Faith PrepperPreparing for the Coming Darkness
After all the chaos and upheaval we’ve seen in our country these past few weeks that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of our republic and the church, we have come to a place in our lives where we must ask ourselves the question, What do I believe?
That’s right. What do I believe?
• What am I willing to die for?
• What is the mission and calling of my life?
• What means the most to me?
• And what truth will I not compromise on?
Or, as Martin Luther said when commanded to recant his beliefs to save his life, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.”
So let me ask you, what do you believe about the times in which we live?
The following is from Samuel Culpeper with Forward Observer. I believe this accurately sums up what happened, and didn’t happen, today in DC and what we can expect in the days to come. Read and be informed. And be prepared. Then ask yourself, where do we go from here?
06 January 2021
I’m writing a quick note this afternoon following today’s protest in Washington D.C. and breach of the Capitol building. I have three initial thoughts on this and other events that occurred today.
1. Back in November I wrote that, presuming a Biden victory, the Right would assume the mantle of political resistance and proto-insurgent activity. A Biden administration, after all, will be toeing or crossing red lines on the Second Amendment, religious liberty and the First Amendment, taxes, and a host of other Obama-era policies that riled conservatives enough to form a national protest movement. I surmised that after a summer of violent attacks, riots, and destruction by the Left, conservatives may be feeling some leeway in how they protest. After all, we were told for most of last year that riots are just the voice of the unheard. At a minimum, the grassroots conservative protest movement we saw from 2009 to 2016 is coming back under a third Obama administration, and today is the first notch in that belt. Low-intensity conflict will continue.
When we compare the church today with the example given in the book of Acts, we come up short and wanting. It looks like what life was like in the book of Acts and our church life now are not even related, like they were from different parents, from different planets. And if you are honest with yourself, you will see how much we have lost and how far we have fallen from the prototype God gave us in His Word. Which begs the question: How can we recover what we have lost?
What do we know about the early church? Consider the following:
• They lived in communities, like one large, extended family.
• They met in homes or rented facilities. There was not a million-dollar building on every street corner that sat empty six days a week.
• Their key distinctive was worship and evangelism. Or, worship expressed as evangelism.
• They were led by lay leaders. You and me. The guy next door. There was nothing of the clergy, laity divide. There were no hired holy-men. Everyone was obedient to the command of Christ, individually.
• They were guided by Scriptures. Not tradition, nor public opinion, nor vote of the congregation. God and His Word was the final authority.
• Everyone was a priest. Each believer had direct access to the throne of God. Hence, they were all equal in His sight.
• They had all things in common. This is probably the hardest concept to get our heads around since we are happy living in a narcissistic world.
• They were known, both within and outside of the church, as holy men who lived sanctified lives.
Looks a bit different from any church I have ever been a part of. Can you say the same?
As we see the church beginning to bend to the whims of our culture we struggle to ask how we, as the church, have let this happen on our watch? How did things in our society go so wrong, so fast? If the church is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we have gone AWOL and abandoned our posts. And the reason is simple, we have a crisis of Godly leadership in the church, in our marriages, and in our families. Where did all our leaders go?
Part of this crisis is found in our assumptions about the church and the expectations of the Christian life. Consider the assumptions we, as men, constantly make regarding church and our responsibilities to lead our wives and children in the things of the Lord.
• There will always be a church on every street corner so I can freely church-shop without having to make a commitment to any in particular.
• There will always be paid staff to do ministry for me so I won’t have to.
• Praise and worship will always be what I enjoy. And if not, “I’m outta here, bub!”
• There will always be a preacher/pastor/teacher, my personal hired holy man who will do the heavy lifting for me and my family so I can spend my time doing other things that I enjoy more.
• There will always be good study materials available for free so I won’t have to spend my money on learning the Bible but can spend it on what I want.
• Church will always be about me.
• I can come when I want, late or not, no matter.
• I can do what I want, no matter how it affects others.
• I can live the type of life I want, sin and all, and if someone has a problem with that I can always leave and go to another church of my choosing.
But these are all just assumptions. And church life is quite different on the front lines.
