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The goodness and the severity of our God

Posted by appolus on March 30, 2020

A higher view of God. Before all the churches shut down, do you think that the vast majority of them had a high view of the Living God? Do you believe that in the vast majority of our assemblies that the God of Isaiah and the God of Ezekiel and the God of John the revelator was being worshiped? Did we consider His majesty? Did we consider the goodness and the severity of God? Was the God who did not spare His Son, who saw His Son crushed and broken in body and tortured and killed, worshiped? Did we only worship the goodness of God, did we even worship the goodness of God. Was a lot of it routine? Is there anything routine about God and His presence? Does the hand of the sovereign God rule and reign?

Is it actually possible to come into the presence of God without trembling? Have you read of many encounters in the Scriptures where men encountered God or the angel of the Lord and not fallen flat on their faces? To encounter glory, to have the high view, to see Him high and lifted up. To see His magnificence, to weep openly in the presence of such beauty and such purity, was there anything like this in your last visit to church before all the churches of the world were shut down. For just one single moment, do you suppose that might have something to do with our present position? Most of us now have the time to ponder on that. Can I ask you, can you go back, will you go back to business as usual? Oh Lord help us for what comes after this if we simply go back to business as usual. I tell you brothers and sisters, we are going to need to know Him in the fashion that I have described above if we are to stand in a world hurtling towards the ultimate encounter with the Lord our God.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The indescribable God

Posted by appolus on March 30, 2020

2Ch 5:14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

The world has such a low view of God. Some kindly grandfather? A benevolent Santa Claus? A buddy? Of course He is none of these things. For the most part Christendom also has a low view of God. Can I ask you a genuine question? The last time you went to church, were you actually expecting to encounter the Living God? I am not talking about singing loud and jumping up and down. I am not talking about being really interested in a sermon and taking notes. I am talking about meeting God almighty.

The God that is high and lifted up and the train of His robe fills the temple. The God that is majestic in holiness. The God that is full of awe and marvelous. The God that is so overwhelming that He floods our spirits with His glory and those around His throne can only cry out Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Is that what you were expecting? If not why not? Unless the people have an encounter with such a God, they will continue to have a low view of Him and worship some weak anemic cultural god of their own making.

What cannot be learned by a thousand excellent sermons can be learned in the genuine presence of God. Just one moment in His presence is better than a thousand elsewhere. If all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.” (1 Cor 14 24-25)

The church in the west is starving to death and they are dying of thirst. The tragedy is, that for the most part, the majority that are called after His name do not even know that they are in the midst of a famine and a drought. I thank God for His remnant people who do know. Who agonize over the state of the church. Who cry out to God and who want nothing less than for the multitude of people to experience the majesty and the glory and the anguish and the joy of falling down before the throne. Who desire all men to be ruined for this life and to walk with the grand obsession of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is coming a time, and we may be there already, when God is calling His people, His remnant people who have experienced the presence of God, to rise up and testify to it. To testify of what they know of Him. Of how they come into the presence of a Holy and majestic God. Of how it ruins them and changes them. Of how they tremble before the throne of the almighty God.

This is what the people are starved of, this is what they are dying from. There is a famine of the Word of God in the land, not the Word preached, but the Word preached with the power and the presence of God. The crisis of the age is a lack of God’s empowering presence in our assemblies. May the glory of the Lord fill His house.

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The sifting

Posted by appolus on March 27, 2020

A sieve is an apparatus that allows the finer particles through while trapping the courser elements. The process is known as sifting. In Isaiah 30:28 the prophet describes God in this way “His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity.” This sieve is designed to catch and separate vanity-the proud. The sieve requires shaking in order to find what it wants to reject and to let pass through what is desirable. His breath is like a raging river which reaches up to the neck. Imagine that. In a flash flood it only takes six inches of water to knock a man off of his feet, yet here we see the raging river of the breath of God reaching up to the neck. Who can stand when the Lord moves? Only those who stand upon the Rock.

What particular pride are we seeing here referred to by Isaiah? In the previous verse, verse 27 it says that: Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire. The name of the Lord had been blasphemed against by Rabshakeh, the Assyrian general. He likened the one true God to every other god whom had fallen before them. Now that name, the name he took in vain, has come and He would be like a devouring fire who would overthrow their pride and they would be helpless in the midst of it all.

The world has mocked the one true God. They want nothing to do with Him and in their vanity they ridicule Him. They have systematically violated His word. He says that Homosexuality is an abomination, they say that no, in fact this is merely an expression of Gods creation. He says that He made man and women, they say no, there are many genders and you can be anything you like. He said that those who pass their children through the fire are an abomination, they say,no, it is a moral right to be able to kill your unwanted children. He says that He is the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Him. They say that there is no heaven and if there is there are multiple ways to get there. He says that the name of Jesus is high and lifted up, they use that name as a curse. He says suffer the little children to come unto me and woe to them who hurt them. they indoctrinate these children from the early age in defiant rebellion against the one true living God.

God also sifts those who are called by His name and there are multiple siftings. Fire and storm is a form of sifting. As the heat intensifies, many called by His name fall away. As the world makes ever greater demands for compromise, many more fall away. As the cost begins to rise for bearing the name of Jesus, more fall away. As Jesus reveals that His people must suffer, more fall. As He removes all of the trappings of religion, again the chaff blows away in the wind. God will have a refined people when He returns for His own. He will come back for a pure and spotless Bride. Brothers and sisters, we live in the midst of such days. We are called to withstand in the evil day, meaning to resist, stand against, and having done all, cloaked in the armor of God, to stand and not fall.

