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Archive for October, 2019

By the rivers of Life

Posted by appolus on October 14, 2019

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

The heart of those who receive the word with gladness, in whom the seed finds a ready and deep soil, is the tree planted by the rivers of water. The good tree is good in any season by virtue of its closeness to the eternal resource of the river of the living God. Dear saint, do you meditate on the Word of God every day? Do you hide it away in your heart and absorb it into your very soul until it becomes a very part of you? Are you like the branch abiding in the vine? Jesus tells us in John chapter eight that if we continue in the Word, which means to abide in it, remain in it, stand on it, endure with it, dwell in it, then you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.

The word “know,” here is of particular interest. In order to be free we must daily walk in and with the Word, and when we do that we shall “know.” To know Christ is to be free. It does not say to know about Him or to know off Him, it says to know the Truth. We must be intimate with the Lord if we are to walk in the freedom that He had gained for us on Calvary. Jesus gave us many instructions. We were to take up our cross daily if we were to be His disciples. We were to abide in His word daily if we were to be His disciples. And so, when we do these tings we begin to grow in maturity. We are able to draw from an inexhaustible source of power and love and mercy and forgiveness given our proximity to this power for we are like a tree planted by the rivers of life.

Because of this, we become a source of blessing for others in season and out of season, for we are evergreen trees. In the darkest coldest winters we still retain our foliage. We saints whose delight is in the Lord and His Word and His commands, become vessels that hold and retain grace and love and mercy and forgiveness because it is flowing in and through us directly from Christ Himself. He waters us that we may water others. He comforts us so that we may comfort others with that very comfort He comforted us with. It is the cycle of our Spiritual life in the Kingdom. He invests in us all these things, not to bury them or greedily keep them to ourselves, but to gladly and with great joy share them with others. Freely you have been given and now freely you must give.

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Disrupting the order of things.

Posted by appolus on October 11, 2019

The Lord dropped this into my spirit as I walked and prayed yesterday.

“When you disrupt the order of things then all hell breaks loose. Our God is a God of order, not the order of the world but the order of the Kingdom.”

Jesus created much disorder in the ranks of the religious. Notice how many miracles he carried out on the Sabbath. He was disrupting their order. When He taught His sermon on the mount He declared “you have heard it said……..but I say to you.” He was disrupting their order. When he whipped them and chased them out of the temple He was disrupting their order. When He cried out hypocrite and white washed tombs and dead men’s bones He was disrupting their order. He did not come to bring peace but a sword. He came to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and daughter in law against mother in law. He was disrupting the order of things.

Yet in the midst of this disorder that He brings to the world, He creates His own order in the hearts of His children. It is so out of the order of this world that His children can find no place in it, praise God. The world has an order and it is maintained by power and authority. Not the power of the Holy Spirit and not the authority of Jesus Christ but the power and authority of men.

So many movements started out in the glorious order of God that totally and radically disrupted the order of this world. The order of God renders the order of man undone. It turns the order of man upside down. Starting with the glorious disorder of Jesus and on down through the ages the order of the Kingdom throws the order of man into total disarray. They cannot dwell together, the one is enmity to the other.

My mother gave her heart to the Lord when I was seven. All hell broke loose in our house. For fifteen years there was violence and chaos. Jesus had not brought “order,” to my house. At the end of that fifteen years my father bowed the knee to the order of the Kingdom and there was peace.

How many movements started out by bringing disorder to the order of man? The reformation? The Methodist church? The Anabaptists ? The Moravians? The Salvation army? The Jesus movement? Time and again those who rejected the order of the world by following the order of the Kingdom brought not peace but a sword into institutions run by the order of men.

Time and time again, just one or two generations later, all of these very movements became what they had at first rejected. They became institutions of men run by the order of men. The order of the Kingdom cannot coexist with the order of men, it is simply not possible. The order of men requires power and authority. Not the power and authority of Jesus our Lord and His Holy Spirit. And so, one by one they die and the carcass is maintained by dead men’s bones.

