firm, am steadfast.

to stand, i. e. continue safe and sound, stand unharmed: Acts 26:22.

to stand ready or prepared: Ephesians 6:14.

to be of a steadfast mind; 1 Corinthians 10:12.

(Who does not hesitate, does not waver, of one who vanquishes his adversaries and holds the ground, also of one who in the midst of the fight holds his position against the foe, to persist, continue, persevere: (so as not to fall from thy faith).

Ephesians 6:10-17, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Jesus’ demonstration of steadfast, unmovable courage:

CONFRONTING THE STORM

  Mark 4:35-41, “On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

CONFRONTING DEMONS

Luke 8:26-33 “Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.

“Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.”

 BEFORE PILATE

John 19:8-12  ”Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

BEFORE THE SANHEDREN

Matthew 24:57-67, “Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.

“Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?”  But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”  Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;  what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him.”  

Jesus did not draw back.  He proceeded boldly to the Cross and secured our salvation!

Remember, Jesus came to earth for these stated reasons:

TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH. This, too, is our calling!

TO BRING A SWORD. This, too, is our calling!

 TO FULFILL THE LAW. This, too, is our calling!

TO CALL SINNERS. This, too, is our calling!

TO SAVE THE WORLD through Jesus. In a very real sense, this, too, is our calling, by lifting the Name of Jesus, telling others and leading them to Him

TO CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH. This, too, is our calling!

Don’t be led or misled by the sheep. Follow the Lion of Judah!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

WHY IS NO ONE LISTENING? TMI? (Too Much Information?)

You probably already know the perceived condition of America in 2021, as well as the state of the world. Some are saying we are in a state of political and social chaos. New diseases, wars, political intrigue and poverty, to name a few things that are holding our attention and draining our treasury.

Despite the fact that the Pew Research Center, which tracks “trust in the media“, shows that less than half of Americans trust the news, and 72% of U.S. adults say news organizations do an insufficient job revealing their funding sources, many people are still turning to News Media outlets, (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, etc.) for information and to find direction.  Approximagtely 31 million people watched one of the three national network evening news broadcasts between March 16, 2021 and April 7 , 2021. That’s a 42% increase from a year ago.

Many more people, however, are turning to religion, God or the Church for answers. Approximately 52 million “attend church” in one of the 300,000 plus churches in America, at least once a week each month.

If you are normal, you have the potential of remembering 10% of what you hear, and that is only the potential. However, when people were asked the lead story in the news or the topic of the “sermon” they heard, after 24 hours, only about 10 percent could tell you. When asked to cite the most urgent news item or the important lesson they received, most just shrugged.  Pastor and Bible teacher, Rick Warren, says we forget 95% of what we hear after 72 hours.

Studies show that most people don’t remember sermons, lectures, addresses or speeches—they don’t even remember paragraphs. What people remember are simple statements, slogans, and phrases. I don’t remember any speech John F. Kennedy gave, but most of us of a certain age remember his statements,

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” and, “I am a Berliner!”

I don’t remember any sermon preached by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I do remember his famous phrase,

“I have a dream!”

People tend to remember:

      • 10% of what they read.
      • 20% of what they only hear.
      • 30% of what they only see.
      • 50% of what they see and hear.
      • 70% of what they say and write down.
      • 90% of what they DO

It seems, however, the News Media Moguls and experts have discovered how to make “their news” stay on the minds of those who watch through repetition.  They repeat the sames new story, several times each day and days on end,  They use the same graphics, audio and videos, over and over and over – until it sticks!  And, it is working.  Most people who get their information from the News Media, when asked about a certain social or political topic, tend to answer in ‘media sound bites’.  They repeat the short sound bites almost verbatim.  The old, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ syndrome.

A conservative estimate, for just the top seven news media outlets to produce a days worth of ‘news’ is approimatley $9,780,000 per week.

Actually, it is next-to-impossible to get an accurate estimate because the numbers are just too overwhelming.  But, here are three indexes from an article in the digital USA Today to help organize this mess:  (#1), A US Mainstream Media Ownership Index that lists about 175 companies, (#2), an Emerging Digital Nonprofit Index with their donors, and (#3), the Seven Big Owners of Dailies by state. The mainstream media index includes both parent companies (like Gannett, the parent of USA TODAY; Sinclair; NPR; PBS) and standalone titles (like The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Commentary and The U.S. Spectator). Once you tally them all, we have over 3,000 outlets that call themselves newsrooms in America. That’s before we add bloggers, podcasts, talk radio and the deluge of user-generated content.

Churches, on the other hand, have not adapted so well.  The tendency in most Evangelical Churches is to preach a differnent topical sermon once a week. Some Churches will preach through a book of the Bible, one a week, chapter by chapter, rarely repeating themselves.  Some use visual graphics, audio effects and outline sheets for the listeners to take notes, but, rarely repeat the message in any given year.

It’s a shame Churches aren’t catching on, because, unlike the News Media, Churches have a semi-captive audience, but, are not having the same impact as the News Media.

An estimated 1.2 million hours each week, (#1), are spent in sermon preparations; it takes about another 300,000 hours in delivery of these sermons, (#2), at a staggering potential cost of over $750 millions dollars nationally, each week. (#3,. Yet, only 5% of those hearing these sermons, remember anything about them after 72 hours.

So, what are we getting for our $750,000,000 in offerings? And, if you are a preacher or a pastor, what are you giving? Are you preaching, sermonizing, teaching, discipling, lecturing, giving a religious address or discourse which improve peoples’ lives or that they can even remember?

Review these methods used by churches, and determine which of these your are getting on Sunday mornings – and decide if it is worth the time and money:

      • Religious Lectures

      • Religious Addresses

      • Religious Discourses

      • Gospel Preaching

      • Bible Sermons

      • ReligiousTeaching

      • Christian Discipleship training

People will more frequently remember simple repeated statements, slogans, and phrases.  So, when we are told to “Go and preach or tell the Good News (the Gospel) of Jesus”, most of us just can’t remember what to say, short of “God lovesyou, and so do I”.

Jesus ministry is a good model:

  • Jesus personally and actively set the example for making, teaching and sending disciples. (I can find no example that Jesus wrote anything.)
  • Jesus personally spoke and taught and showed His disciples by His own example (50% retention rate).
  • Jesus taught His disciples to repeat His Words as He went with them to do His Works (90% retention rate).