Stand against who or what? Principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but rather the spiritual reality of what lies behind flesh and blood. The battle takes place in heavenly places. It requires violent men in terms of the spirit. Men and women who can resist, and who will resist and who are covered by the Blood of the Lamb, have the word of their testimony and who love not their lives unto death. This is the few and our enemy is the spiritual reality behind the many. Remember brothers and sisters, greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

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, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Through the valley

Posted by appolus on March 26, 2020

Psa 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

As I prayed this morning the Lord laid the above Scripture on my heart. The Holy Spirit spoke to me. From the moment we are born our life is the valley and death is the shade. As we walk through the valley, death is rendered to but a mere shadow to the saints. What is a shadow? What substance does it have? Is it the real thing or is it but a trick of the light? Death itself has lost its sting, where oh grave is your victory? And how could this be? “For thou art with me.” His presence destroys the power of sin and death and renders it to but a mere shadow. We often say that a man is a mere shadow of his former self. This is what it means when we speak of death for those who walk in the presence of God, for those who can say ” for thou art with me.” Can you say that?

Moses refused to go on in the desert unless the Lord was with him. The Lord said to Moses that He would do this thing because he had found grace in His sight and that He knew him by name. Brothers and sisters, our names are written in the Lambs book of life. We who know Him know Him by grace, through faith. We found grace in His sight, glory to God. Paul counted all of his trials and his impending death as mere rubbish, because? He was found in Him. Paul could go on in a perilous and persecuted journey because death was but a shadow. What creates a shadow? Light. We who stand in the light of Christ have rendered death to but a mere shadow of its former self. This is why we can walk through the valley. This is why we look not to this world but to the next. For thou art with me oh Lord through every valley. Every trial, every tribulation even death itself is but the means that draws us ever closer to the one who is with us.

We are more than conquerors in Him. When we suffer with Him we shall be glorified together. This is when all things work together for good to those whom He walks with who are called according to His purpose. What shall separate us from the love of Jesus? Trial or tribulation? Persecution or nakedness? famine or even the sword? For His sake we are killed all the day long, like sheep for the slaughter. Shall a virus or any pestilence or even death itself separate us from the one who is with us? No, nothing can, quite the opposite, it compels us to press on in. Saint, no matter what you are facing today, press on in to the One who is with You. He will see you through the fire. He will hold you in the flood. No matter how fierce the fire or how deep the flood, nothing can separate us from the Love of God which is in Jesus our Lord. –

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 | 3 Comments »

Do you stand on the Rock

Posted by appolus on March 23, 2020

Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Jesus speaks of two kinds of houses in Mathew chapter 7:24-27. One is built upon the Rock and the other has no foundation. When the storm comes, when the flood rises and the winds blow with hurricane force,come dawns early ligth the house on the Rock still stands . The house without a foundation is swept away. Now consider this, the first word in Matt 7:24 is “wherefore.” The word wherefore means the answer or the explanation to a statement given. What was the statement Jesus had just made? In verses 21-23 Jesus says that not all who call Him Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, only those who do the will of my Father. So He will say to them “I never knew you, depart from me you who work iniquity.” He is talking to people who cast out demons and did many wonderful works in His name.

The test saint, is not the works that we do nor even the miracles that we are associated with. No, the test saints is how we stand or if we stand in the storm. It’s the storm that does the work. Who will praise Him in the storm? Who will do the will of the Father in the midst of the storm? To weather the storm with joy, with perseverance and with endurance is to prove which ground we stand upon. For those who stand upon the Rock, they shall not run from the storm, they shall not hide from the storm they shall stand tall in the midst of the storm in the might and the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is a huge storm raging around the world. It is the first of many such storms to come. The world will get over one storm and the next will quickly come. Yet those whose feet are planted on the Rock shall never be moved. They shall be able to enter into His presence, they shall go deeper into His heart, they shall stand upon the Word of God and the light of heaven shall shine through them like a beacon to a dark world. The Lord says that His kingdom is not of this world. We are part of His Kingdom and we do not belong to this world, we are merely passing through. We walk in the Spirit along the narrow way and He ever goes before us. Let not your hearts be troubled but rather rejoice. The praise of the saints from the depths of the dungeon is of so much greater value than those who praise His only from the mountaintops. A man can praise Jesus in the midst of good circumstances, it takes no foundation to do that. Only a saint standing on the solid Rock of Christ Himself can praise the Lord from the dungeon. What lies beneath your feet?

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

And suddenly everything changes-a word to the wise.

Posted by appolus on March 20, 2020

In the solemn days of our times. When the bustling economies of the world come to a standstill. Who will search His word, who will search their hearts? Shall we ignore God? Shall we desperately try to keep going and keep doing what we were doing before? If the locusts descended upon you and the whole earth shook should you not look to the heavens and cry out to God and know the error of your ways? The Lord tells us in His word that we should let our tears run down like a river day and night, that we should give ourselves no relief and no rest. We should rise up from our slumbers and cry out in the night. Do we observe any of this brothers and sisters? The Lord also told us in His word that the He has caused the appointed feasts and the Sabbaths to be forgotten, In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priest.The Lord has spurned His alter and abandoned His sanctuary.

Lam 2:7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.