In Romans chapter seven when Paul cries out “Who will deliver me from this body of death,” it is reckoned he was using as an analogy one of the old sentences for murder. Often times if you murdered someone, the sentence would be that the dead victim would be chained to the perpetrator. The corpse would slowly rot and disease the one to whom it was chained until he too died. A slow and ghastly death. The order of man is the chains that bind them to death. No life can flow from the flesh, only from the Spirit from whence it sprung. Only mad men would try to finish by the flesh what was begin in the Spirit.

May the order of man fall and may the order of the Kingdom rise in the hearts of men all over the world to the glory of God

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He binds up the wounds

Posted by appolus on October 11, 2019

Psa 147:3  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

In every trial, in every fall from grace, there comes a moment when we lose sight of the larger picture of our walk with God. We believe that we have blown it, we believe that God has abandoned us. Even the Lord and Saviour Jesus cries out from the cross “My God, My God why has thou forsaken me.” Note that in the previous verse that a great darkness had come across the land from the sixth hour until the ninth hour. Three full hours of what I can only assume was a satanic darkness. A gross satanic darkness had covered the land when the Father gave His Son over into the hands of His enemies.

Some time later the Lord Jesus speaks His final words from the cross “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Now He was referring to His Father, an intimate term. Praise the Lord. He had went from a time of despair to a time of intimacy. And with His last breath He commended His Spirit into the hands of His Father.

There is no doubt at all as we journey through this life along the narrow path that we will have many such moments. Moments of doubts and despair. We wonder if we have been forgotten and then suddenly we are back in the arms of our Father in heaven, glory to God. Maybe you are having doubts today about your walk? Perhaps you feel abandoned? Yet the Lord has promised His own, that no matter what kind of situation that we find ourselves in that He would restore us and heal our wounds.

He is making promises to His children that have been taken captive. He does not want them to lose hope, but to trust in Him. He will bind up your wounds and restore unto you the joy of your salvation. He makes these promises to those who wait upon the Lord and trust Him. Wait on Him today saints and trust Him, He has not forgotten you nor has He forsaken you.

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In this we rest.

Posted by appolus on October 9, 2019

Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 

This verse is one of the high water marks of our walk with the Lord. Paul says that he had “learned,” to be content no matter what situation he found himself in. This learning did not come from his studies at the feet of human teachers. This learning came from having experienced everything that life had to throw at him, or better stated, everything that he had to suffer for the cause of Christ. Whether it was being hungry or without proper clothing, having a lot of money or having no money at all, Paul had learned. Whether he was popular or whether he was rejected, he had learned. When he was shipwrecked and adrift in the sea, he had learned. Whether he had the skin torn from his back or stoned to within an inch of his life, he had learned. Whether he was a free man in this world or whether he found himself at the bottom of a dungeon, he had learned.

What had he learned? What had a multitude of afflictions taught him? He has learned, however slowly or speedily, God knows, that His Lord and Savior was always with him and would take him through. When you can look back at your own life and see what the Lord has brought you through, how He walked with you through a multitude of trials and afflictions, you should “know.” Can you imagine how different the Israelites experience in the desert would have been if they had “learned,” to trust in God by looking back and seeing what He had brought them through and the power of that learning would have carried them forward in power and love and a sound mind.

One has to desire to learn. It is a deliberate act of the will to trust in the Lord your God and here is the best part, He will help you to trust Him and to be content. Simply look back. Look back and see where He has brought you from. See what He has delivered you from. See how He has provided for you. Looking back is very rarely healthy, consider Lot’s wife who by looking back was holding on to something that the Lord was delivering her from. Looking back for the Israelites was for the most part not healthy for they were looking back at Egypt and rather than trust in a God who delivers, they longed to have the security of their bondage. At least as slaves they knew what tomorrow would bring. The looking back that is healthy is when we deliberately bring to mind the God of our salvation and His great deliverance of our souls.

The old children’s chorus “count your blessings,” says “count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Indeed, there is power in this kind of reflection, this kind of looking back. This contentment that Paul had learned (aren’t you glad he uses the word learned) is learned not in a classroom nor by anointed preachers, this contentment comes by walking through the fires and passing through the waters with Jesus. If we can learn to rejoice when our teachers are the bread of afflictions and the waters of adversity then we can say with Paul that we have learned to be content in every situation. Bread and water is the diet of prisoners, it is designed to barely keep them alive. Yet our life comes not from bread alone but from every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God. A word from God is life to us. Water is the most basic need of man, but we drink from the eternal wells of living water that flow from heaven above.