So, Christian brother or sister, how about you? How effective is your ministry?

  • Are you primarily using reading materials (i.e., tracts) to disciple? (10% retention)
  • Are you primarily using words to disciple? (20% retention)
  • Are you referencing videos, audios and written materials for reminders?
  • When was the last time your pastor went out with you and told others, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  (And, as it says in Matthew 10:8-15), attempted to), “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Verse 9.  Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10 or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. Verse . And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. Verse 12. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. Verse 13.  If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Verse 14.  And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet. Verse 15.  Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than for that city. ” (This produces an amazing and most desirable 90% retention rate.)

And, Preacher / Pastor, how about you? How effective is your ministry?

  • Do you have a blog? (It produces just a 10% retention rate.)
  • Do you give a weekly sermon or lecture? (It produces just a 20% retention rate.)
  • Do you use overheads projectors, videos or bulletin outlines? ( This produces as much as a 50% retention rate.)
  • Do you take others and go and make disciples?  “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.  Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,  or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.  As you enter the house, give it your greeting.  If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.  And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.  Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than for that city. (This produces an amazing and morst desirable 90% retention rate.)

The current way of “doing church” seems to be changing monthly.  This has been going on for the last 40 years and it is causing the church to falter in influence and to lose its “savor”, as the Bible puts it. The church, it seems, is becoming little more than a religious institution delivering “drive-in” or “drive-up fast food style” preaching, sermons, religious lectures, addresses, discourses and entertainment in competition with NFL Sunday, Youtube TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Now I have said it and you have read it, will it make any difference to the 164,000,000 Evangelical and Protestant Christians in America?  Will you just shrug your shoulders and trundle back to “doing your church thing” this Sunday?  Or will you, do like Peter, Andrew, James, Zebedee and John, who dropped everything about the current ways they were living, and followed Jesus, step by step?

The Answer?  Follow the pattern and method established by Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less.  In fact, why not try starting with something simple but profound:  “Matthew 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Say it often.  Say it with both, passion and compassion. (I can hear some people and pastors saying, “But, all the things we are already doing are  the necessary parts of our ministry.”  And I say, “Yes? But, Jesus did not say to do it your way and He did not do it your way. Everything else you might say about Jesus, and those things which flow from Him, may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus, alone, is the MAIN THING! 

Audio by Pastor Alistair Begg at Truth for Life

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

THINK – Part 3 – Where are you going?

ANYONE GOING DOWN?

The Gallup organization reported In April 2021, that for the first time since they started polling in 1937, fewer than 50% of Americans claim membership is churches, mosques or synagogues. Sociologists have tracked these burgeoning declines for several decades, with attrition that runs from 70% claiming membership in the 1990s, to 50% in 2019, to 47% in 2021 (with no plateau in sight).

In Gallup’s study, these fissures in religious participation seem evident among every American demographic age group, including “traditionalists,” born before 1945, down from 73% to 66%; “Baby Boomers,” dropping from 63% to 58%; Generation X, from 57% to 50%; and “Millennials” from 51% to 35%, as indicated in 2020 studies.

SO, WHAT’S UP?

The Covid-19 outbreak is being blamed for the recent decline in church attendance, but, that is an anomaly.  Here is some information from a George Barna study reporting on five standing reasons people give on why they drop out of church (the comments are my own):

1. The church is irrelevant, the leaders are hypocritical and leaders have experienced too much moral failure

Yes, I know. That’s three reasons in one. But the Barna study groups all three reasons together as one reason.

2. God is missing in the church

People go to church looking for God, but are having difficulty finding him.

This one hurts, but in an age where perception is reality, you can’t ignore this criticism.  The paucity of personal experience with God is disturbing.

3. Legitimate doubt is prohibited

Honestly, I simply agree with this criticism. It is very difficult to have an honest conversation in many churches today.

4.  They’re not finding community

Sometimes expectations are too high; sometimes expectations are unrealistic; sometimes people really don’t want what they say they want; sometimes a church has metastasized into cliques.  This is a tough one – but can be true on many levels. At any rate, this is not acceptable for the Body of Christ.

5.  They’re not connecting with God

It does not amaze me to hear that people come to church seeking God, and they get some good sermons ABOUT GOD or ABOUT THE BIBLE, then they are discouraged when all they get is a religious pep talk, a religious rock concert or a religious lecture ABOUT GOD or ABOUT THE BIBLE.  They aren’t as interested in knowing ABOUT God, as they what they want to KNOW IF GOD CAN DO, IN THEIR LIVES, WHAT PREACHERS SAID HE CAN DO.  They don’t come to church to get stories about the Bible, they want to KNOW IF THE BIBLE can direct their lives,

Or perhaps, this is what is referred to the “Great Apostasy” (a falling away from the faith) of the Last Days, as mentioned in scriptures?

In either case, you and I need to be very careful because Jesus has warned, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”  This can be both individual and institutional deception.

HE SAID WHAT?

So, what was your experience in church this past month?  And, what did your pastor or preacher preach on this past Sunday, and how did he preach on it?  Now, be very honest; was it something ‘about the bible’ or ‘about Jesus’?  Or, was it something the Bible or Jesus said to you and for you to do and, you are doing it?

Just for the ‘fun of it’, let’s compare what you are hearing and seeing in Church versus what Jesus taught and did in ‘churches’ and along His way.

Let’s do a little ‘time travel’ and imagine we can go back in time to when Jesus begins His ministry.  Here’s the scene found in:

Matthew 4;12, “Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. Verse 14.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Verse 15.  “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—

Verse 16.  “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a Light dawned.”

Verse 17. From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The First Disciples

Verse 18. Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Verse 19. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Verse 20. Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Verse 21. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Verse 22. Immediately, they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”

Calling and making and sending disciples is what Jesus does.  In fact, that is exactly what He told us to be doing.  (see Matthew 28:16-20)  

Did your pastor or preacher say something even remotely like Jesus when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” or when He said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded; and remember, He is with you always, even to the end of the age.”?  Or is this something to be left to the ‘professionals’?  You know, ’you invite your friends, family and neighbors, and he’ll take it from there’.

But, that is not what the Bible says.  It says, YOU GO, and YOU MAKE DISCIPLES, and YOU BAPTIZE THEM.  Is your pastor teaching, training and sending you to DO WHAT JESUS SAID?