One of our favorite pieces of Scripture says “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassion fails not. They are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul therefore I hope in Him” These words are penned in the midst of great affliction. They are the hearts cry of a man drowning in darkness, crying out to the living God and in the midst of those cries he discovers mercy and faithfulness and hope. Another favorite portion of Scripture is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2Ch 7:14) Do you ever wonder why we never quote verse 13, the verse that comes before ” if I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 

You see, we dont like that part. We like all the benefits of Calvary but we do not like the cost. What cost you say, Jesus did it all. Yes He did but He directly commands us to take up our own crosses, every day. We are told that we must lift up the Lord Jesus Christ and He alone must be preeminent in the midst of our lives and in the midst of our gathering. We are the Ekklesia, we are the called out ones. And in the midst of those called out ones who gather together, Jesus and He alone is to be lifted up. He directs His people and He does it through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when we do indeed lift up Jesus and magnify Him then the power of God rests upon us.

So, a week ago, business as usual. Today, every “church,” in the western world is shut down. Who would have thought such a thing? Yet almost everywhere you can gather together ten or less. What is the Lord saying in the midst of this? Is He saying “hold on, eventually you can go back to business as usual?” Really? You really think He is saying that? If He is not saying that then what is He saying to us in the days that we find ourselves? Literally, everything in the world that can be shaken is being shaken. In every village and town and city throughout all of the lands fear stalks the streets. If we will not ask ourselves hard questions and search our hearts then shortly after this ends, another shall come. Like a building storm in a vast ocean the waves get higher and higher.

There is mercy to be found for the broken and the contrite. We have trampled His name in the street. Shall He cut of the rain, shall He send the locust? Or shall we return to our roots, our Biblical roots, all the way back to the beginning. We have gotten terribly off track. We have so many centuries of tradition and error upon error that we bear little or no resemblance to what we read in 1 Cor 14. The simple organic worship of the called out ones. Ones who desire to be led, wholly led, not by men, not by traditions not by liturgy or by program and deadly routine. God is speaking to us loudly and clearly. The question is, are we listening? If we would indeed humble ourselves and turn from what? Our wicked ways. Who is He talking about here? The people who call themselves by His name. You, and me. Our wicked ways brothers and sisters. We have denied and defied the Word of God in favor of our wicked ways. You cry out “how are we wicked?” We hold the covenants of God in our mouths and we declare His statutes. Yes indeed, it is part of your indictment.

The Lord tells us to call upon Him in the day of trouble. Call upon Him in repentance and contriteness and brokenness. If we do this and pray and seek His face, then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sin. What sin? All of our sin but especially the sin of having demoted Jesus to some kind of mascot or figurehead and raising up the idol of the pulpit in favor of actually hearing from God. We have a million little Moses who willing ascend that pulpit every Sunday, elevating themselves and taking the place and the role and the authority of Jesus. These men should tremble and repent and we should too for allowing such a travesty to unfold. And in that trembling and in that repentance we shall find a merciful God whose mercies are new every morning.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, prophecy, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Outside the camp

Posted by appolus on March 20, 2020

Heb 13:13-14 Therefore let us go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Jesus was found outside the camp, outside the walls, outside the gates. We are told to go to where He is. In those days, the walls represented security and belonging. To be outside the camp was to be outside of fellowship with the rest of society and to be in a dangerous place. Yet, Jesus was found in a place called Golgotha, outside of the gates. To leave the security of the walls behind us, we must be willing to find all of our security and belonging in Jesus.

If any part of our heart belongs to the city, we will be tempted to look back with longing as judgment begins to pour down upon it, just as Lots wife looked back. It is an eternal city that we seek and we have been called to be sojourners and pilgrims in this voyage of life. Jesus alone is our anchor and only in Him can we find our place of refuge, He alone is our high tower.

The distance from where Jesus hung on the cross was not very far from the temple. Those who dwelt within the walls were convinced that the presence of God was within the heart of the temple, in the Holy of Holy’s. Yet tragically for those who clung to their place of worship and who ignored what Jesus had told the woman at the well, would die in their religion.

Jesus told the woman at the well when she questioned Him about where the proper place to worship should be that a time was coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24) The presence of God was not in the Holy of Holy’s, the presence of God, the word made flesh, Emmanuel, was hanging from a tree outside of civilized society on a garbage dump known as Golgotha.

The saints of God are sojourners. We are pilgrims in a strange land who are merely passing through. We bear His reproach from the world and from the religious. Do you worship Him in Spirit and in Truth? Can we ignore the truth and still be obedient to the words of Jesus? If we are to walk in the Spirit then we have to walk in the truth, you cannot have one without the other. In our ever changing world it is getting more and more difficult to justify staying behind the walls. We have to be where the truth is. True worshipers will follow the Spirit and will follow the truth, even if none go with them and despite the ridicule and the reproach. Remember we are bearing His reproach for here we have no continuing city but we seek one to come

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Impossible to please God.

Posted by appolus on March 18, 2020

Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 

In another Scripture, Heb 11:6 we are told…. But without faith it is impossible to please him. You see the connection? Walking in the flesh is the same as having no faith in the Lord. In Romans 8:5 we are told…. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. Now if we look at two words here it is instructive for us. First the word “mind.” This word means to set our affections on, the thing that captures our thoughts. So, if we mind the things of the flesh then our affections are set upon the things of the flesh and our thoughts are taken up with the flesh. Now, it is important to identify what the word flesh means here. The Greek word is sarx and means in this context “the symbol of what is external.”