Therefore, even in chains and in the most dire of situations, we have bread from heaven and the living waters of life to revive our soul which causes us to rejoice in the Lord our God just like Paul and Silas in the dungeon. Paul could be content in every situation because he had learned, by actual experience, that God was with him in every situation. Dear saint, He is with you, and in this we rest.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Chapter 7 from “The fall of Christendom; and the separation of the remnant”

Posted by appolus on October 8, 2019

THE WILDERNESS, PART OF GODS LARGER PLAN

We like to be busy don’t we? We almost have an inborn, driving need to advance, to move forward, to do great things for the Lord. Results and numbers and growth are the gilded idols of our day, and they have penetrated the church of Jesus Christ. My friends, if the Lord Himself was so concerned about tangible results and numerical growth, then why did He choose to sideline the greatest evangelist who ever lived?

Why indeed did the Apostle Paul spend so much of his ministry shipwrecked, on remote islands, and in prison when the entire world awaited? Have you ever wondered about this? I have. Perhaps the Lord was ministering unto Paul during this wilderness time? Perhaps He didn’t want Paul to get too heady about all of the wonderful things (the results) God was doing through Him? Perhaps our Lord was communicating intimately with Paul some of the awesome concepts and revelations found today in His epistles to the churches? Perhaps there were people and connections that could only be cultivated there in the wilderness, off the beaten path, there in the shadows?

My brethren – there really is so much the Lord does not allow us to see, in terms of His larger plan, isn’t there? To our carnal nature, and to all that we are as men and even Americans, this wilderness makes absolutely no sense at all. We want to get into the game desperately, and yet the Lord wants us on the sidelines, or maybe even outside the arena and cut off entirely from all the action. He wants us to Himself. He wants to know if He is enough all by Himself, Independent of His gifts and blessings, and all of the noise and trappings of religion and community.

But for how long, you say? Certainly not for years and years? My dear brethren – it is up to Him entirely as our wise and loving Father. Consider that David, running for his life from King Saul in the wilderness, could have ended his isolation on more than one occasion. Yet he trusted in the Lord, that at His appointed time, he would be restored to the fellowship of Israel and his family. Keep this in mind when you are tempted to forsake the wilderness on your own terms.

Consider Job’s friends who sought to persuade him to curse God and die. Heaven is silent while the church is having a party down the block. What will you do? You look for sense when nothing, not God, nor the situation itself, makes any sense at all. Explanations are few, if at all. You can either come to hate the wilderness and seek a way out, or you can trust He who loves you enough to allow such things. His plan is so much larger and wider and deeper than our loneliness and disillusionment. As God, He is under no obligation to reveal all or even any aspect of it to us. Is the devil in the wilderness? Likely He is.

Yet the Lord and His angels are there too, ministering to us, teaching us, tearing us down and binding us up, comforting and communing with us, revealing His glory to us in quiet revelation and intimate miracles. It is the place where a still small voice can always be heard, where the grandest and god sized things are reduced down that we might grasp them and go with them. It is the barren and rugged terrain of the prophet not the priest; where created things are laid naked before the great “I Am”- that Awesome, Uncreated One who broods over all the earth, seeking merely one who will prove faithful.

The Wilderness and His Remnant

My friends – I don’t pretend to see it all clearly yet, but I believe that in these Last Days the remnant of the Lord (the few out of the many) will commune with Him in the wilderness in preparation for His coming. Always between the gardens is a wilderness, it seems, where saints have long hungered and thirsted after God. Perhaps it is in the wilderness where the Church and Israel are ultimately reconciled in the heart of God? The Book of Revelation hints at this. Perhaps in these last tumultuous days, there is spiritual and even physical protection to be found here for the Lord’s own? Perhaps the true church of Jesus Christ has always been a wilderness people, largely unreported, off the radar, disenfranchised, de-legitimized by establishment and institutional Christianity?

