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No more rebellion.

Posted by appolus on October 5, 2021

Psalm 106:7 When our fathers dwelt in Egypt they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but rebelled at the sea, even at the Red sea. 

This is one of the most famous scenes in all of the Bible, and it is very instructive for us. The Israelites had been delivered from bondage. They had been taken out of slavery and freed from their cruel taskmasters who hated them. And now we find them at the Red sea with the Egyptians bearing down on them. And this is where we are told that they rebelled. It is rebellion not to trust God. It is in effect a disobedient act, an act likely to provoke God. Does this seem harsh to you?

Listen to the accusation they make against God . They ask Him if there was not enough graves in Egypt that you had to take us to the wilderness to die. They remind Moses that they had already told him they would rather serve the Egyptians in slavery than to die in freedom. Yet despite all of this, God would save them. Moses says to them, in our moderns words “shut your mouth and see the Salvation of your God.” You might think that sounds like an angry retort, it was. Moses was disgusted and God was none too pleased.

For the average human being, there is nothing more important than saving their own lives. Given the choice between life and slavery or freedom and death, the vast majority will choose slavery and life. And this is where God’s remnant saints emerge. A people who love not their lives unto death. A people redeemed from the world and transformed in spirit. A new creation in Christ, the very same Christ who came to die, and not only to die, but to die the death of the cross. Shall we not follow Him? Did He not teach us that those who try and save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives for His sake will gain eternal life?

This is the fragrant army of the saints. This is a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9) Those who desire to live above all else, who desire the things of the world, will indeed have them, but they will also have leanness of soul. And out of that leanness they shall exchange the glory of God and fall down before the molded image, the golden calf. They shall forget God. They may honor Him with their lips but their shallow hearts will be far from Him.

The saints are soon to face another such Red sea. Yet this time, when their backs are against the wall they shall not cry out in bitter recrimination against their God, nor shall they beg for deliverance. They will glorify Him. They will gladly trust their God even if it means complete destruction. And they will do this because no matter what, God is worthy to be praised. And we can join with Job, a man blameless in the sight of God, and say “Even if He kills me, yet shall I trust Him.”(Job 13:15)

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The foolish men of this world.

Posted by appolus on August 22, 2021

Psa 33:10  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the nations to nought: he maketh the plans of the people of no effect. 

In all the affairs of men, they merely bleat with the noise of a thousand sheep upon the hill. It makes no difference to the fate of sheep how much they bleat, man will do what man will do with them. God will do what God will do with men. Even now as we watch the actions of the wisest men in the world, at least in their own estimations, we see their plans coming to nothing. Savage men of the baser sort hold the strings of power over the strong and sophisticated. The wisdom of the wise is utter foolishness to God. He raises up the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. No king is saved by the multitude of his army for it is God who fashions the hearts of those who are ripe for judgement. They may run to and from but if they escape from the lion they shall run headlong into the bear. If somehow they escape from the bear and make it home, they enter in and give a sigh of relief, just as the viper strikes.

Shall God’s people be afraid when the Lord comes down? Why should they be afraid even though the mountains crumble and the great seas mount up and recede? The wind may gasp and hold its breath but the Lord’s anointed dwell safely within His pavilion. The earth will surely shake when He rends the heavens and comes down. The beasts of the fields will stop and raise their heads and the trees shall clap their hands. The thunder will thunder and the lightning shall strike. The princes of the earth shall be brought low and wicked men shall cry out in despair. Yet the children of God shall be be safe within His pavilion and they shall not be afraid. They sought the Lord and He heard them, and delivered them from all of their fears. They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed. Stand fast saints and let your faces shine out into the darkness to the praise and glory of our God.

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Blow the Trumpet.

Posted by appolus on August 11, 2021

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm. God’s judgment is unfolding. The sense of sacredness, the manifest presence of God is so elusive today. In part it is because the locusts of Joel have eaten everything, so to speak. And in their wake there is a devastating famine. I would argue that the locusts have done their work. And here we stand starving to death. Add a drought to the famine and its a double calamity. Most of Christendom cannot repent because they are still blind to what ails them, this also is part of the judgment. For water one must now dig down very deep. And for food one must wander far from the reservation so to speak. Famine scatters people much like persecution.