So if you are walking in the flesh then you are taken up with the external things of this life and not the interior life, the life of the Spirit. Now the external things can mean a multitude of things. It can mean our outward circumstances, our careers, our position in life, our cars, our houses, our politics, our appearance and so on. If these are the things that occupy our minds then we cannot be walking in the Spirit and we cannot be pleasing to God. Rather, to be walking in the Spirit is to be seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. This pleases God and He is a rewarder of those who follow this path. His reward is His presence and in His presence there is fullness of joy. Peace and love and forgiveness, contentment and holiness is the landscape of the Kingdom. Wont you walk in the Spirit today? Put away the things of this world and mind the things of God and His Kingdom and possess what the Lord has delivered to you.

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

And the walls come tumbling down.

Posted by appolus on March 16, 2020

Ask the average pastor in the land if he would like the presence of God to come into their gathering and he will invariably say yes. This brings to mind a couple of things. First, the Lord does not come down to enhance the ministry of men. He comes down when He is exalted, when He is glorified and when He alone is lifted up.The Lord must be preeminent in our gatherings. You can have perfectly pleasant meetings week after week, hear good sermons, have good bible studies and so on and so forth and feel good about all of that, but this has nothing to do with His preeminence and our encountering Him and His manifest presence.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.(Mat 21:12)

We see in Matthew 21:12 that when Jesus came into the temple, the first thing He did was clean it up. He threw out everyone who was making merchandise out of the temple. If you are in that temple and were making a living out of it, you were unceremoniously ejected. It would have been shocking and humiliating for the Son of God, with a “scourge of small cords,” to whip you and drive you out right there in front of everyone. So in our day of the industrial church, huge buildings, mortgages, coffee shops and bookstores and a multitude of “ministries,” to be supported, what would He do with all of that?

Men cannot have Jesus be preeminent in their gatherings, for in a moment of time most of their programs would be scrapped. Those making a living wage would be fired and the coffee shops and book stores would all be demolished. A huge amount of men, delivered to the spiritual industrial complex from seminaries and Bible schools which are part of the industrial complex, would be driven out. The idol of the pulpit would be destroyed. Men who have became mediators to a vast collection of spectators would be replaced. The gathered people would be participators and not passive nodding heads with the occasional amen. They would be compelled to rise to their feet in the glory of His presence and cry Holy. The Holy Spirit would lay upon a man’s heart a wonderful exhortation and upon another a scripture and a teaching. Someone else would have a song.

Let us look at the exact word our instructions from the unchangeable word of the Living God. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret (1Co 14:27) Now brothers and sisters, is that ambiguous or is not rather straightforward? Stop right there and consider the words of this scripture. Do you have an objection to it? If yes, why? If you accept this as true. what hinders you in fulfilling this? Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge(1Co 14:29) Hard to understand? Ambiguous? Agree with the word of God? Yes? What hinders you in fulfilling this? Are you not without excuse and do we not cast Scripture’s instructions aside in favor of the traditions of men? All of this would only take place if Jesus was preeminent among us. So, is Jesus in your “temple?”

I say all of this to the established “church,” for in fact we the saints are the “Church,” we are His temple. Church is not a place that you go to, church is something that you are born into. The Body of Christ is just that. Not a place but a people. We have our marching orders from the Scriptures on how the Body should be when it gathers. What has happened is that we are so far removed from the truth of that and the reality of the gathering, that if there was a genuine desire and attempt to Biblically worship and gather together, it would not be a reformation but rather a revolution. The first thing that happens in revolutions is that the old order is replaced ( or in secular revolutions probably something worse) The definition of the word revolution is “the overthrow of a government, a sudden and grand change or the movement of one object around the center of another object, an example being the movement of the earth around the sun.

Given the above examples of revolution, we see that many of them fit into our conversation. The overthrow of a government. This would be the dissembling of the denominations and the old order of meeting. A sudden and grand change would describe what it would take to return to the organic and biblical gathering. And the last example would be coming full circle, completing the revolution and coming right back to where it all began. Jesus would be the center of it all and everything would revolve around Him, everything. Man would be replaced from the center, the pulpit would be replaced from the center and Jesus would take back His rightful place and the Holy Spirit would elevate Him in the hearts and minds of the people. The same Holy Spirit would edify the saints in the manner He has already prescribed in the Word. The Word never changed, it was we who left it behind in favor of our own traditions. We elevated men and we shuffled the Lord Jesus off to the side. We relegated Jesus to where He was a mere adornment.  

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Take up the cross

Posted by appolus on March 16, 2020

Mat 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 

How deep the love that cries “forgive them Father?” How dead to the flesh a man must be to cry “hold not this charge against them.” How transformed must his flesh be that he has a vision in the midst of being stoned by his countrymen? And brother Stephen was taken home loving those who bore the stones.

Would I respond in such a manner?? I pray that I would. I pray that every trial and tribulation I now suffer is a mile run by one who trains for a marathon. Can I see my trials as blessings? Can I walk counter to modern Christendom and count my trials as I count my blessings? This is the deeper life brothers and sisters. This is the counter-culture. This is the way of the cross.This is the narrow path. Can we arrive at such a place as to rejoice in our sufferings? How can a man rejoice in his sufferings? Well, a man cannot, only a saint empowered by the Holy Spirit can.

There is no key or magic wand on how to rejoice in the depths of suffering. There is only encounter, there is only desire, there is only that thirst spoken of by David when he spoke of the deer that panteth after the waterbrooks. Make no mistake brothers and sisters, this place, this walk of the saints, this place of peace that surpasses all understanding is born out of fire. We have to encounter the Lord Jesus in the depths of the fiery furnace.

Is there another way? No. It’s the narrow path, it’s the taking up of the cross, it’s the decision made in the garden of Gethsemane and even that is not it, there is still the death, even the death of the cross. Many men will die for the cause but how many are willing to die for the cross?