Quietly and faithfully and simply, they go on serving the Lord in the back alleys of life, away from the rush and clamor of church bells and choirs? Is your faith rugged enough, my brother? Has it been tested by wind and storm, my sister? Can you still follow Him without a scripted program, a schedule, a holy day, a church bulletin? Can you worship Him without a music director, without a big band and choir, without the predictable lyric of the song sheet?

He is coming! And He will first come to His own. If this be true, and it is – then where will they be found in these final hours of Adam’s reign? What will be sustaining them as they wait patiently for Him – will it be the bread from heaven and the water from the rock? Or will it be the delicacies of Egypt – meat and wine that turns foul in their bellies? When all mediators between them and God are removed, and He stands before them, will they be able to recognize Him, and love Him, and hear Him? Will His sheep follow Him at this time when their very lives will depend on it?

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

Chapter six from “The fall of Christendom-and the separation of the remnant” Into the wilderness

Posted by appolus on October 7, 2019

INTO THE WILDERNESS

In this chapter I would like to touch on some key elements in this wilderness experience, including what it is, and why our Lord, in His infinite and loving wisdom might draw His children into such a condition. Perhaps you reading this now are in what you might consider a wilderness, alone with God, cut off in large measure from all you have ever trusted or known. Nothing now seems to make sense, even your religion or relationship with God. Everything appears dark and the way forward seems unfamiliar. Your faith is challenged like never before. The ground beneath your feet is shifting like loose sand. You turn to fellow saints for help and encouragement, but they just don’t seem to understand. All they seem to have is an argument or proof text trying to convince you that you are either in sin or rebellion.

My brothers and sisters, we know that you are out there, and that you may be at this moment feeling isolated and alone. It is our hope and prayer that you will be encouraged and edified by the fact that you are not in any manner abandoned by our Good Shepherd, and that you are still very much in His capable and loving care. This wilderness you are in is not a denial of Christ’s blessing on your life by any means, but living proof that He loves you more than you can ever know. Indeed, the wilderness – however it is applied to the servants of the Living God – is first and foremost God’s idea. It is His wilderness. It is His way back to Himself. He needs to know that there are no circumstances, nor people that will cause you to deny Him.

He needs to know that He alone is your first love. He needs to know that, stripped of all religion and corporate piety, and spiritual machination, you will seek Him alone, for Himself and His glory. He needs to know that you love Him for Him and not just His gifts, and all of the many things church may have restored to you. All of the biblical examples given above can provide us with valuable insight into what the wilderness is, what it looks like (in general terms, as we are also acutely aware that the wilderness experience is manifest differently for each of us as God’s children) and what we can expect to find there.

To begin, it is a new and strange place – a circumstance or condition that is foreign to all we know. Consider Abraham and Moses leaving the familiarity and security of their home and family and all they have ever known to venture out into a new and strange land. For the most part they are alone in the wilderness. They often don’t know exactly where they are being led. There is little to no explanation. God Himself has called them out, drawing them to Himself that they might follow Him in simple faith and trust. He is their way, and they must look to Him in perfect confidence that His guidance and provision will lead only to blessing.

The Lord, in drawing us to Himself often brings us through the wilderness. Here we learn not to trust in ourselves, but in Him alone. He draws us out of wherever we are that we might learn to lean on Him for everything. He is now our way, and our provision. It is a time of total and absolute dependence on Him. He draws us away from all of the props and dependencies, our friends and family, our everyday structures and support mechanisms, that He might be the All that holds us up, and maintains our lives. We must learn to trust God rather than circumstances or people. We must look for the bread that comes from heaven and the water that comes from the rock.

We must turn our backs on all we know, even those we love, so that He might know that we love him first and most, that He is enough if everything and everyone else is stripped from us. I have been considering something that A.W. Tozer once said in a sermon, and it was this – “What if all we Christians had was God?” Not His things, nor blessings per say, but only Him. Not a hundred fired up preachers or prophets telling us about Him, but only Him. Alone with Christ, and He asking us “Do you love Me more than these?” as He did to Peter. “Am I enough for you, or are there other things you desire?” My friends, this is essentially what the wilderness is for – to provide our Lord with the answer to this question.