Put people on mission and let them run with it.  Let the pastors pastor, the teachers teach, the evangelist evangelize, etc., and watch what happens.

Ministry in Galilee

Matthew 4:23  “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”

Notice that Jesus does not just ‘talk a good game’, He leads by example.  In fact, Jesus’ pattern and method of ministry and of making disciples is to ‘Say the Words; Show the Wonders; Send the Worker”, and this is consistent throughout His ministry.

How about your pastor or preacher and ‘church leaders’?  What do they do?  Are they leading by example, then sending YOU to follow Jesus in like manner?  Remember, it’s all about YOU making disciples who, in turn, make disciples.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

Matthew 4:24  “The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Verse 25.  Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”

THE POINT?

The point is that Jesus did not sugar-coat the Gospel Message nor did He devise slick advertising gimmicks to get people to ‘come to church’.  There were no worship teams, no missions budgets, no building programs.  Jesus just told it straight, did what He said, and made disciples who did likewise.

The point is that, even under constant and severe persecution, the early church grew exponentially because the Gospel Message was preached and practiced!

The point is that, THIS IS OUR MODEL and God will provide the increase.

Now, stay tuned for “THINK – Part 4 – THE SERMON?”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous article:  “THINK – Part 2 – Repent and Live”

(Here is a website link to THE LAST REFORMATION and video links.  These folks started in the Netherlands.  Their methods were too unconventional for the state Lutheran Church, so upon appeal to the government, THE LAST REFORMATION was banned in the Netherlands, and they were granted asylum from religious persecution in the United States in 2019. You may not agree with all you hear or see on this site, but, the results are undeniable.)

NOTE:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about JESUS, first, foremost and only.  He has secured a salvation for you to save your soul from perishing in the most horrible way.  He has prepared a place for you as your eternal home, in His Kingdom.  The other things that happen to and through a believer and follower of Jesus, are the blessing and benefits that follow. – Michael Young, Pastor / Teacher, Whitestone Fellowship.

SAVING FAITH and the Demoniac

 

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

THE DEMONIAC

Matthew 17:14-20  says, “When Jesus, Peter, James and John his brother came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,  “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.

” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”  And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”  And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

This important event gives us a visual of what Spiritual Warfare can look like.

First, this man describes his son as “lunatic” which translates from the Greek word, “seléniazomai”, to be moonstruck; lunatic, to be epileptic (epilepsy being supposed to return and increase with the increase of the moon).  We find out a few verses later, when Jesus heals him, that his symptoms are because this boy has been possessed by a demon.

The disciples had tried to heal the son, but, were unable to drive the demon out of the boy because of ‘the littleness of their faith’.

It is obvious that Jesus is displeased with his disciples, to say the least.  He chastises them, saying, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

Note that the word “unbelieving”, translates as, incredulous, without Christian faith; not to be trusted, perfidious; heathen), and the word (“perverted” translates as to distort, misinterpret, corrupt).  A harsh indictment, indeed.

It is both interesting and frightening that although Jesus uses the word “generation”, it is apparent that His angst is directed primarily at His disciples.  It is also interesting that Jesus, knowing His time is short on earth and that He will soon face a humiliating and excruciating death, says “how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?”, as if to say He would rather be gone than to have to deal with this incredible absence of faith and earthbound, twisted and corrupt understanding of God and His ways.

Jesus concludes His remarks with, “for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” The phrase “for truly I say to you” (‘say’, from the Greek word ‘lego’) is emphatic.  Jesus was not calmly teaching His disciples as much as He was reproving them and admonishing them to embrace faith in Him, do the impossible and “move some mountains”.

This is not just a story for us to read, to muse over or get excited about.  It was, and is, a message from Jesus to His disciples, both then and now.

His words were spoken prophetically and emphatically (and, in the aorist tense), which means that this is a command and an action which has no regard for the past, present or future, it is an ongoing action; i.e., it was true yesterday, it is true today, and it will always be true!  This means that these words were not just for the disciples or for the people of that generation, His words were for all people of all time.

These Words are for you and for me:  “Have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this or any mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

This is how we – you and I – will engage the enemy, Satan and his demons and beasts – with faith the size of a mustard seed.

You and I will silence the ignorance of foolish men, we will pull down strongholds of darkness, we will destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.  We will be ready to punish every disobedience.

We will put armies of the darkness to flight and will destroy the devil’s works of sickness, disease, fear, doubt, calamity, poverty, loneliness.  This is how we cast out demons, vanquish evil from our land and cause the devil and his legions to flee.

He has given us – you and me, as His disciples – authority

  • Over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and
  • To heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness
  • To Heal the sick,
  • To raise the dead,
  • To cleanse the lepers,
  • To cast out demons.

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Freely you received, freely give. (Matthew 10)

As important as the foregoing message is to us, let’s be mindful that it is not the “MAIN THING”.  The primary message for us is,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Everything else follows the primacy and the Name of Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters and friends, let’s please enter into His service and be about doing what He has called, commanded and commissioned us to do.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

What we Believe

The Last Reformation – The Gospel

(Our location can be found on the Last Reformation map is in Estero, Florida)

AMERICA UNDER SIEGE – On the Offensive, Part III

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

AMERICA UNDER SIEGE

Going on the Offensive, Part III

“Fighting Back”

NOTE:  If you are a Conservative or a Christian in America, every issue that runs counter to your mores or is in conflict with our existing laws, traditional social norms, our Constitution and our Christian faith, including plain decency, can be attributed to the Democrat Party or any Leftists activist organization’s drive to divide our nation in order to complete their implementation of the One World Marxist Government.

When we try to extinguish each and every political, social or religious ‘brush fire issue’ ignited by the opposition, it only serves to distract us from fighting the Beast orchestrating this evil, and cutting off his head.

Please take a minute and go back a few years in time with me, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democrat party in America and many Republican co-conspirators, have been working for the past 75 years to complete and implement Socialist-Marxists ideologies and practices into the fabric of our nation at the federal, state and local governments levels though our legal systems, our primary, secondary and university level educational systems, the media, our health care systems, our religious institutions and more.