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Suddenly

Posted by appolus on March 12, 2020

As I was walking and praying this morning, the Holy Spirit dropped this word into my spirit-suddenly. The definition of the word suddenly is “quickly and unexpectedly.” In my own very recent past I have encountered some dramatic suddenlies. About six weeks before Christmas, one of my best friends, who was 67 and a wonderful man of God, was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told him that without treatment he had about six months, with treatment maybe a year. Shortly after he began infusion treatments and about four weeks after that he died-suddenly. Last year my neighbors husband, who was about the same age as my friend had some pains. He went to the doctors and tests were taken. The day after they told him he had cancer, he died the following week-suddenly. Two weeks ago, by beloved four year old dog Jack got sick on the Friday. Took him to the vets, got blood work and meds, a day later he died-suddenly.

We are never very far away from suddenlies. They can strike out of the blue and plunge us into a certain kind of darkness. Yet there is another kind of suddenly. Suddenly in the upper room the Holy Spirit comes. Suddenly we who were one moment in darkness are flooded by the light of His presence. Given the nature of this life we saints should be more prepared for suddenlies than anyone else. The solid Rock upon which we stand is not shaken. Others who stand merely in this world can be shaken to their core and suffer irreparable damage. We who stand upon the Christ, who know Jesus intimately can never be destroyed by the circumstances of this world. We can surely suffer, but not like the world suffers. The world suffers alone and can be inconsolable. We have a comforter is that not right saints? His name is the Holy Spirit. The Lord says He would not leave us as orphans. No, He would send the Holy Spirit to us and by the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus Himself would take up residence in our hearts and that is our strength. That is the source of our light when darkness threatens to consume us. He is the source of our peace and joy when we have suffered grievous loss. As long as we are found in Him.

“And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.” We are His temple brothers and sisters. It is up to us to continually seek Him in our every day walk. It is in the daily seeking of Him and the finding of Him that we strengthen ourselves and prepare ourselves not only for the suddenlies of this world but also of the end of this world which is soon upon us. And who will stand in that day? Who will be able to stand in the refiners fire? His saints. His saints full of His oil. His prepared saints. Oil not just in the lamp but in the vessel. Those who are intimately connected to the two olive trees of Zechariah which represent the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. To be intimately connected with our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit means that our lamps will never go out. We have an eternal source of power and light from the inexhaustible supplies of heaven itself. There shall be many suddenlies in the days to come and by them will come much darkness, but we, the bearers of the light shall shine greatly in the gross darkness.

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Riches and glory

Posted by appolus on March 12, 2020

Matt 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth

What are the riches of our dwelling place with the Lord? Out of the beauty of dwelling with Him do we have the finest gold of unconditional love? Are the walls of our dwelling place encrusted with the jewels of forgiveness and mercy? Are the windows of our dwelling places draped with meekness and humility?

Do trophies of grace hang on every wall? Are they framed with the finest materials of patience and kindness? Do we pursue the riches and the glories of heaven with the same vigor and single-mindedness that men here on earth pursue gold and silver? And the treasures that we have attained in Christ, do we protect them with all the resources that we have?

Do we value the treasures of our heart in the same way men value their wealth? There is a direct correlation between how much we value something and the lengths we will go to protect it. Guard your hearts brothers and sisters in Christ, for we have an enemy who seeks to steal and destroy what we have. Satan knows the value of what we have oftentimes more than we do.

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And the tower come tumbling down.

Posted by appolus on March 10, 2020

It is interesting that it is reckoned that the tower of Babel was being built in response to the great flood that had happened hundreds of years previously. Rather than men believing God when He said He would never flood the world again, men chose rather to believe in the power of their own might. In effect they had thrown of the Word of God and chose to believe a lie. They would build a tower to the sky so that they could create a means of escape.

Men are not so different today. They store up money to the sky in an effort to ward of poverty. Yet a virus that cannot be seen with the naked eye has caused the loss of almost four trillion dollars in just a couple of weeks. This world is built on sinking sand. It is reckoned that the ancients worked on the tower for well over a hundred years. All that time, all that effort and money and resources and one nod from God and it all comes tumbling down in the midst of mass confusion. Sinking sand. Make plans, build bigger barns and never reckon that in thee twinkling of the eye God can, this very night “require our soul.”

How then shall we live? In the will of God according to the Word of God. Whether we live or whether we die our primary aim should be to glorify God. Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness comes at the end of chapter six in the Gospel of Matthew. This section is where we are told not to be anxious, not to worry about the things the Gentiles worry about. This is not series of suggestions Jesus is making, He is telling us how to live. To live any other way than this is to be living outside of the will of God for our lives. In other words, sin. Its not our nature or our character, nor is it simply our circumstances that creates a state of anxiousness, it is rebellion against the will and the peace of God.

Jesus told us to consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed in the splendor of the grass of the field which today is but tomorrow is cast into the oven. If we shall possess the fullness of God and walk in a peace that surpasses all understanding, we must trust God in God and not the works of our own hands. Whatever we attempt to build to shelter us from the ravages of this world can all come tumbling down in the blink of the eye. A tower built upon shifting sands, the wisdom of man and not the Word and the power of God. Let your eye be upon God and His eye shall be upon the sparrow.He watches over us.

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Peace and the securing of it.