[Have you ever pondered the idea that the modern church – with all of its structure and activity and paraphernalia – is endeavoring to answer questions that God has probably never even asked? Something to think about.] All of my life I kept looking for Him in other things – people, groups, movements, trends, systems, you name it. Yet in the end He has brought me to Himself, quite part from anything else that may claim or represent Him. This is the wonderful thing about the wilderness – it reduces everything down to bare Boned, spirit touching flesh reality. It clears away all the haze and noise that may be preventing you from seeing and hearing God.

If you have become a Christian, for example, to gain friends and community – if this is what you seek primarily – then the wilderness will isolate you so that He is your only friend and fellowship. Then our Lord will ask you bluntly – Am I enough for you? Do you Love me more than these? If Christianity and church membership is mostly about a healthy environment for yourself and your kids, for activities and programs, then here again, the wilderness will reveal this for the idol it is. The Lord must know, you see. And we must know also, and many will admit that so much of what we do as “church” today keeps us from coming into direct and personal contact with essential things.

The wilderness is a wonderful instrument for stripping away all of our dependencies on things and shadows isn’t it? It is about survival and spiritual reality, life and death, hunger and thirst, breathing in and breathing out. Is He your All, my brother? Does living for Him alone define you my sister? We are religious by nature, but only His nature in us, refined and perfected by His Holy Breath and Spirit will satisfy the burning ache in your spirit. We must have Him, and know Him, and want Him, and trust Him, before He will grant to us all of the many blessings pouring out of Him. Is the wilderness a pleasant place? Not really – not how the world measures things anyway – for only here it seems do we come to recognize what we are actually made of, that we are carnal and earthbound, that our faith is largely theoretical, not tried and tested in the fiery furnace of experience.

Like earthbound Jacob, wrestling with the Lord, we come to the end of ourselves that He might begin in us anew. Yet we also come to see our God for what He is, in all of His Transcendent Wisdom and Glory; in all of His Grace and Truth, and Love and Light. In seeing Him as He truly is everything else is seen as it really is. Every created thing, including ourselves, can be seen in its true light, the Light of the Bright and Morning Star, the Daystar that scatters all darkness. As there are so few distractions, everything in the wilderness is reduced to the most basic of questions, like –
“Do you love Me more than these” and, “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?”

My brethren, I am sorry if this seems so different from what you have been taught to expect. Yet it is the truth and it is the Lord’s way. It is not the church’s way, and so for the most part those affiliated with it will spurn it, and judge it as illegitimate. Those who seek to save us from all that such a wilderness will present, will obviously fight against it with all they have. It represents no small threat to all organization and mediated leadership; to the selfexalted priest class that has come to rule so much of the body of Christ in our day. Read Job’s account and affirm what some of us have already discovered in our wilderness walk – that even God’s peace and presence is seemingly withdrawn, causing us to question how much we really trust Him.

Even when He withholds the manifest evidence of His presence, when He appears to have turned His back to us and stopped His ears, will we continue to bless Him and to love Him? Despite an often prolonged and overwhelming sense of bewilderment, discouragement, isolation and even guilt, will He remain our only Hope, our Heavenly Father and Loving Shepherd? Will we hold fast to Him or let Him go? Trust is often forged in darkness and silence, when our experience and expectation of what this new life means appears to be in contradiction. My friends – this reveals yet another aspect of God’s wilderness.

All of the so-called experts tell us how human beings innately require a community; yet what happens when the Lord is our only community, when all we have is Him, when even the ones we love abandon and forsake us? When all of their words make us feel only guilt and even more bewilderment, when they cannot seem to comprehend the legitimacy of what is happening to us. So much easier to pray down God and all His angels to extricate us from our isolation and hardship. And it is inconceivable to so many believers, not knowing the Lord or His wilderness, that this very thing could be sanctioned and even enabled by God Himself, out of His love and mercy for His beloved children.