Then, in November 2019, a mysterious virus began infecting people in Wuhan, China.  Investigations and subsequent reports show this virus had most likely escaped from a virology research lab in the same city. Coincidental?  Most experts think not. China, the clear leader in promoting and implementing communism around the world, using any and all means necessary.

Furthermore, China has been uncooperative in revealing any information about this virus, how it escaped the lab, why they were doing such biological testing and has refused help in containing the virus. The COVID disease quickly spread around the globe.  One has to wonder if this was a planned event.

The Biden administration refuses to hold China accountable and, in fact, is working with China to find new alliances, potentially giving up strategic U.S. advantages.

Several high ranking Democrat members of Congress (Rahm Emanuel, former Obama advisor; Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer and House majority leader, Eric Cantor and sitting president Joe Biden), have brazenly used the pandemic as an opportunity to pass legislative spending bills and executive orders which are in clear violations of the constitution and existing laws.

Thus began, the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic using questionable, if not illegal, methods unrelated to any emergency or crisis at hand.  Democrats in Congress are now regularly using crises or national emergencies to manipulate public opinion and as opportunity to foment unrest and violence to reach their globalist agenda.  They, like Rahm Emanuel, seem to be saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” when it comes to promoting Socialist-Marxism in America and around the world.

FIGHTING BACK

There are an increasing number of grassroots movements fighting back politically.  There are some state and local governments passing legislation to fight Agenda-21’s Marxist attack on our Nation and her sovereignty.  As good as this sounds, they are still just fighting “political brush fires”.

Our goal is to resist and counter-attack the Beast by joining God in Spiritual Warfare!

Satan, also known as the serpent, the devil and the dragon are one-and-the-same, and he is behind all the evil which as ever been on this earth.

The New Testament book of 1 John 4:3 tells us, “every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 

If you don’t know by now, let me assure you that Marxism, in all its various forms, (Socialism, Leninism, Communism, etc.) is a manifestation of the works of the Beast.

Chapter 13 of the book of The Revelation, John introduces and describes in great detail two beasts: one beast coming up out of the sea and one beast coming up out of the earth.

Maybe you have asked, ‘what are the two beasts in Revelation chapter 13’.  The short answer is they represent the Antichrist and the False Prophet. These two, empowered by Satan, set out with a mission to deceive many during the Great Tribulation. Let’s consider the roles these two will play in End Times prophecy and our preparation and methods to fight back!

HOW TO GET READY

I have been studying eschatology and the End of Days in particular, for the last fourteen years. I have wondered if the conclusions I was making were Biblical and accurate. But, the things I concluded and taught, are coming true before our eyes.  Today, some prominent and mainline preachers are revising their End of Days views and are coming to the same conclusions as I.

I have written extensively about “What it Means to Get Ready” and “How to Get Ready”, but, to keep this brief, I am attaching a PowerPoint presentation with the Bible’s conclusions. Just click on the image to go to the presentation.  The last page of the presentation will summarize “what it means to be ready”.

Matthew 24:32 tells us,  “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to
give them their food at the proper time?”

Again, please pay particular attention to the last page of this PowerPoint presentation.  Much of what it proposes must be done and can be done through your local Church.  But, should the day come – and I believe it is close at hand – when the Church will be forced underground, we must still come together and accomplish His Work. 

We have equal vested interest. We are the Body of Christ

  • Prepare the Storehouse for the Saints
  • Come Together in Community
  • Make Disciples
  • Find and connect with Christians
  • Plan and coordinate with families
  • Organize “readiness” training classes, and more…

HOW TO FIGHT BACK

First, we must know, that although we may be engaged in the battle, it is God Who does the fighting, giving us the victory, and it is He, Who decides the outcome.

We may be called to a variety of task, such as leading someone to Jesus, calling out and rebuking evil wherever it is found, giving sound Biblical counsel, laying healing hands on the sick and infirm, taking care of widows, orphans, the destitute or a myriad of other things God may put in our way.

Scriptures tell us that although God is protecting us and fighting for us, some of us will give our life in service to Him.  Revelation 12:11 tells us, And they overcame the devil because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

There are dozens and dozens of verses that give us assurances. Here are just three.

Deuteronomy 1:30 tells us, “The LORD your God, Who goes before you, will Himself fight for you, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes.”

Psalm 20:6-8, says, “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”

Joshua 1:5-6, tells us, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Again, for brevity, here is a sermon and message from Pastor Trent Casto of Covenant Naples Church, Naples, Florida, from the book of Deuteronomy on the subject of “THE PROBLEMS OR THE PROMISES?” Although this sermon is not about eschatology, it gives us the answer to HOW TO FIGHT BACK.

Jesus has told us what is coming.  And, in Matthew 24:9-13, He warns, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.  At that time, many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.  Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

We will fight and overcome the enemy ‘because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of our testimony’.   You and I must prepare through study, diligence and steadfastness in prayer.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Click this link to the previous Episode:  Going on the Offensive, Part 2

AMERICA UNDER SIEGE – Going on the Offensive, Part II

(You can listen to this audio while you read along, then, you can stop the audio to follow a link, then, resume the audio when you are ready)

AMERICA UNDER SIEGE

Going on the Offensive, Part II

“I Have the Full Armor of God – Now What?” 

(Please note: There is no ‘shortcut’, no easy 1-2-3, to defeating our enemy. It takes discipline and training and preparation.  You need to read, study, pray and prepare.  And, you cannot get the complete detail or a complete understanding of the steps we can and must take, unless you read the related links on each of these pages)

A war to resist and overcome the evils enveloping America and the world can be fought in four basic ways:  (1). Conventional or guerilla warfare, using conventional weapons of war, economic weapons, psychological warfare, the weapons of the media; (2). Political weapons; (3). Changing and winning the hearts and minds of the people through Spiritual Warfare; (4). Pulling down strongholds, taking every thought captive, destroying arguments.

The first two methods have been in use since creation and have brought only temporary periods of peace or limited prosperity for the few.  But, the “unsaved” people among us who are share our Christian ideals, but have not received Christ as their Lord and Savior, are still our allies and co- conspirators, and they will continue to wage war against our enemy using traditional methods.  However, we have been fighting wars throughout our history, which have murdered billions of people and cause destruction at unimaginable costs in dollars and human suffering, so the first two methods have not brought any measure of lasting peace or prosperity, except to a few.