Posted by appolus on March 9, 2020

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Are you wearied of living in fear? Fears of all kind are the enemies of our soul, indeed oftentimes fear is the opposite of faith. In the end, fear is actually sin. I do not say that to bring condemnation upon anyone, simply to identify it and highlight how it can separate us from our relationship with the Lord. God does not condemn us in this but He would that we would live in the freedom that He has made us free with.

When we run away from a situation or hide from it because of fear, it never solves the problem, it still lies in wait for us as we go around the mountain again. The obstacle must be confronted if we are to pass it by and move on upwards. Every single time we give into fear we are saying “Lord, you are not Lord of my life,fear is.” And in this we recognize the fact that we are slaves to sin and not servants of God.

We cannot be slaves and free men all at the same time. If the Lord has set me free, if He has come and opened up my jail cell, what was I doing still in the cell looking out through the bars at the world? Why had I not walked through the door that the Lord had opened? Was it safer for me to stay where I had become accustomed to?

There comes a time in our lives when we decide that we have to get up and get out of that cell. The Lord did not open it and free us just so that we could be technically free, He wants us to be actually free. I don’t know what is keeping you in that cell this day but we both know the Lord who opened the door. He bids us to step out of the shadows of the cell and slavery and to walk out and into the light of freedom. One step at a time, one day at a time, listen and follow Him one word at a time.

Step by step. As you overcome in Him you will be putting distance between you and your former cell or self. There will come a time when you will look back and be astonished how far you have come in Him and how by the power of His Spirit you have overcome. You were called to freedom. Take that first step this day and deal fear a lethal blow by being obedient to the Word of God and His still small voice.

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Singing in the rain

Posted by appolus on March 3, 2020

Mar 4:39-40 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

My son Daniel, who has Down Syndrome had Frisbee golf with the day summer camp that he went to many years ago. He was very excited about it. When we got up that morning it was apparent that the weather was not good. As we left for the camp at 9am it got really dark, in a way that you have to live in the Mid-West to really appreciate. It was as dark as night and the rain came on very heavy. It takes about twenty minutes to drive to camp and Daniel and I would typically have a time of worship on the journey there. Half way there he tugs on my shirt. I turn the music down and Daniel says with his broken language skills “I’m gonna sing to the storm.” It just struck me, it was so profound. I turned the music back up.

As we continued to worship (Daniel with his hands raised to God) I began to wonder, “Lord, are you going to clear this up?” I began to cry as I considered the very simple faith of my son. Brothers and sisters, before we got to that camp, the light broke through the darkness and the rain stopped. I was quietly shedding a few tears at the Lord’s dramatic response to Daniels prayer , not Daniel. He gets out of the car and he is muttering and he is speaking for God to the storm and he says “see storm, you’re not the boss of me.” And as soon as he said it I thought of the Scripture, Mark 4:39– And He awakened and rebuked the wind and said to the sea “Peace be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.

I had such a time with the Lord on the way home as I considered who He was. When was the last time that you “sung to your storm?” Maybe you are in the midst of a storm right now. Maybe it’s as dark as it ever has been in your life. Saint, this storm does not have mastery over your life. We serve a God that in the midst of the most violent storms can say “Peace be still.” And suddenly there is peace. Can you sing to your storm today? Can you praise God even in the midst of your greatest trials? When the enemy of your soul says “let’s hear you sing now,’ can you confound him and sing out? When your back is to the sea and there seems to be no way of escape, can you, in faith, begin to praise Him because you know that all power belongs to Him?

Praise Him today brothers and sisters, no matter what your circumstance, praise Him today. And the light will break through into the darkness of your situation as you lift Him up above your circumstances and He takes you up with Him. He is high and lifted up and the train of His robe fills the temple. He is glorious in holiness. He inhabits the praises of His people. He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies, and His banner over us is love.

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The narrow walk

Posted by appolus on February 26, 2020

Gal 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Walking in the Spirit is walking in fulfillment of His word. When someone offends me, but I do not take offense, I am walking in the Spirit. When I am insulted, yet I do not care because I am dead to myself and alive to Christ, I am walking in the Spirit. When I love the unlovable I am walking in the Spirit. When I agree with my enemy quickly and he is disarmed then I am walking in the Spirit.

When I look upon a woman, not with lust but with pure eyes then I am walking in the Spirit. When I refuse to be anxious but make a conscious decision to do all things by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving then I am walking in the Spirit. All these things and so many others brothers and sisters is the fruit of my walk in the Spirit.

As I do all these things and the peace that is beyond understanding fills me completely, then I know that I am walking in the Spirit of the Living God and my heart literally burns within my chest. And as it burns, it gives off a light that men can see and they are drawn to Christ in me. When this happens, I know that I am walking in the Spirit! My part is to surrender and yield to the Spirit that is within me. I must also be able to hear that still small voice that leads and guides me.

I must also be genuine in all that I do, my outward actions must be a reflection of my inner life. That right there is the difference between life and death. I must cultivate my relationship with Jesus because my ability to walk in the Spirit is directly tied to Christ in me and my relationship with Him. I must be able to come into His presence. It is only by walking in His presence, which is walking in the Spirit, that I can be used of Him to be light in the darkness.

Experiencing His manifest presence as opposed to having a faith in information is life and manna to your soul. Giving a mental assent to an abstract truth cannot feed us, we can only be fed in the Spirit. If we are walking in the Spirit we can be fed, it is then that not only are we fed by bread alone but by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God. It is in the context of His leading and His guiding that our souls are edified. It is in this walk that the desires of the flesh begin to recede and Christ in us begins to increase. May He increase in your life as you walk out your life in the Spirit for there is no other way that He can increase and be lifted up.