“I will build my church”, proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet this is apparently not good enough for the many man-size churchbuilders among us, who seek to separate us from God with all their various methods and mediators. By directing all of their resources at maintaining and perpetuating their precious institutions, they fail to recognize that the God they serve doesn’t care one bit for their institutions. He cares for His children and will spare no effort – even resorting to the wilderness if necessary – in building them up to perfection in His Beloved Son! Hear this please, all those who have ears to hear. I believe the Lord may be trying to get the attention of His people.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

Seek me with your whole heart

Posted by appolus on October 7, 2019

Jer29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This is a very well known verse, and like many well know verses it is, for the most part, quoted without context. In Jer 29 Israel is in a very dark place, a place of judgement and captivity. It is in this context that the Lord assures His people. While all around us may be falling to pieces, while the hand of God may be moving against those who are far from Him and have turned away from Him, God assures His people. There is the danger that God’s own people will think He has turned on them, but here the Lord assures them that quite the opposite is true.

The judgement upon Israel was not for her destruction, it was for her correction. God chastens those that He loves and it is for the purpose of turning His people back to Him so that those who will, shall call upon Him. Maybe today you find your own life is in something of a turmoil? Perhaps you face trials on every side and conflicts at every turn? You wonder does God really love you. You wonder what God really thinks about you. You are plagued with doubts. In these situations, those who are the Lord’s turn to Him, they cry out to Him, they seek Him with their whole hearts, they wait upon Him and the Lord said that those who do this will find Him. He shall be found by those who diligently and with purpose endure and draw close. His presence shall be their reward and their captivity, captivity to thoughts and doubts and fears shall be loosed.

In these times of darkness that we face, in these days when Christendom is falling away and judgement has begun at the house of the Lord, it is critical that we seek Him with our whole hearts. Let the darkness draw you closer to the Light. Let the fear and uncertainty that is all around you draw you closer to the peace and contentment that is only found in Jesus. Seek Him with all of your heart and be found in Him. As the storm rages all around you and seems to grow more intense, let your gaze upon Him grow more intense. Situations and circumstances will do everything they can to draw you away and avert your gaze, do not look away. Endure, overcome, stand brothers and sisters and know that His thoughts about you are more than the sands of the sea. And His plans for you are to hold you and keep you in the midst of the madness.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the deeper life, the gospel, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Chapter 5 from “The fall of Christendom.” Is God calling His remnant out of the established church?

Posted by appolus on October 6, 2019

Is God is calling His Remnant out of the established church?

“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your

God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” (Deut 8:11-17)

For students of the Bible, the concept of the wilderness should be most familiar. Abraham left his homeland and family to venture forth into an unknown land of promise. Moses left the palatial comforts of Egypt to dwell among the rocks and wild beasts. The tribes of Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness prior to occupying the land of Canaan. Job lost everything that He might glimpse the Eternal One at the edge of the valley of death. David fled from Saul and spent years eluding him in the pathless wilderness. Most, if not all of the Lord’s holy and faithful prophets abandoned all they knew and loved to live alone with the Lord in His company and care. John the Baptist conducted his prophetic ministry as one “crying in the wilderness.”

Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness forty days and forty nights, tempted of the devil and ministered to by angels. The Apostle Paul spent much of His life and ministry imprisoned, isolated, imperiled and alone. And the woman of Revelations 12 is sheltered and nourished in the wilderness immediately prior to our Lord’s return to this earth. My friends, this wilderness theme runs all through the Scriptures, and through the varied lives and experience of God’s children. It has always been an essential concept to be grasped, yet I believe this may be more true today. It is vital that we understand what it teaches us about how our Heavenly Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bring us to true faithfulness and blessing.

Now the concept of the wilderness as it affects others is one thing – yet the actual experience of the wilderness as it impacts our own life and faith is quite another. It is a very intimate matter you see, challenging everything we think we know about God and the Christian life, the church and community, the actual and the superficial. It is wrought with difficult questions and seemingly few answers. It is typically invested with profound emotion, loneliness and even confusion. And it is more of a valley than a mountain-top, with again, seemingly little evidence that heaven is still there, and that Our Lord is still caring for His sheep.

