“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
To live you must die. To be born again you must allow your flesh to die.
To be alive in Christ you must be dead to your self.
“Through the use of her weapons of prayer and faith, she holds in this present moment the balance of power in world affairs…the Church is the mightiest force for civilization and enlightened social consciousness in the world today.”
Paul E. Billheimer
“The line between national decency and a decent into fear and hatred is, and always will be, razor thin. Any nation that assumes it is too righteous to fall into these same sins will risk making the mistakes that Germany did in the 1930s.
The Church should “continually ask the state whether its action can be justified.”
During the last nine months multiple global events have transpired that humanity has not seen the likes of since the 1930s.
In 1933 a man came into power in Germany by the name of Adolf Hitler. He used the disarray and desperation of the German people to capture the hearts and hopes of the nation so he could take complete control over the country.
In the late 1920s, Adolf Hitler spent years spreading his ideas and furthering his political position by using propaganda and force. He slowly wore down the powers of Germany and became chancellor, which was a position second only to the president of Germany.
He used a crises which was later revealed to be entirely orchestrated by himself and his Nazi party.
There was a large fire started that burned down the German parliament in February, 1933. Hitler blamed this on the Communists and stated that it was started in their attempt to take over Germany. He convinced the then prime minister of Germany, Paul Von Hindenburg to suspend sections of the German constitution. The “Reich President’s Edict for Protection of People and State” removed all civil liberties from the people of Germany. This included the rights of free speech, freedom to assemble, and free press, among others.
Hitler used the fear of communism as a way to remove the individual rights of each German citizen.
We are seeing the same tactics being used today. Since March of last year, the media has been fuelling fear in society with the narrative of a deadly virus.
Society has been left vulnerable while they have focused on their “safety.”
Instead of the guise of communism overtaking the government, the Canadian politicians, health officials and media (as well those all over the world) are using the guise of a “health crisis” to take away our Charter Rights and Freedoms.
They are using the fear of COVID-19 as a way to remove the individual rights of each Canadian citizen.
This is not the only similarity we are seeing in Canada to Hitler’s grand schemes. When Hitler took power he began propaganda in order to control the people of Germany.
CTV reported four weeks ago that the Canadian military has for sometime been operating a propaganda arm of the military. They have admitted to releasing false information to Canadians to see how they would react to false news.
This is Canada!
After nine months of this “pandemic” the truth of COVID-19 is coming to light. We have seen that the news media have been giving misleading numbers and that much of what the general public has been told cannot be trusted.
The last number of weeks, the Alberta government released some of the specifics behind the COVID numbers. What the data states is only 11 people in Alberta without pre-existing conditions have died from the virus. The rest of those who have passed had heart disease, diabetes, AIDS, Cancer etc.
They also released that 88% of all COVID deaths in Alberta were people with high blood pressure.
This places a great deal of doubt on the cause of these individuals passing. Did they die as a result of COVID- 19 or as a result of these underlying conditions?
The BC government admitted that all but two deaths relating to COVID-19 were in longterm care facilities. Again, this shows that the general population has very little to fear from this virus. This also shows that the government has not done an adequate job of protecting the vulnerable in these facilities. It is strange we do not hear any ideas or plan to better protect those in long term care facilities. This along with Bill C-7 shows that the Canadian government cares little for the elderly and is not concerned with the amount of deaths we are seeing in the older age bracket.
They would rather piggy-back off these tragic deaths to gain control of the general population. They have segregated this community, isolated them from their loved ones and now they are dying at an exacerbated rate.
The data regarding all of Canada shows that less than 200 people have died outside of longterm care facilities. This shows that the majority of COVID-19 deaths are attributed to the very elderly and infirm.
The CDC in the United States just released new data stating that six per cent of deaths recorded passed solely from COVID-19. The other 94 per cent died with the COVID- 19 virus strain in their systems and had two to six other serious illnesses contributing to their deaths. Most were at advanced age (74 and up) and others died of suicide, stabbing, head trauma etc but were certificated as having the COVID-19 virus in their systems postmortem.
This data shows that the government’s reaction to COVID-19 is unwarranted.
Furthermore, there have been reports of false tests, and people who were never even tested getting positive results. These reports have also become more and more rampant.
The test used to detect COVID-19, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test has been proven to be inadequate to detect COVID cases. The inventor of the test himself, Kary Mullis said it was never meant to be used to diagnose.
He stated , “PCR tests cannot detect free infectious viruses at all,”
The fact that COVID-19 has yet to be isolated in a lab makes it even more concerning that most of the world is using PCR tests to verify COVID.
The PCR test picks up everything from the common cold to the flu which is another reason we have seen a spike in COVID cases but an all time low in flu cases this time of year.