The last method mentioned, Spiritual Warfare, the spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the pulling down and destroying the strongholds of rulers, authorities,  cosmic powers, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, is the only way to defeat and eradicate evil and usher in worldwide lasting peace and prosperity.

Spiritual Warfare and spreading the Gospel is the method, mission and ministry to which God has called us.  It is through Spiritual Warfare, that, in the end, God will judge the entire world, defeat the forces of evil in the bloodiest of all battles.  It is through this warfare that Satan and the Anti-Christ will be cast in the lake of fire for all eternity.)

If you cannot, or will not, believe that this is your mission and that He will  accomplish these things through you, then you are not yet His disciple.  And you cannot know how and are unable TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE THE EVIL ENVELOPING OUR NATION AND THE WORLD IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

Engaging in the Spiritual War raging across America and the world, requires that you know Jesus as your Lord and knowing what He requires of His disciples (a.k.a., Christians).  It is the indwelling presence of God that enables you to understand what God is saying and to gain the wisdom and abilities to fight this war.

Our relationship with God requires more than just knowing about Him. We must know Him, believe Him and we must follow Him, which requires our FAITH in ACTION. 

Pastor and author Henry Blackaby points out, in his study “The 7 Realities For Experiencing God”, what we should know about God’s ways, His plans and His purposes. It illustrates how we can follow Him. :

      1. God is always at work around you.
      2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
      3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
      4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
      5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
      6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
      7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you.

I.   JESUS’ MINISTRY IS OUR MINISTRY

Our relationship with Jesus is more than ‘Just Knowing’; it requires Believing and Doing.   Jesus has

(a) The plan for us to follow,

(b) The purpose which becomes our purpose, and

(c) The ministry for us as His disciples.

For example, in Matthew 10:2, we are told that “Jesus sent these twelve out after (a) instructing them (b) He gave them authority

      • over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to
      • heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness
      • “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
      • “Heal the sick,
      • raise the dead,
      • cleanse the lepers,
      • cast out demons.
      • Freely you received, freely give.
      • “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.
      • “And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. “As you enter the house, give it your greeting. “If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
      • “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. “Truly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

If you cannot, or will not, believe that this is your mission and that He will  accomplish these things through you, then you are not yet His disciple.  And  you cannot know how and are unable TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE THE EVIL ENVELOPING OUR NATION AND THE WORLD IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

II.  JESUS’ MISSION IS OUR MISSION

After Jesus’ death and resurrection and just before His ascension, He said:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, Jesus was sent by His Father and was on The Mission of His Father.  If you are a disciple of Jesus (His follower) this is your mission, and He will do this work through you.

If you cannot, or will not, believe that this is your mission and that He will  accomplish these things through you, then you are not yet His disciple.  And  you cannot know how and are unable TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE THE EVIL ENVELOPING OUR NATION AND THE WORLD IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

III. JESUS’ PURPOSE IS OUR PURPOSE

1 John 3:8 “The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.”

These are the WORKS of the devil, the thief comes only to STEAL and KILL and DESTROY (John 10:10)

The devil is the accuser, a liar, a thief, a murderer, the author of disease, pain, despair, loss, lack, fear, hopelessness and the like.

IV.  JESUS’ METHOD IS OUR METHOD

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him (the devil) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word (logos) of their testimony (Maturia -> Martus), and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

Here is how Jesus destroyed the works of the devil.  And, how He will continue to destroy the works of the devil, through His yielded and obedient disciple:

  • Condemns a Fig Tree Matthew 21:17-22
  • Feeds More than Four-Thousand People Matthew 15:32-39
  • Stills the Storm
  • The Catch of Fish
  • The Second Catch of Fish
  • The Temple Tax Money Obtained from a Fish’s Mouth
  • Walks Upon Lake Galilee
  • Water Converted Into Wine
  • Cleanses the Leper
  • Cures a Man With Dropsy
  • Cures the Woman With the Issue of Blood
  • Healing of the Immobile Man
  • Heals a Demoniac
  • Heals Peter’s Mother-In-Law
  • Heals the Daughter of the Non-Jewish, Syro-Phoenician Woman
  • Heals the Demoniac
  • Heals the Ear of Malchus
  • Heals the Epileptic Boy
  • Heals the Nobleman’s Son
  • Heals the Paralyzed Man
  • Heals the Woman With the Spirit of Infirmity
  • Opens the Eyes of a Man Born Blind
  • Restores a Blind Man
  • Restores Sight to Two Blind Men Near Jericho
  • Restores the Centurion’s Servant
  • Restores the Deaf-Mute Man
  • Restores Two Blind Men to Sight
  • Restoring the Withered Hand
  • Throws Demons out of Two Men of Gadara (Gerasa)
  • DEFEATED DEATH
  • Raises Lazarus from the Dead
  • Raises the Daughter of Jairus from the Dead
  • Raises the Widow’s Son to Life at the Village of Nain
  • “Miracles in the Name of Christ”

If you cannot, or will not, believe that this is your mission and that He will  accomplish these things through you, then you are not yet His disciple.  And  you cannot know how and are unable TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE THE EVIL ENVELOPING OUR NATION AND THE WORLD IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

V.  OUR THREE-FOLD RESPONSE & OUR MISSION

1. Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus,

2. John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

3. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

When you ‘hear His Voice’, submit yourself to Him, obey and spring into action!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous Episode:  Going on the Offensive, Part 1

Next Episode:  Going on the Offensive, Part 3

THESE WORKS

What would you think, if in passing, you were to ask me, “What are you up to now-a-days?”, and I were to answer, saying…

“Oh, just testifying to the Truth,

“bringing a sword to the world and

“turning sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers.

“I am working at fulfilling the Hebrew and Judaic law and that of their prophets, and

“calling sinners to righteousness.  

“I am bringing fire upon the earth and to creating a lot of division.  

“I guess you might say I have been busy working at saving the world”.  

 WHICH WORKS?

It is interesting that Jesus commanded His disciples (Christians) to do the works that He has done and even greater works than these.  We are to continue in His mission, using His methods and His ways. (John 14:12, Matthew 10:1)

It can be a bit confusing, but He promised us that He will be with us, in His authority, giving us direction and even giving us the words we should use.  (Matthew 28:16-19, Luke 21:15, Luke 12:12)

WHY DID JESUS COME INTO THE WORLD?

“For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”  This, too, is our calling!

 TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH

John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”  This, too, is our calling!

TO BRING A SWORD

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to TURN A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A PERSON’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.”  This, too, is our calling!

 TO FULFILL THE LAW

17 Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.”  This, too, is our calling!

TO CALL SINNERS

17 And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  This, too, is our calling!

TO SAVE THE WORLD

47 If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”   In a very real sense, This, too, is our calling, by lifting the Name of Jesus, telling others and leading them to Him

TO CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH

49 “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather to create division;  This, too, is our calling!

 

WHAT HE REALLY MEANT, WAS…

John 14:12 Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

I have heard so many preachers and bible teachers try to justify or explain away these Words of Jesus because they just cannot fathom the gentle and sweet ‘dashboard Jesus’ saying such things as we find in the verses cited.  These same confused preachers really get tied in a knot over John 14:12.  They will begin their commenary of teaching it with, “what this really means is…”.

Jesus said what He meant and meant exactly what He said.  We need to get over it and get on with it.

CONTEXT

The year is now 2021.  A recent president of the United States has declared that America is no longer a Christian nation.  Postmodernism is a term used to describe this new paradigm.  Our churches are practicing a new version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ often described by a “3-line motto” which can be seen across the spectrum of churches in America:  “Gather, Grow, Give” or “Love each other, Enjoy Jesus, Share Him with others”, etc.

These mottoes are an attempt to describe the church and its ministry to the watching world or to the ‘church shopping Christian’.  But, if these mottoes or labels are supposed to describe Jesus and His Church, they fail.

Jesus’  purpose in coming to earth was not to teach a social gospel, create a ‘family life center’, to make you a better you or to shake up the existing religious institutions.  Jesus was on a specific Mission from God the Father as is reflected in the foregoing Bible verses.  Jesus confirms that He is on His Father’s mission,, in John 5:19,  “Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way.”

With this in mind, can you, in your most vivid imagination, see Jesus announcing “mother’s morning out”, “cookies and campfires for kids”, “fishing with fathers and sons”, “financial workshops”, etc?  You might say “what’s wrong with that?”.  I would respond that there is nothing wrong with these activities, but, they have nothing to do with Jesus Mission and our calling to that mission.

THE BOTTOM LINE

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.”

FACING REALITY

Everything Jesus has done is IN THE CONTEXT of what God the Father said. But, the world, both Christian and secular worlds seem to have decided that Jesus is exclusively a gentle little lamb.  But, if you make a closer inspection and take an honest look a what the Bible says, you see a different picture:  Jesus is both the Lion of Judah and the Sacrificial Lamb.  He is both careful with His words and brutally honest.  He is both gentle and forceful.

THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE

If you came home and saw your house on fire, knowing your family was inside, what would you do?  Would you politely suggest everyone might want to step outside or would you take immediate action, sparing no effort or words to alert everyone to the immediate danger and move them to safety at any cost?

Likewise, God’s creation is perishing because of lack of knowledge of Him and Jesus is doing what is necessary to save the world.  We may not always understand His words, His methods or His ways, but it would be prudent to observe, listen, think and obey Him.

The world has long held a misconception, a distorted view of God.  We have made Him into a “kinder and gentler” image which we would prefer.

Jesus is setting that record straight in order to save the world from itself.

SO, WHAT ABOUT JESUS BEHAVIORS?

Most who have read this far, should have been shocked by the opening paragraphs of this article, but, that is EXACTLY what Jesus said and did.  These are EXACTLY the behaviors of our Savior.  Jesus’ words and behaviors are the perfect balance of love for this world coupled with rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness  This, too, is our calling!  

His words and actions must be kept in context, lest we misuse them, ourselves.  Read John 3:16 again, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.”

Jesus’ words and behaviors are the perfect balance of love for this world coupled with rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness.  This, too, is our calling!

WE ARE IN AN END DAYS WAR

We are locked in the eternal Spiritual struggle.  Millions upon millions of souls are at risk.  We cannot fight and win this battle using our own means, methods and ways.  It is urgent that we return to Jesus, to His methods and His ways.  It is urgent that we have the mind of Christ at all times and in all matters.  Anything less ends in defeat.

If you dispute or dismiss the idea that God’s ways may seem strict harsh or unfair, remember, God sacrificed His own Son for you.  That seems strict, harsh and unfair.

Jesus willingly gave up His own life for this Cause which also seems strict, harsh and unfair.

And, if God did not spare the natural branches (His own Jewish / Hebrew people), how will you stay secure in this Cause without following Him?  Does this also seems strict, harsh and unfair?  Perhaps.  But it is the only way!

WE MUST GET THIS RIGHT

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  We cannot fight this war with conventional earthly method, means or way.  WE MUST GET THIS RIGHT in our minds and do this in real-time!

This is the only way, for it is written.  This will shake the very foundations of your life, your church and the world!

  • TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH
  • BRING A SWORD
  • FULFILL THE LAW
  • CALL SINNERS TO REPENTANCE
  • SAVE THISWORLD
  • CAST FIRE & BRING DIVISION UPON THE EARTH
  • WHAT HE REALLY MEANT, WAS (John 14:12 )Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

From one Christian to another:  Time is short.  His return is near.  It is time each of us, individually and collectively, to really pick up our cross and really follow Him.  Now!  Today!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(Contact me and let’s get to work, together!)

whitestonefellowship1@protonmail.com

 

PS:  Just in case you were wondering.  The Bible is clear:  I am not talking about us saving ourselves.  No one can earn their way into the Kingdom of Heaven by what they say or do apart from Jesus.  Our salvation and place in heaven is secured solely by God’s Grace and through our faith in Jesus.

How we act, that is, our words and our behaviors are a reflection of our attitude.  And our attitude, our mind set, must be the same as Christ.  Philippians 2:5  exhorts us to “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Your attitudes and resultant words and behaviors are what will free you or will limit you.

You will overcome because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of your testimony, and that you do not love this life even when faced with death.

CHOSEN

“The Chosen” is a television drama based on the life of Jesus Christ, created, directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins. The series’ creators are hoping to distinguish the new series from previous portrayals of Jesus by crafting a multi-season, episode-based story.