To understand the wilderness we must go deeper and further into the very heart and mind of our Heavenly Father, as He loves and nurtures His children. We must look beyond our teachers and books, for they, by and large, don’t really understand it. We must divest ourselves of any fluffy religious notions that really don’t get to the heart of a man or what really happened in that garden. We must also resist the theological urge to generalize and systematize, as God’s wilderness is as varied as His people, and as unlimited as His vast, creative mind.

We are addressing this topic generally, in order that we might understand it better. We are also more specifically hoping to edify and encourage those who like ourselves, find themselves outside and apart from the traditional church organization, having left it behind in order to more perfectly hear and follow the Lord.

The Exodus from the Organized Church

Today we are witnessing an interesting phenomenon where many – God knows the numbers – are leaving the relative structure and security of organized churches, denominations and memberships, to follow hard after their God, to a wilderness of sorts, a strange and unfamiliar place little understood by establishment Christianity. Perhaps the Lord is calling His remnant to Himself in simplicity and purity at the end of this age? Perhaps the prophetic ministry from outside the walls has begun, or at the very least is being perpetuated at this time?

Perhaps a time of final testing for the church and Israel is poised to begin? Whatever the ultimate reason, many are coming out, and almost immediately they will need to adapt to this new and strange environment where the Lord alone is all that they have. It is quite common to hear the following sentiments today from God’s people “The glory of God has left my church.” “Jesus is no longer at the center of our fellowship!” “My church has aligned itself with the ways of man and the world.”

“My church functions more like a club, than an expression of the life of Jesus Christ!” “The Holy Spirit has gone out of the church.” “The church is of the world and the world is in the church.” Indeed, the world has infiltrated the church to such a degree, and corruption has become so rampant and pervasive that it is practically impossible to keep abreast of all of the apostasy and defilement within. By much spiritual evidence and observation, the ‘church on the corner’ is either dying or already dead. This is obvious and apparent to any with eyes to see, to those with true spiritual insight.

Only those with a vested and carnal interest in perpetuating the corpse, and holding it up with strings will deny this. True spiritual discernment speaks otherwise however. A.W. Tozer and Leonard Ravenhill, for example, 20-40 years back can still be heard on creaky recordings woefully proclaiming the life of God pouring out of contemporary Christianity. Theirs were the prophetic forewarnings from within, all decrying the forces marshaled against the historic church – materialism, humanism, pragmatism, psychology, modern marketing, etc.

Then, such corruptive forces were pressing at the edges; today they are rooted into the very fiber of institutional Christianity, across all lines, divisions and denominations. Those who would weep the tears of our Lord are indeed weeping, with great heaviness of spirit and heart.
“Come out of her my people!” is the message of the hour! Come out of her, lest you share in her sins! But to where and to what – this is the question of the hour? Quite often when the Lord draws us out of something and back to Himself, we are led by way of the wilderness. It is this wilderness that concerns us here, and by His grace we will endeavor to more completely comprehend it.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 10 Comments »

Let us glory in Him

Posted by appolus on October 4, 2019

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me.(Jer 9:23-24)

In the day of your calamity where is your strength? When the doctor tells you your child shall surely die, where is your wisdom? Can your strength save the child? Can all the money in the world raise up a child from the dead? The man of God’s strength lies in the fact that he knows God and is known by God. To know God and to depend upon Him is true wisdom. To know God and to be found in Him is true strength. To know God and to stand in His presence is riches beyond measure.

In the evil day to come we shall find our wisdom in the Word of God and the power of His Spirit. In the evil day to come when all true saints are brought low and among them there is no distinction, we shall find that in Him we are stronger than we ever could have imagined. We shall discover that it is His strength flowing through us when all our own capabilities have been stripped away. In the evil day to come when the world has taken back from us all of its treasures as a measure of punishment, we shall discover a depths of riches from the treasures of heaven that enrich us with true riches.

God’s wisdom is pure and eternal and His strength knows no bounds. The treasures that He bestows upon His children will stay with them for all eternity. Knowing Him is abundant life even in the midst of death. Knowing Him is light even in the depths of darkness. Knowing Him is rivers of living waters in a dry and dusty wilderness. Knowing Him is heavenly food for a starving soul in the midst of a great famine. Knowing Him is to have access to resources that are without limit, they are are spiritual and not carnal. The Apostle Paul proclaimed that the loss of everything he ever had in this world, including its wisdom and power and riches were as nothing in comparison to the excellency of knowing Christ his Lord and to found in Him and to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.