The darkness Joel is talking about is spiritual and it is literal. There was actually locusts devouring everything. How terrifying to stand and watch everything you have, everything that you need to survive, being devoured before your very eyes. The clouds of locusts blackened out the sun in the midday. In our own day, the days are darkened by the smoke from wildfires. Year after year the fires continue, they grow larger and they darken the land and pollute the air. The sun is turned to darkness and the moon to blood as we watch on helplessly.

Go into your average church this coming Sunday. Where is the sacredness in their midst? Where is their sense of His holiness that causes the people to only speak in whispers, even if they dare to do that? Are holy trembling hands raised to heaven in the glory? Are our heads bowed low by the weight of His presence? Has the locusts devoured everything and left us with nothing? I am afraid that is the truth. We cannot hold a solemn assembly to ward of the disaster, the disaster has already befallen us. All that is left for us to do now is to rend our hearts and not our garments. We must return to the Lord our God with weeping and with fasting and mourning.

This word, of course is to His remnant. The great falling away has completed its task. This thing called Christendom, with all of its garments, its buildings and its programs and its careers now stand barren in the strange noonday darkness. They stand emaciated under a blood red moon. The darkness only grows darker and the hearts are destined to grow more faint until the people will writhe in pain and all the color drains away from their faces. Yet for those who will rend their hearts and seek the Lord their God with all of their hearts, they will find Him, for His own namesake.

The locusts may have devoured the spiritual land but like a refiners fire it has done its work and will do its work. It identifies and marks out those who seek Him with their whole hearts. Whether from the early morning or from late in the day, no matter, the Lord’s hand is open and He is well able to heal that which He has wounded. He will rain down the latter rains of His Spirit upon them. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord with their whole hearts He will hear from heaven. He will pour out His Spirit upon them in a dry and thirsty land. “There shall be a deliverance as the Lord has said among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”

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Chord wood for the fires of hell

Posted by appolus on July 29, 2021

In the early 1900s at the height of the British empire , at the zenith of its strength and power and influence, we see a creeping shadow coming over the land. Some could sense it, most were completely oblivious to its presence. The hearts of men and women were being prepared for slaughter and they had no earthly idea. In their chests rose pride and haughtiness. They were full of vainglory. There was boastful vanity. What there really was, and this is the scariest part of all, was the hook in their mouths. They were being drawn towards the edge of the abyss and like the followers of the pied piper, they danced towards it. And they were slaughtered in WW1. They were broken. And the youth of that generation was taken, not unlike the judgement of Pharaoh and of Egypt where the firstborn of every household were taken.

I want to say that America has a hook in its mouth. I sense that same shadow creeping across this land. We are being drawn towards the abyss. And we are in worse shape than the British empire was. They would deny being proud. They would hide their sin in the shadows and the alleyways. They had, in a sense, the good sense to be ashamed of those things that they did in the darkness. We have no such shame. Our sin does not hide in the shadows and the alleyways, it marches down Main st. And just when you think it cannot get worse, we hoist a banner over our heads that says “PRIDE.” Yes indeed, we have a hook firmly planted in our mouths and we have no power to resist the force that now shapes our rebellious hearts.

Go into any back country and see where people dwell. Long before the dark shadow of winter comes there is a busy preparation. Dead trees are felled. Their limbs are removed and they are cut into pieces and hauled back to where the fire is. They are then chopped down further and stacked in chords ready to fuel the fires of winter. Look with your spirits saints, even now the preparation is taking place all around us. The hook is in the mouths and the hearts are being prepared. The deeds of darkness are exposed by the light. The fires of hell shall greedily consume all that it is given. Let us cry out to God that some may be saved. Let us stand amidst the carnage of a proud people who have boldly thrown of God and who bow down and worship the creature. They worship the work of their own hands and so by their own hands they shall destroy themselves.

And in the midst of all that darkness there is a shaft of light. Christ. He beckons to a dying world who has no idea they are dying, and no idea that the abyss is on the horizon. On whom the shadow falls it falls. Those who are consumed by it shall not rise again. Great will be the fall. Like an ancient mighty Oak tree, empires fall with much noise and destruction. And in the falling the Kingdom of God remains. The gates of hell do not consume the children of God, only the children of the world, sacrificed on the altar of pride and arrogance and a haughty spirit.