Created by: Dallas Jenkins

Distributed by: VidAngel

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF AMERICA – 2021

The American presidential election of 2020 should not be considered a ‘turning point’ for America, it should be considered as ‘the last nail in her coffin’.  The groundwork for the transition of America from a democratic-republic and a world superpower into just another Prefect in a One World Government had been laid decades ago.  The aging and dwindling populace of freedom loving American Patriots has finally been overcome by the swelling tide of from foreigner, both naturalized citizens and illegal aliens, (foreign agents) within her own borders.

You could see this coming, if you were watching.  A super influx of illegal and anti-American foreigners, made possible by the Leftists and Globalists in our own democrat party, was tipping the balance of power.

Additionally, the surreptitious introduction of Socialist doctrine into the curriculum of our education systems has indoctrinated several generations of children to think antithetically to America’s founding principles.  These are only two of the methods of the myriad of complex strategies to subvert and transform our once great nation into the Socialist / Communist pariah she is becoming.

WHERE CAN WE FIND HOPE?

A great example would be to look to the Jewish people who were primarily subject to foreign rule (Egyptian, Syrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, etc.), for thousands of years, with only brief periods of independence.

Specifically, in the first century, when the Romans ruled the Mediterranean area known as Palestine (modern-day Israel), where Jesus was born and lived his life. In the hierarchy of power, the Jewish self-government reported to the authority of the local Roman government (King Herod), which reported to Rome (Emperor Caesar).

Much like the modern/post-modern ecumenical movement in America and other parts of the world, the Roman government practiced syncretism, that is, they believed that all religious beliefs, philosophical teachings, and government systems are ultimately compatible, or a reflection of, a larger system – the Roman system. They practiced one of the first “one country, two systems” policies – pronouncing that all people had religious freedom, political freedom, and freedom of thought, yet maintaining strict control.

Just as the Jews understood the world to be divided into two types of people: Jewish and Gentile (non-Jew), Christianity divides the world into Believers and non-believers, and, just as the Jews worked hard to disassociate themselves from the Gentiles, so Christians tend to disassociate with non-believers.  But more than that, Conservatives and Liberals is the new identity, and they are sorely divided.

President Joe Biden, in his first month in office as begun the work of redefining America through executive order (dictatorial rule).  The Jewish people accepted their freedom in both their governing system, and in maintaining their own traditions, yet the Roman government required that everything be ultimately subject to Roman authority. For example, Jewish citizens were under the authority of the Jewish court system (the Sanhedrin), yet all rulings for the death penalty were sent to the Roman government.  So, it is coming to be, in America.  It is as if Biden was reading ancient Rome’s playbook.

The most disheartening, if not disgusting acts of sedition and cowardice in post 2020 America, is to be found in our religious and political systems.  In ancient Rome, the Jewish religious and governing system was divided between two parties:  the Pharisees, which we can compare to the “Conservatives” in our political and religious system – the ‘people’s party’, taught the law and traditions of Israel’s patriarchs (or, America’s founding principles), and were strictly conforming to Jewish law (in our case, Constitutional law); and the Sadducees (comparable to democrat and republican elitists) – the wealthy and conservative leaders who rejected the traditions in favor of political and religious cooperation with the Romans (in our case, Socialists and Globalists in America).

THEN CAME JESUS

The advent of Jesus, the Messiah, changed everything, “first in Jerusalem and then in all Judea, then Samaria, and then as far as the remotest part of the earth.”

That Hope, Jesus, is still alive and well, for us today.  But, this time, this 2nd Advent of Christ, He will not return as “the humble servant”, but this time

The heavens will open and behold, a white horse, and He who sits on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness.  He judges and wages war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will [e]rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

We need to be aware and informed about the movement and the status of world religions and world politics only to the extent that it informs us of the lateness of the HOUR according to God’s eschatological clock.

Please watch these CHOSEN videos – and notice that the Work of God continued, despite Roman and Jewish opposition, impediments and interruptions.  This is our model.

Embrace THE HOPE, trust Him, follow Him – He knows the WAY!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  I am writing a study named “THE CHOSEN” from 1 Peter.  It is a work in progress  Are you chosen?

THE RADICALISM OF JESUS

I came across an article in the New York Times titled “The Forgotten Radicalism of Jesus”, which, in part, describes exactly what we, as Christians, must embrace.  Here is an excerpt:

“Get used to different.”  “That line comes from a marvelous new TV series on Jesus’ life, “The Chosen,” in which Jesus, played by Jonathan Roumie, invites Matthew to become one of his disciples. Simon Peter, already a disciple, registers his fierce objection. Matthew is a tax collector, who were viewed as tools of Roman authorities, often dishonest and abusive. They were therefore treated as traitors and outcasts by other Jews.

“I don’t get it,” Simon Peter says to Jesus about his decision to invite Matthew, to which Jesus responds, “You didn’t get it when I chose you, either.”

“But this is different,” Simon Peter answers. “I’m not a tax collector.” At which point Jesus lets Simon Peter know things aren’t going to be quite what his followers expected.

“First-century Christians weren’t prepared for what a truly radical and radically inclusive figure Jesus was, and neither are today’s Christians. We want to tame and domesticate who he was, but Jesus’ life and ministry don’t really allow for it. He shattered barrier after barrier.

“One example is Jesus’ encounter, in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus and the woman talked about Jesus being the Messiah, why he was even deigning to talk with her, and the unnamed woman’s past and present, which she initially sought to hide from Jesus. (It included her five previous husbands, according to the account in John, and the fact that “the one whom you now have is not your husband.”) Yet not a word of condemnation passed the lips of Jesus; the woman felt heard, understood, cared for. Jesus treated her, in the words of one commentator, “with a magnetic dignity and respect.”  (End excerpt)

TWO MAIN POINTS

There are two main points we must take from this and embrace them as we move forward, marching with time inexorably to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord and His judgment, which is coming upon every person and in all the earth.

POINT #1

The author starts the article well, then deviates from Jesus’ radicalism for the lives of the lost and turns the article into a weak “social justice commentary”.

Jesus did not come to earth to preach a gospel of “social justice” of man’s perceived standards of right and wrong, just or unjust.  Jesus came into the world to save the world.  Jesus preached His Gospel message of God’s mercy and justice

GOD’S JUSTICE

It did not matter to Jesus, whether a person is rich or poor, weak or strong, oppressed or privileged, intellectually brilliant or disadvantaged, educated or uneducated – you either believe on Him, the One whom God has sent, or you perish. This is God’s Justice.

We must have this MIND OF CHRIST, as we live-out Jesus’ example and teaching, and as we reach out to the lost.

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged, verse 2, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect any person. verse 3, Now there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my opponent.’ verse 4, For a while he was unwilling; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect any person, verse 5, yet because this widow is bothering me, I will give her justice; otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” verse 6, And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge *said; verse 7, now, will God not bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long for them? verse 8, I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

This “justice” is God revenging; God’s vengeance and punishment: Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30 from Deuteronomy 32:35; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Luke 21:22; ποιεῖν τήν ἐκδίκησιν τίνος, to vindicate one from wrongs, accomplish the avenging of, Luke 18:7f;  τίνι, to avenge an injured person.

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. verse 19, He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. verse 20, A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.  verse 21, And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”

This justice, “Krino” κρίσις, εως, ἡ is a separating, sundering, separation; a trial, contest, selection, judgment; i. e. opinion or decision given concerning anything, especially concerning justice and injustice, right and wrong; in a forensic judgment sense, of the of God or of Jesus the Messiah: universally, the day appointed for the judgment, at the time of the judgment, when the judgment shall take place, to execute judgment against (i. e. to the destruction of) all. Specifically, sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment:

POINT #2

We must come back to the fearless, self-abandonment of Jesus’ first disciples in our pursuit of Jesus (as depicted in the video, “The Chosen”).

Jesus, when calling Matthew to follow Him, He is threatened by the Roman guard to “back off”.  But, Jesus stays focused, smiling, calling.

Matthew immediately responds by “closing up shop” and leaves his post to follow Jesus.  The Roman guard sternly warns Matthew, reminding him that he will lose his position of favor with the Roman government, his protections and his wealth, but Matthew brushes him aside, saying, “Get out of my way”.

Radical obedience in faith is the ONLY PATH for a true Christian, (“Matthew 4:20) “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”

The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him,
let alone a man explain Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your hand.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.

He always has been and He always will be.
He had no predecessor
and He’ll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him
and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him
and He’s not going to resign.
That’s our King! That’s our King!

Will you follow Him?  (adapted from SM Lockridge’s “That’s My King”)

Your Brother and friend,

Mike Young

Got questions.org – mercy and justice

THIS IS FOR YOU

THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

If anyone has an ear, let him hear. Verse 10, “(1) If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; (2) if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:9

Here is the perseverance of the saints who (1) keep the commandments of God and (2) their faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

I have written several articles on

1. “The Tribulation period we are now facing”,

2. “How Christians must respond to this Tribulation, the terror and the attacks on our Faith” and

3. “The Method and Weapons of Christian’s Warfare”.

This article is meant to emphasize the conclusions of my previous articles and to pull them all together by citing what is known as The Perseverance of the Saints”.

There are few matters more important than how we prepare for what has been prophesied in Scriptures, and it appears, is coming to pass. It is the concurrence and the convergence of The Prophetic events from Scriptures, occurring in our day, which have never been seen before.

God is completing the breaking of the 5th Tribulation Seal and we are on the verge of Christ’s return for His Church and the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

I am turning to the Book of the Revelation, chapters 13 and 14 for this study:

Revelation 13

1 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been [b]slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking [c]arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who [d]dwell in heaven.

7 It was also given to him to make war with the [e] saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been [f]written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Verse 9 “If anyone has an ear, let him hear. v10  If anyone [g] is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the [h] perseverance and the faith of the [I] saints.

Rev 14:11  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast [j]in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform [k]in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even [l]speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, [m]to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is [n]six hundred and sixty-six.

Revelation 14:

1 “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they *[a]sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they [b]have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who [c]live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “[d]Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the [e]passion of her immorality.”

9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed [f]in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and [g]brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and [h]whoever receives the mark of his name.”

Verse 12 Here is the [I] perseverance of the [j] saints who keep the commandments of God and [k] their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

The Reapers

1st Reaping:

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like [l]a son of man, having a golden crown on His head (also see Matthew 24:30,31) and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the [m]temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “[n]Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth [o]is ripe.” 16 Then He who sat on the cloud [p]swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

2nd Reaping:

17 And another angel came out of the [q]temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “[r]Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters [s]from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel [t]swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, [u]for a distance of [v]two hundred miles.

“The Harvest of the Earth”

Revelation 14:14-16 says,

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for theharvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

The reaping of the harvest of the earth, is the rapture of the church. (see Matthew 24:29,30)

The Reaping of the Vine of the Earth

In Revelation 14:17-18 there is another harvest that is different from the first. It says,

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vineof the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

This is called the “reaping of the vine of the earth”. The first was the harvest. Revelation 14:19 talks about the winepress where the grapes will be trodden, “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”   The first harvest is caught up to be with Jesus Christ. The second harvest is to be thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God. Revelation 14:20 continues, “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”  

Notice several things. The winepress is to be trodden without the city. This is undoubtedly speaking of Jerusalem. Immediately outside the walls of the Temple Mount, there is a valley called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, also known as the Kidron Valley. It lies just outside the Eastern Gate where it is prophesied in scripture that Jesus Christ will enter at the time of His Second Coming. The Mount of Olives is here, also. This is where the winepress of God will be. This is describing the Battle of Armageddon. The blood will flow unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, the equivalent of 160 miles. If you measure from the Plain of Megiddo in northern Israel, through the Jordan Valley, and then into the Gates of Jerusalem, it equals approximately 160 miles. The Battle of Armageddon will begin in Megiddo, then down through the Jordan Valley as the armies of Israel retreat. It will finally culminate in the Kidron Valley outside the gates of Jerusalem. Only Jesus Christ will save the Jewish people at that time.  “END OF EXCERPT”.

If after reading this, you still think you need to take up conventional arms of warfare and fight the onslaught of evil by way of a world war, a regional war, a civil, political war, or a social war, then go about your business.  But, remember what Scriptures tell us about the PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINT, “if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed” Rev. 13:9

2. “How Christians must respond to this Tribulation, the terror and the attacks on our Faith” and

3. “The Method and Weapons of Christian’s Warfare”.