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Will you bow down to the gods of this world?

Posted by appolus on February 21, 2020

The photograph that you see is of a shipyard worker who refused to give the Nazi salute. Never underestimate the courage that it took for this man to refuse to salute evil. There was a devilishly simple yet brilliant strategy that compelled all of German society to give each other the Nazi salute. Fail once to return the salute would arouse suspicion, fail a second time and you would more than likely have the Gestapo knocking at your door and looking into your background. And so the Nazi salute had become a kind of social litmus test to see if you were loyal to the state. I want you to ask yourself this question. If you, as a born again Christian, were alive in Germany during the war, would you give the salute or not? Would you have the courage of your convictions? Would you simply rationalize it away with thoughts like ” well I know it does not really mean anything so why cause a stir?” Wrong, it does mean something. It is symbolic and it was an issue of conformity. This is how evil rises. The inability to stand apart from the crowd. Do not be fooled, we are already in the midst of a society that is compelling us to conform. Will you conform, will you bow to the gods of this world?

At a church I attended for about ten years, early on the Holy Spirit convicted me not to stand and applaud for any man. God alone deserved me standing to my feet and He alone deserved my applause. You may not agree with my conviction, but it was just that, my conviction. It never got easy. Every single time I was aware that I was the only one seated in a room full of people standing and applauding, sometimes wildly. I felt the eyes of those around me on me. I could almost read the thoughts. “Who does he think he is?” “Look, he is too good to stand.” I could actually “feel,” the pressure to conform. My own nature working against my spirit along with the spirit of man. We identify this in teenagers and call it peer pressure. We know that it is powerful. This thing called peer pressure never leaves us. There is something in us a men and women that wants to fit in, to be popular or at the very least, not to be hated. No one really wants to stand out in a hostile crowd. Yet is that not exactly what we are called to as born again Christians?

In 250 AD the Roman emperor Decius issued an edict to the Roman world. The edict demanded upon pain of death that everyone in the Roman empire must perform a sacrifice to the Roman Gods and call for the well being of the emperor. Typically burning incense would be good enough but here is the kicker, it had to be performed before a Roman magistrate who would then issue a signed certificate. You might think this was a disaster for the Christian community and would totally decimate it. Yet, in Carthage, so many “Christians,” showed up on the particular day to perform the sacrifice that it had to be extended for two days. This caused a serious rift in the Christian community that never healed. Those who sold out to the state were seen by the minority or remnant as traitors who had committed monstrous tyranny by denying the Lord Jesus while acknowledging the gods of the Roman world. This would not be the last time events of this magnitude occurred and the sifting would continue.

I would like to put it to you that we are seeing similar events taking place now which will only increase in intensity. Litmus tests and the gods of this world are, as we speak, demanding that those who hold to the name of Jesus bow down to them. Denominations of varying sizes are falling and many are falling over themselves, just as in Carthage, to join in and be identified with the world so as to have their favor and avoid any of the consequences of standing up to they tyranny of conformity. Yet, in every village and in every town and the great cities of the world wherever the name of Jesus is named, there will always be a witness that refuses to be identified with the world, who refuses to give the salute, to bow the knee, to burn incense to the gods of this world. Daniel threw open his window and prayed openly in defiance of the world and its edicts as did the Hebrew children. What say you saint? Will you refuse to stand, will you refuse to bow down to the gods of this world? It may cost you everything in this world but you will certainly gain the next.

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Enter in to the joy of the Lord

Posted by appolus on February 21, 2020

Mat 25:21 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

The seasons of God are good. One of those seasons is a time for weeping and mourning. Yet, if that is all that we have, if we live forever in a perpetual winter of weeping and mourning then nothing will ever grow. We will not grow and neither will our effectiveness for His kingdom. Neither will we grow in the knowledge of God. There is a time to rent our clothes and throw dust on our heads, yet if this one season becomes the whole then we render ourselves weak and ineffectual. Our real strength comes in the Joy of the Lord. If we cannot put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness then we will not be able stand in the evil day. We will be overcome by trial and tribulation and persecution.

When the Israelites were captured and taken from Jerusalem, their captors sat them down by the river of Babylon and taunted them. They said to them, “let’s hear your songs of Zion, let us hear your songs of victory now.” And the Israelites who were famous for their songs of praise to God, hung their harps on the willow tree, unable to sing, overcome in spirit in their defeat. The enemy had not only robbed them of their earthly freedom, they had robbed them of their joy, their essential core. They no longer had a song in their heart or on their lips. The willow tree upon which they hung their harps represented weeping. Their praise was silenced and only their weeping could now be heard.

Can I ask you something? Have you hung your harp on the willow tree? Have you suffered a loss or a defeat that has robbed you of your song? Do you find it impossible to praise the Living God? Has your mourning went on too long? When our mourning and weeping goes beyond what is natural we will find ourselves in trouble. Now, our hearts will be filled with something. If we have lost out song or our joy then our heart will be filled with some level of anger or bitterness or cynicism, perhaps all three.

The Apostle Paul and Silas shows us the way when we see them praising God in the midnight hour. They had been whipped and scourged and found themselves in stocks in the lower reaches of the dungeon. When they seemingly have nothing to praise God for they begins to sing His praises. And we see something very spectacular happen. The whole building shakes as the power of God falls upon that prison. The doors are supernaturally opened. What God done for Paul and Silas he can do for you. Will you praise Him today? Despite your circumstances will you praise Him today? If you do, you will see the doors of darkness open before you and you will be able to step out into His marvelous light.