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The clipping of my wings.

Posted by appolus on July 8, 2021

My wife and I know something of the pain of losing. Our first child lived only for two days. In the end it was God’s unfailing healing love that brought us through. He gives, and He takes away, blessed be the Lord as Job would say. None of that negated the pain nor stopped the tears, but it did restore my broken heart. He wipes away the tears and catches them in a bottle as a memorial. And my pain ebbed like the slow receding tide as the world continues to turn. I have a firm assurance that when this tide rises again one day, and takes me up into my eternal home, there I will see the child of my youth. The why’s of it all are really just a faint echo of the world as I lay down wrapped in the arms of the one who ever weaves this tapestry of life.

In the end I had “two” funerals for my son, Stephen. The first was on an overcast rain soaked day in Scotland, which perfectly matched my darkened closed down unsaved heart. The second would come fifteen years later, many years after being saved. It came from nowhere and broke over me like a violent thunderstorm. Thunder and lightening and a torrential rain of tears. Healing, never saw it coming. God was working His way into every chamber of my heart, and everywhere the waters of life flowed, there was healing, and there was healing for me. These are the mysteries of life and a God who works in mysterious ways whose thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. As you ponder your own loss in this world, it is very likely that no answers will ever come as to the why. When we learn to put aside the why and live this life rather than die, then once again we shall surely fly.

Great loss is a clipping of our wings. Here is the definition of wing clipping …..”Wing clipping is the process of trimming a bird’s primary wing feathers or remiges so that it is not fully flight-capable, until it moults, sheds the cut feathers and grows new ones.” I have had my primary wings clipped many times over the years as I am sure that you have dear reader. The moulting and the shedding of cut feathers and the growing of new ones takes time and comes with its own unique pains. And then one day………we fly. We live again, fully restored. A process full of mystery and undoubtedly unique to every single person.

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The ripping of the flesh.

Posted by appolus on June 30, 2021

Our temperamental outlook is altered by thinking, and when God alters the disposition, temperament begins to take its tone from the new disposition. These things are not done suddenly, they are only done gradually, by the stern discipline the life under the teaching of the Spirit of God (Oswald Chamber)

It might be helpful to give something of a definition of these two word, disposition and temperament. Although closely related there are some key differences. Temperament could be described as the emotional traits of a person. These traits can be many. You can be thrifty, angry, sad, funny, sensitive, sensual. standoffish, authoritarian, controlling and so on.. The list is endless. You can be some of these things. Now, disposition is typically the predominant trait. The one trait that rules over all the others. This would ultimately describe your character.

We often use our disposition to excuse our behavior. We will hear it said “that is just the way I am.” It might even be added to by “you can take me or leave me.” Or maybe we are describing our spouse or another “that is just who he is.” Now, while this may fly in the world, it is tragic for the saint. God is after our disposition. Our temperaments are led by our dispositions. When we say “that is just who I am,’ we are, in effect, saying to God “back of, this is my territory.” This far and no further. Do you say that?

Now, as Chambers rightly points out, our dispositions are not changed overnight, but they must be changed. If you have been following Jesus for years and your disposition remains the same, this is definitely a sign of an unruly spirit. A rebellious spirit resists the Spirit of God. This rebellion must be crushed. When the Holy Spirit invades the spirit of a man, He has come to conquer. By stern discipline (we love that, dont we) He will bring us to heel. Time and again our dispositions, our dominant characteristics will be challenged.

The thrifty man will be challenged to relinquish his hold on his money. The angry man will be challenged by countess situations that anger him until his anger is defeated. The sad woman will be encounter joy and life and be drawn into it. The overly sensitive will encounter situations that would make them withdraw until they withdraw no more. The authoritarian will lose his throne, he will cede control. The sensual woman will no longer seek to attract as she is convicted by how she carries herself.

What will they put upon your headstone brothers and sisters? Here lies an angry man? Here lies a sensual woman? The world knows you by your predominant characteristic. This is why the battle for your disposition is so fierce. For when the world sees you it should see Jesus. When it hears you it should hear the words of a transformed man or woman. A man or woman who is under the authority of the Spirit of God. Are you under His authority? Have you said to yourself or others “that is just who I am?” Rebel! You are not saying it to yourself or others, you are saying it to God. And you are saying that there is a huge part of you, in fact your predominant part of you that you will not relinquish.

Brothers and sisters. The saint who has surrendered his or her disposition to the Spirit of God has it replaced by the disposition of Christ Himself. How often we so easily say “He must increase and I must decrease.” This is it, right here is where the battle lies. Will you really decrease? If you do, then the world will see our Lord in you. Have we not been called to be the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved? I guarantee you that if your predominant characteristic is not that of a yielded soul to Christ then there shall be no sweet aroma, only the smell of your sweated flesh.

My prayers are with you saints as you yield to the stern discipline of the Spirit of God in your life. Not a popular subject for sure but it lies at the heart of who we are, who we want to be and what the Lord desires of us. Make it your lives work. You have been empowered to make this happen.

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How to rule the emotions.

Posted by appolus on June 24, 2021

How to rule the emotions? It is imperative in the life of the saint, to rule the emotions. They have to be taken captive, much like the thoughts. Emotions and thoughts are not in and of themselves bad of course, they are a vital part of our humanity, they are what makes us human. Yet, if we allow ourselves to be ruled by our emotions and we do not take into captivity our thoughts, we shall be like waves tossed upon the sea by strong winds. This can develop into hurricane force winds which then become highly destructive to everything it breaks upon.

Emotions serve us well. They are most often delightful and cause us to laugh and to cry, to be angry and to be sad. These are all safety valves for us in our human experience. Yet, when they master us, when we serve them rather than they serving us, we fall into a world of trouble. The vast majority of people I have ever met have been ruled by their emotions, for the most part. So, what brings the emotions into line? The will. And for the saints it is the will empowered by the Spirit of God. And where does the will take its cue from? The Word of God and the still small voice of God.

When the will is yielded to the obedience of God, the emotions are kept in check. We walk in a broad place in this situation. When the will gives way to the emotions then we have opened ourselves up to great danger. In the middle of a storm, the ship has her hatches battened down. This stops the mighty waves that crash over her from pouring into her holds, flooding the interior, and potentially sinking the ship. This action is carried out by the will. When the emotions are in charge then the hatches have been thrown open. Every wave that assaults us can now possibly sink us.

The Spirit empowered and yielded will is the sentinel that stands guard over the doorway of our hearts and minds. It follows the directions of God and is anxious for nothing. It yields itself to Jesus and His word and  It stops us from getting on the rollercoasters of every situation we face. It keeps us walking in a sure and broad place. Get on that rollercoaster and there will be huge ups and downs and turns and twists. There will be fear and screaming and all manner of noise as we are tossed about by the situations we face.

To be ruled by the emotions is to walk according to the flesh. To exercise our wills in the way that we have been directed by God is to walk according to the Spirit. No disobedient servant can walk according to the Spirit. How then do you walk saint? Are you storm tossed by the circumstances of life? Does your life consist of highs and lows and twists and turns that leave you exhausted in mind and body? Do you find yourself forever on the rollercoaster of life and circumstances? The key to life in the Spirit is to yield to God and to be obedient to His word. You will undoubtedly suffer loss in your pursuit of following hard after the Lord. Yet, what is loss in this world is gain in the next. Surrender today saints and walk in the peace that surpasses all understanding.

2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

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The holy sound of heaven here on earth.

Posted by appolus on May 24, 2021

The congregation, the gathered, the called out ones are, in and of themselves a set of instruments. Each a vital part of the orchestra and without such there can be no genuine praise and worship. Without the instruments of God making beautiful expressions composed by the Holy Spirit all we have is professional music and a professional speaker. The true instruments remain silent. And the one who fine tunes each and every one of these instruments is dismayed to see that they are silenced. .
The people hear manufactured music that lulls them to spiritual sleep. They have long forgotten that they themselves are instruments in the hands of the Master musician. When the orchestra of God has been silenced, when the conductor has been usurped, then all we are left with is noise, clanging symbols and sounding brass. Only as the full orchestra plays, conducted by the Holy Spirit Himself, can the hearts be pierced rather than be dulled and lulled into a state of slow death. For the symphony to rise to heaven all instruments must be engaged. This is the Body, all moving together, conducted by majesty and producing a magnificent holy sound that brings down the weight of heaven’s glory. We have been drowned by the noise of silence. Sparks rise up and dance in the darkness from the fires of our own making. Oh to God that the usurpers would fall and the preeminent One would take His rightful place.