One of the best ways to soar above the apostasy that seems to be raising its ugly head in the church today is to have a true, passionate, life-changing experience with the Lord. No, we’re not talking about memorizing more Scripture or doubling your time in prayer, although those things will help you experience God personally. And we are not talking about growing in your knowledge of the Lord if that means knowing Him as we know George Washington, all history and facts, impersonal doctrine and theology. What changes your heart is to experience God in a personal way, where He speaks to you and you recognize His voice.
But how is that done? How do we experience God? And why is that even important?
Let’s answer the last question, first, by listing some troubling facts discovered about evangelicals in a recent Barna survey. This alone should show us that knowledge has replaced experience in the church today.
According to a recent Barna study of professing evangelicals:
• 48% believe a person who is good enough or does enough good works can earn eternal salvation
• 44% claim the Bible is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion
• 44% do not believe that history is the unfolding narrative of God’s reality
• 43% maintain that when Jesus was on earth, He sinned
• 43% do not believe that there is a common, God-given purpose to humanity (i.e., to know, love, and serve Him)
• 42% seek moral guidance primarily from sources other than the Bible
• 42% do not identify and confess their sins on a daily basis
• 40% do not believe that human life is sacred
• 40% accept lying as morally acceptable if it advances personal interests or protects one’s reputation
• 39% identify the people they always respect as being only those who have the same beliefs as they possess
• 36% prefer socialism to capitalism
• 36% fail to seek and pursue God’s will for their life
• 34% reject the idea of legitimate marriage as one man and one woman
• 34% argue that abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship
• 32% do not thank or worship God each day
How is this even possible in a nation that has “In God We Trust” on its currency?
A recent video by Reality Survival shows at least 30 ways you can improve the security of your home as we see lawlessness increase nationwide. These are good steps to take and I would encourage you to consider each one. They are summarized as follows:
1. Set up more lights around your property so it looks like more people are at home.
2. Set up motion detection lights that will flick on when someone walks on your driveway.
3. Set up infrared driveway alarms to let you know if somebody is on the property.
4. Eliminate trees or shrubs that could provide unseen entry into your property.
5. Plant nasty thorny shrubs up close to the windows and entry points of your home.
6. Clear the shrubs and bushes away from your front door so burglars can’t hide by your entry points.
7. Use a good concealment device to hide your spare key well away from your doors.
8. Leave a vehicle parked out on your front driveway when you are away from your home, which makes it look like somebody is home.
9. Make sure your remote control garage door opener is stored out of sight in your vehicle.
10. Have security cameras covering the main entry points into the home.
11. Put an alarm company sign out front.
12. Get a good outside watchdog.
13. Get an inside dog (even a small yappy dog can keep some criminals at bay).
14. Placed deadbolts on all exterior doors.
15. Place deadbolts that lock on your garage.
To see the rest of these 30 security tips, click the Read More button below.
If you ask most Christians, they will tell you their prayer life is usually directed to the “Father” or “God” or “Lord” and in the “name of Jesus”. Yes, there are some who actually pray to Jesus but seldom, if ever, do you hear of someone praying to the Holy Spirit. And why is that? Often it is because we have been taught by well-meaning Sunday School teachers that “We are never to pray to the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit always gives glory to the Father and the Son, and never to Himself.” Which is basically true but misses the point altogether. So the question remains, is praying to the Holy Spirit wrong?
In order to understand this key question, we have to look once again at the definition of the trinity. These are the facts from Scripture, even though they are difficult to understand.
One, God eternally exists as three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Two, each of them is fully God.
Three, there is one God.
Which means Jesus and the Father are the same, yet separate. Therefore, if you have seen Jesus, then you have seen the Father (John 14:9). In fact, Jesus said “the Father who (what) dwells in Me (ménō – to remain, abide, live, to be united with someone in heart, mind, and will) does the work (referring to the works that Jesus does that He offers as proof that He and His Father are one and that He exists “in” His Father and His Father exists “in” Him.)
But what does that say about the Holy Spirit?
If you look around, you can see darkness coming upon our land. There is no denying it. Just watch the news. It’s depressing. And the church is not immune to what happens in the culture. In fact, the church often follows the culture to its own demise, which is what we are seeing today. We are in the early stages of the great apostasy Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24. But we also have a mighty weapon to confront the darkness. And that weapon is the Holy Spirit. So the most important question we can ask ourselves is this: How can I be filled with the Hoy Spirit? How can I have more of Him in me?
But when it comes to the Holy Spirit, many of us are confused and conflicted as to what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Is it a Charismatic thing or is it for everyone? Is it something that comes naturally, or do we have to ask for this filling? And if we have to ask, are there any conditions we must meet first? Again, if there are conditions, what are they?
Ah, so many questions and so much confusion.
D.L. Moody once spoke about the need to be filled by the Spirit (and he was a pretty non-Charismatic guy. Look at what he said:
“I believe firmly, that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking, and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit, and ambition and self-seeking, and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray Him to empty us.”
I couldn’t agree with him more. But how is someone filled by the Holy Spirit?
The world is spinning, staggering, and struggling from the Chinese coronavirus now called COVID-19 to conceal the fact that it came from China. The jury is still out whether it was manmade or natural and whether it was released accidentally or used by the Chinese Communist Party as germ warfare. As of today, there have been more than 12 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 260,000 deaths.
However, many of the deaths are suspect since gunshot deaths, heart attacks, etc., were classified as COVID-19. Hospitals are paid much more if deaths are COVID deaths. As always, follow the money. It would be helpful (and honest) if any health official speaking to the media, be required to inform the public if that official holds any relevant patents or any stock in any relevant drug or vaccine company.
It is not commonly known that 56 individual patents were discovered to be owned or shared by one or more members of committees within the Centers for Disease Control. However, I don’t think the CDC sells masks— yet.
There has been much controversy as to whether masks are useful or useless against COVID; however, a Danish study, released November 18, suggests “face masks did not significantly protect wearers from the coronavirus compared to those without masks.” The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, may determine and terminate the mask debate.
The issue is bigger than whether a mask helps protect from COVID or not: does any entity of government have the authority to require masks? The “experts” have been all over the map about this. Moreover, the worldwide lockdowns have been one of the most contentious, challenged, combative, and caustic decisions government officials have made. The charge is made that Socialists in the U.S. government want to destroy the present system to build upon its ashes a utopian society.
Whether true or not, the lockdowns have destroyed most of America’s restaurants and almost crippled travel-related businesses. That is true globally. It seems the cure is worse than the curse by destroying society.
President Trump pushed and bribed health officials and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate efforts to develop a vaccine that would be given freely to Americans. Many billions of tax dollars were spent to accomplish that purpose. We are told that two vaccines are about ready, and both are 95% effective. Another one will be ready in January.
Let me remind you that we have been given medical assurances regarding other diseases with some massive medical failures such as the thalidomide scandal in the 1950s, the HIV-tainted blood scandal in Japan in the 1980s, the swine flu in 2009, and others. WebMD admitted the flu vaccine for the 2018–2019 season was only 29 percent effective and the vaccine for the 2014-15 flu season was only 19% effective.
But you can trust the COVID vaccine. Right?
As a church we’ve been studying about faith, especially trying to answer the question, How do we learn to live by faith? And if you remember, last Sunday we talked about learning how to trust God in all His promises. But there are other ways whereby our faith can grow. One of them is by having our faith tested.
As Augustine once said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” Couldn’t agree more.
I realized that our church now is under some trials and tribulations. It seems Covid-19 has infected almost every family in our church and it appears it may be another week or so before things can get back to normal. So what I wanted to do is send you just a bit of daily encouragement by following up with what we talked about the last Sunday we were together.
And our text is going to be found in 1 Peter 1:3-9. So let’s jump right in.
Peter is speaking about joy and rejoicing in the midst of trials and tribulations. His words tell us much about faith and the reason for the bad things that God allows to happen to His children.
1 Peter 1:3-9 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (why) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
Untested faith is just a pipe dream. It’s something that we do, something we accept, something that we say. But once faith is tested it becomes alive to us as something we can rely on and grow as the Lord brings even more circumstances into our life in order to test our faith. Our faith must be tested to grow.