You see brothers and sisters, we have been called not only to be a witness to the world but we also testify against principalities and powers. In the opening chapter of Job we see God boasting about His faithful servant, and right away the accuser of the brethren fires back that Job is only faithful because God has blessed him and protects him. The accuser tells God that if the circumstances were different Job would curse Him to His face. Right there brothers and sisters, can you see it? Can you see why it is so important to praise the Lord our God even in the depths of out trials and difficulties?

When we do that we shake the universe for we not only prove by our actions that no matter what, our God is worthy to be praised and we will praise Him. We also prove, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, that the enemy of our soul is a liar and that our love for God is unconditional. There is something really big playing out in your lives brothers and sisters even if you cannot see it or you think your life is insignificant, it is not. Join the hosts of heaven as a witness against the enemy this day and praise the Lord your God.

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The magnificence of God!

Posted by appolus on February 17, 2020

Some of us have had the great privilege of seeing the majesty and the glory of God’s creation in places like Niagara Falls or Yellowstone Park or the mighty peaks of Colorado. There is the breathtaking beauty of the Columbia river gorge and the mighty forests of the pacific northwest. Killers whales in their natural environment of the coast of British Columbia or Bald Eagles soaring over magnificent valleys. The Sierra Nevadas rising straight up like a glorious towering cathedral encapsulated in the dramatic Half Dome or its nearby cousin El Capitan. Four thousand feet above the valley floor and eight thousand feet above sea level, the magnificent monuments to the glory of God were first thrust up from the earth and then carved out by glaciers. Imagine four thousand feet of solid ice carving its way through solid granite inch by inch until all that is left is the grandeur and the glory of God. If the heavens declare the glory of God, and they do, so too does the architecture of our landscapes.

Now consider this brothers and sisters. You are more glorious than the stars in the heavens and the mighty mountains and raging rivers. When God saw His handiwork in the heavens and the earth He said that it was very good. Yet in you He breathed His very life and you became a living soul created in the image of God. Now when you came to Him you were like a piece of clay taken from the ground. You were without form and in your spirit you were void. You had a soul but the poison of sin had robbed you of a spirit that was alive, you were dead in your sin. And yet the Lord took that piece of clay and He prepared it. The Potter put you upon the wheel and by His very hands He is shaping you for His own good pleasure. You, saint, are His creation. He is shaping you and molding you for His glory. You are His El Capitan. He causes you to rise up in your spirit higher than the loftiest peaks in the world. You can soar above the eagles, in fact you can rise all the way up to heavens throne. Your role in all of this is simply to yield to that Master’s hand and trust Him. He knows what He is creating in you. He saw it before He began. Can you see it? Do not lose sight of what the Lord has done in you and what He is still doing. Remember, the Lord is faithful to complete that which He begun in you. You are His creation and you are being rightly shaped to fit perfectly into His plan. Take a moment and give glory to God and magnify Him in your heart today as you consider His handiwork.

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Continual prayer

Posted by appolus on February 17, 2020

1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Most of us have a concept of prayer that is all about talking. We start of by giving thanks, then we make our requests, we pray for family members and before we know it has become ritualistic and barren. Prayer should be much more like breathing. When was the last time you thought about breathing? You’re probably not even conscious of your breathing yet you do it continually and it sustains you and gives you life. Prayer is our relationship with God. They are one and the same. If we attempt to separate them then we will get lost. There are no formulas, no secret methods, prayer is being in the presence of God.

Prayer times and quiet times are good. For many this is our moments when we connect with God. In the morning and in the evening before we go to bed. Yet if we have neglected His presence all day, our prayer times will not be as effective. In our minds we must take God every-where we go, whispering to Him all through the day as we face the challenges, trials and temptations that come with life.

Begin to see God everywhere. Don’t simply walk out the door and leave Him behind to pick Him up again in the evening. Let the Lord invade every part of your day. You will be amazed at how this will change everything. You will not just be talking to Him in your prayer times and quiet times, He will become an integral part of everything that you do and think and say. Remember, He is the reality, the world we go out into every day is but the shadow, walk in the reality of God.

Each whisper, every God-ward thought, every word spoken, each moment of silence spent in His presence is like a musical note to the Lord. The Scriptures refer to the Lord as “He who sits above the circle of the earth.” And so He who sits above the circle of the earth sees each and every one of these musical notes from around the world from the Body of Christ rising up in a majestic symphony of love and worship and it is a sweet, sweet sound in His ears.

Wont you become part of that symphony today? Let your day be filled with thoughts of Him. Release whispers of love to add to the music of prayer. Simply whisper the name of Jesus all throughout the day. Remind Him of how much you love Him and thank Him continually for the day, no matter what kind of day that your having. Rediscover that bond of love and joy and peace that comes simply by being in His presence. When you do this brothers and sisters, your prayer life will change dramatically, but not only your prayer life, life itself.

For when we walk in continual prayer we begin to see the beauty of the Lord everywhere. If it rains, we see His beauty in the raindrops. If the sun shines then we see His beauty as the flowers turn themselves around to face the glory of the risen Son. If it is cloudy we can see his beauty break through the clouds in beams of light that remind us that despite the momentary darkness, He is not finished with us and that His light is ready to break through the darkness of our situations and this world. When we fly above the clouds we discover that there is a perpetual blue sky. In the same manner brothers and sisters there is a table set before you. Can you see it? Goodness is the meat to the hungry soul found in the Word of God and mercy is the living waters of life to the thirsty saint found in His presence. It is His promise that these shall follow you all the days of your life.

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