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The deadly virus.

Posted by appolus on April 23, 2021

There has been a deadly virus since the dawn of time. It infects its host and begins the process of death. It impacts every part of its target. There is no human cure, no scientific vaccine, no possibility of shaking of its side-effects. It can often times brilliantly hide within its host and to the outward eye, all seems well. In other cases the host is ravaged, but in both examples, the end result is the same, death.
 
There is one antidote and unless the person receives it he or she shall surely die. The antidote has two thousand years of test studies to show its effectiveness. It has never failed. It has 100% efficacy. The person that provided the antidote had the virus put upon Him, and while He carried it, it never infected Him. And now, His antibodies, found in His Blood, is the cure. It does not matter where you come from, what color you are, whether you are rich or poor, all have equal access to the vaccine.
 
The cost? It was paid for you by another. His name is Jesus.Your part is to present yourself to Him and acknowledge that you have the virus and that rather than death, you desire to live, you desire the gift of eternal life. The name of the virus is Sin. It is master over you and controls you. If you desire a new Lord, He is waiting for you to reject your old master and to cry out to Him. You will take man’s vaccine, will you take God’s?

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Business as usual.

Posted by appolus on April 11, 2021

It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
That is a really powerful quote is it not? Unless men are willing to amend their ways, the way they do business with God, the way they worship God, the way they gather together, in other words if they are not willing to conform themselves to the New Testament pattern of how we live and gather then they need not waste their time crying out for revival. For that cry would in effect be “Lord come and bless the way that we do things now.” Why would the Lord do that?
If there is a problem that has led us to cry out to God in the first place should we not be committed to change that? Could it be that we really kinda like the way we do things right now but it would be a lot easier and a lot more pleasant if God would just show up. He wont do it saints. Unless the cry of our heart is truly about our present condition, unless there is a heart that acknowledges that how we do things now is an affront to God, then business as usual will continue to be business as usual.

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Repentance that leads to life.

Posted by appolus on August 25, 2015

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2Sa 12:13)

This is a quote from a well know passage of Scripture. Prior to this confrontation with David and Nathan, David had slept with another man’s wife gotten her pregnant and killed her husband. It is reckoned that the whole sordid episode took place over a period of about a year. When David was confronted with his sin by the prophet of God he repents. Now we know that David was a man after God’s own heart. He is perhaps, outside of Jesus Himself, one of the most notable and heroic people in the Bible. So we can learn a lot from how God deals with David.

We can see clearly that the Lord has put away his sin because of his confession and in that we should draw much comfort. In 1 John 1:9 we see that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Praise God, this is His promise to the saints. Yet what of the consequences in the natural? And as we consider this I believe it brings to bear the motivations of the heart. For there will still remain the natural consequences of the sin that was committed. Sin is like a stone thrown into the pond, it ripples out and its concentric circles affects every part.

Now what did David suffer despite his genuine repentance? Well we see in the preceding verses that the sword would not depart from his house and this proved to be true. And this was specifically “because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.” David did not just commit adultery and murder, he then benefited from the results of these acts by marrying Bathsheba. Now the Lord said to David that He would raise up evil against him from his own household and of course we know that this comes to pass with the rebellion and death of his own son. We also know that the child that Bathsheba gave birth to also dies. These are the natural consequences of the sin of David despite the fact he had found forgiveness from the Lord.  And if we are honest we can see in our own lives and the lives of our own families the natural consequences of our sin.

Now if there are natural consequences for our sin and there are, whether we are forgiven or not, how can we tell who walks in genuine forgiveness? We can tell by the life that they lead. The man or woman who finds forgiveness of sin will have a resurgence of joy, not because he has avoided the consequences of his sin for many times he will not but because he has re-established his intimate relationship with his lord which sin had interrupted. The joy and the love and the peace that we now see in him is much more powerful because it is in no way is dependent upon his circumstances, for often they are dire,but depends wholly upon the fact that he is reunited in an intimate way with his Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

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