What a blessed winter we have had here in the Virginia area so far this year! I hear that iti s not the same for those of you that are in Europe but I pray the LORD is protecting you through the tough winter there! I praise the LORD for the new contacts that the LORD is continually bringing together here and look forward to the time we meet face to face again! I try my best to always send a letter out at least once a month and I pray you are blessed by them if you can find the time to read them in the busy world we live in!
I was reading about the Prophet Habakkuk and his message to the saints at that time and began to think about the saints in the times we live in! Habakkuk's message was that, just as the LORD raised up the Assyrian's to judge Israel, He would also soon raise up the Chaldean's (Babylonians-Iraq) to judge Judah. Who can help but wonder, if, He could also be raising up Islam and the heads that come along with it, to judge other nations including the USA at this time in history!
I know there may be at least a couple of muslims I have met in the last couple of years that also get this letter BUT don't let that go to your head because the nations that God raised up to do the judging were always judged for their disobedience afterwards. As the United States continues to lead the world as "An Example" of Christianity to the world, the image that shines from it is quickly fading. A couple of the leaders in the church I attend were talking about the ways of the youth in our culture today, and who could argue with them, as to how much the youth have changed in the last 20 years or so. When I first became a Christian, not long ago, these kind of things drove me crazy but now a few years later I understand that this is exactly how God said it would be as we approach His Second Coming.(Although I prefer the King James Version, I will use the amplified here to be more clear but feel free to compare it to the KJV)
2 Timothy 3:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
1BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]
2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid all] such people [turn away from them].
As we continue to move through "The Fig Tree Generation", these last day verses become easier and easier to see each day. In a time when even most churches have their own doctrines, regardless of what the Word of God gives us for "Sound Doctrine".
3For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
Sound doctrine? The above verse shows me that it is possible to be holding on soundly to wrong doctrine, and if that is the case, where do we go for correct sound doctrine according to the bible?
The New Testament Church began on "The Day of Pentecost" in Acts Chapter 2 when the cowardly disciples received the baptism in the Holy Ghost and began to deliver the Word of God the way Jesus knew they eventually would deliver it. There were about three thousand souls added to the church on that day of the New Testament Church!
Acts 2:41 Amplified Bible (AMP)
41Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.
But here is where it gets good! because the next verse tells us that there was "Doctrine" set on that very day. The day the apostle's started to baptize!
Acts 2:42 Amplified Bible (AMP)
42And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord's Supper] and prayers.
Let's look at that same verse in the KJV.
Acts 2:42 King James Version (KJV)
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Now we can go back about 50 days prior, just after Jesus resurrected and was teaching the disciples about the baptisms they would soon be performing in His Name.
Matthew 28:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
19Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [a]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Now all we have to do is check the doctrines of that one short chapter in the Book of Acts to see how the apostle's fulfilled the commandment Jesus gave them in Matthew 28:19! Of course then, we will have to decide whether to follow what the bible teaches or whether to continue to foster the errors we may hold.
I praise the LORD as I read about the humility of Apollos;
Acts 18:24-26 King James Version (KJV)
24And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
As we move through a time when almost EVERYONE is saying we need less of JESUS, let's be sure as we represent the church that EVERYONE knows we need MORE of JESUS! You know, Matthew himself was in that crowd on the Day of Pentecost (Acts1:13) when Peter began to baptize and there is no mention of him arguing with Peter about the way Peter fulfilled The Lord's commandment.
Colossians 2:2 King James Version (KJV)
2That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
How will the churches ever be in one accord if they divide the Word of God in two?
1 Peter 4:17 King James Version (KJV)
17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
I don't know about you but that's enough for me to want to tighten up a little more each day! You don't honestly think Peter and the rest of the apostle's messed the bible all up do you?
Have a blessed day!
And be sure to tell someone on the job about JESUS!