Can we make such a proclamation brothers and sisters? Is knowing Him our all in all? Shall we gladly suffer the loss of all things to be found in Him? This is the mark of the saint down through the ages. Let us take our place with the Body of Christ that went before us , that great cloud of witnesses, and let us proclaim with them and with Paul that to know Him and to be found in Him is the all consuming treasure of our heart.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

The mystery

Posted by appolus on October 1, 2019

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.(2Th 2:7)

Most of the saints know that in this letter to the Thessalonians, Paul, in part, is putting at ease their fears that they may have missed the second coming of the Lord. In verse seven we see something of a mystery. It speaks of “He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” Now, in my NKJV the “He,” is capitalized and this tells us who they think the restrainer is. There are many theories out there which include the restrainer being the Roman Empire or human government and so on. I personally believe that the “He,” is indeed the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to go into detail as to why I believe that, you can do your own research, but enough to say that this is what I believe.

Now, how does this correspond to my belief that there is no pre-tribulation rapture? If we as a Body, the Body of Christ will go through the great tribulation, and I believe that we will, where is the Holy Spirit if He has been “taken out of the way?” First of all, if the Scripture had said that He was taken out, then it may make more sense especially for those who do believe in a pre trib rapture. The Church would be raptured, the Holy Spirit would be gone and the world would be left without either. Now this idea has its own problems, which I do not intend to go into as this is not an intense study on the subject. Enough to say that it is problematic at the very least. So, the Scriptures do not say that He is taken out, it says that He is taken out of the way.

So let me suggest this for your consideration. The Church will go through the Tribulation, at least in part perhaps more. The Church will be required, at some point after the great falling away, to take the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell. The world will, but the genuine saints will not. Now as the saints cannot buy or sell, they have been effectively taken out of society, this remnant people. Even if there were hundreds of millions of us, and there may well be, it will still be a tiny minority of the general population of the world. Now we know a couple of things for certain about the mark, we know that without it we can neither buy nor sell. We also know that those who take it, the vast majority of the world, can never be redeemed. They will go to hell.

Now I want you to imagine a time where the mark has been taken by most and rejected by a minority, a remnant if you like. Scripture tells us that after He who had been restraining is taken out of the way, then the lawless one will be revealed. After the lawless one is revealed the world now knows, supernaturally, that the mark they have taken has guaranteed that they are going to hell, there is no way out of that and they now know it. What will the world look like at that point? If you knew you were, for a certain, going to hell, and lets say you hated your neighbor, why not kill your neighbor? What if you lusted after your neighbor’s wife? What would prevent you from “taking,” her? Lawlessness on a scale never even imagined would break out. The people would be without restraint, their conscience would no longer operate because it has been taken out of the way, taken out of them. The Holy Spirit is still on the earth because He is still leading and guiding the Church and they have never needed Him more than they need Him now because a hopeless, lawless people, led by the lawless one Himself hate them with a perfect hatred and set out to destroy them completely. And in this time, such has never been before, the Lord must shorten those days lest every saint in the world is destroyed.

If the restraining force in the world is the conscience of men, and that restraining force is removed and is replaced by a certain hopelessness, a certain knowledge of an eternal hell awaiting them, what will happen to our thin veneer of civility? Civilization itself only exists in our day because of the light of God in men. Take away that light, remove the Body of Christ from society and remove the consciences of men through searing or simply departing and you are left with a darkness never before experienced or contemplated by the world. There is a reason that the Lord is calling His bride to get ready, to be prepared, to have their vessels filled for such a time as this. This evil day will truly be something that has not even entered into the minds of men. We have been called to stand in the evil day. Only by having the oil in our vessels will we be able to stand, and having done all to stand. Only by having this light in us will we be able to resist a darkness never even imagined. It’s the fool that thinks he does not have to be prepared. it was the foolish virgins that found themselves, in that day, outside, locked out, to forever dwell in eternal darkness. Let us prepare ourselves.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »