Welcome to Leaving LaodiceaThe Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church
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?
Each of us, when presented with the call of Christ, goes through certain stages of our commitment to Him. This happened with all the disciples, even Peter. We start out optimistic and full of hope and then, if we’re not careful, we end up sad, apathetic, and discouraged because things didn’t turn out the way we envisioned in the beginning. Or, we begin our relationship with Christ at a full sprint, with reckless abandon, only to lose our fervency over time as we see others do the same.
But this is not the way our life with Him was designed from the beginning. If you remember, we were bought with a price and no longer belong to ourselves. We are now His and His alone.
Just think, in John 2:11 the disciples believed in Him but had yet to totally commit their lives to Him. Their belief and commitment to Jesus at this time was much like our commitment to Him today. We maintain our independence and call our own shots yet claim total devotion to the Lord. But that is not what He was looking for then.
Nor is it what He is looking for now.
In this study, we’ll look at how long it took Peter to move from part-time follower to forsaking all for the Lord. It is a gradual process of letting go of what you know and embracing the unknown by faith. And as it was with Peter then, so it is with many of us today.
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.
We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.
But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.
Here’s how Venezuela ran out of food.
In February of 2016, I wrote about what an economic collapse really looks like, using Venezuela as an illustration.
The article begins when prepping began to be frowned upon by the Venezuelan government.
In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal. The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.
Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”
In the Christian life, surrounded by our brothers and sisters who, like us, have failed in their walk with Christ, we often define sanctification as simply stumbling forward. We hear sermons, Sunday after Sunday, that tell us to grow closer to Him and bear His fruit (John 15:1-8), but they never seem to tell us how. And we are left feeling like we have to put together a dresser from Ikea without any instructions. But the Christian life, once we know the “how” to do what we must do, is so much more than stumbling forward.
And the key is knowing how to do the things we know we need to do. Or how to obey the commands of Christ that we struggle with. Consider these “how to do them” questions:
• How to live by faith (Gal. 2:20).
• How to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
• How to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Gal. 5:16).
• How to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
• How to lay my life down as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2).
• How to have victory over sin (1 John 5:4).
• How to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
• How to rejoice always in every situation (Phil. 4:4).
• How to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
• How to experience the peace of God (Phil. 4:7).
• How to hear God’s voice (2 Peter 1:18).
• How to have God’s Word become alive to me (Heb. 4:12).
There are so many how questions in the Christian life. And there is so little teaching on how to answer them.
When we look at the times in which we live, no question seems more important than this: Where are we in prophetic history? And what is going to happen next? What is next on the prophetic calendar? Where are we in regards to Matthew 24 or Daniel 9 or the book of Revelation? Where are we, right now, in the continuum of prophetic history?
And the answer to that question will either fill you with peace or dread, depending on your relationship with the Lord. If you long for His return, then the signs of His coming provide great encouragement. But if you are trying to live your best life now, then His return and judgment should keep you up at night.
Scripture gives us a few signs, like a timeline, for the end. And when we see these signs coming in rapid successions, like birth pains, we know the time of His return is near. Let’s look at just a few of these signs.
1. The Regathering of the Jewish People to their Land
2. Increasing Apostasy in the Church
3. The Coming Middle East Peace
4. Reuniting of the Roman Empire (East / West)
5. The Proliferation of Globalism
Remember what our Lord said about these signs:
Matthew 24:4-8 – “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Did you catch that? The “beginning of sorrows (or travail from childbirth).”
Something About Us
This is a collection of the many questions I have struggled with and the answers I have found regarding the relationship between authentic faith in Christ and much of what is portrayed today as Biblical Christianity. Especially with the coming darkness looming over all of us, including the church.
Come with me. It should be a wild ride!
To find out more about us and what we believe, just continue reading…
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“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”