The measures of mask wearing have also been debunked by a large body of reputable scientists.
The scientific evidence says that the wearing non-surgical cloth masks makes you 13-times more likely to get sick because you are breathing in your own toxins.
The World Health Organization even stated that “masks carry uncertainties and critical risk including risk of self-contamination.”
To those who are vulnerable, mask wearing is even more dangerous as they have a higher chance of infection.
For most people they think wearing a mask in the stores is no big deal. However, in Nazi Germany, Hitler made a certain population wear a yellow star on their arms.
Do you imagine anyone being forced to wear that star said, “No big deal it is just a piece of fabric.”?
If you know your history you know why they had to where that star. Hitler had a plan and it included step by step manipulation and control. From a small scale, to a greater and greater scale.
Once the general population was used to seeing the yellow stars he moved those same people who wore the stars into ghettos. He cut them off from the rest of society. After that he moved them into death camps.
We hear this as history but we are seeing the beginning of the same actions being done here in Canada. Once the general masses are compliant with wearing masks the governments will push further. Restrict every citizens freedom even further. The masks are just a starting point. Once people have accepted mandatory mask restrictions without even a shrug the government will push the envelope even further by implementing more restrictive and evasive measures upon society.
We have heard in the news there will be a vaccine ready in the next few months. Science tells us it takes 7 to 10 years to safely develop and produce a vaccine. Nine months is not close to seven years.
(I won’t go into all the details here about the how and why this vaccine is being released so early.
There are a couple logical conclusions to why this may be. Feel free to send us an email regarding this as well as to request the vast amount of research I am referring to in this message. I have included relevant links at the bottom of the essay.)
Why do we need a vaccine if the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.8 percent?
The details surrounding the roll out of this vaccine gets even more concerning for the general public.
I do not share these details lightly.I am writing this after nine months of study and prayer and with a deep conviction. I am writing to Christ’s Church first and foremost and secondly to anyone with logical thinking who are seeking truth in these days.
I feel a deep conviction to shed light upon what is evident to me and many others who have had their eyes opened to the reality of what has been set before us.
The reports that are being released is that, those who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine will be cut off from society, not unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany.
For those who refuse this potential dangerous vaccine the threat is that we will not be able to work, or shop. That we will not be free to do much of anything involving people. Travel, socialize, take our kids to the zoo or museum, etc.
If these plans go through without the public’s refusal and condemnation of these dehumanizing policies, the results will be devastating.
I am not saying these things will happen. I am saying the writing is on the wall and judging by history it is not looking good.
No government who has removed the people’s basic freedoms has ever willingly given them back. The various arms of Government in Canada and other world powers said we would be shut down for three weeks. It’s been nine months and the Canadian governments have just rolled out more restrictions.
There is a very good chance that we will be facing some hard times.
The current events get even more concerning. As we saw in the news a few weeks ago, the city of Calgary is partial defunding the local police. This trend of defunding is happening all over the world.
Most of us have heard in the news two weeks ago about the federal government’s plan for the great “reset.”This plan is being supported and coordinated by multiple global players.
Everything is pointing to the same conclusion.
Some really sinister plans are unfolding. They have been conducted in sequence and in order to have the least amount of resistance from the general public.
The governments of the world using the politicizing of the BLM movement are posing to continue the defunding of the police. As a replacement they will bring in the military to enforce these new measures of control and seizure.
The measures have already begun as many provincial governments have announced that they will be using the military to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
There were similar shifts of militarization in 1930s Germany with Hitler’s storm troopers, the Germany military and the Gestapo.
What the worry here in Canada is and what many people in government have alluded to is that after a large portion of us have been cut off from society the next plan is to move those who refuse the vaccine into camps.
Seize all their property and move them into camps just like Hitler did to the Jews during his dictatorship.
This is where things are heading if something does not change. We cannot know the future with absolute certainty, however, these or similar things are may happen if something does not interrupt the current trends.
Our rights and freedoms are being chipped away and the majority of our society is going along with it.
Now many provincial governments have effectively canceled Christmas. What is the best way to control the population? To separated them from their support systems: their loved ones and friends, to isolate people and demoralize them so they are reliant on the government and not one another. Christmas is the one time each year that everything is closed and families get together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and connect with family.
This is a huge strategic step in the overall plan.
History shows us that when governments begin taking away their citizens rights and freedoms there is only a small window in which the people can peacefully assemble, refuse tyranny and keep the government accountable. Once the propaganda and early restrictions are imposed and the people go along with it, the government gains a foothold which historically is not released until a full on revolt or civil war is started.
This is why it is imperative that we see the signs of the times and take advantage of this small window of opportunity that is quickly closing.
How do we as the Church react?
What do we choose to do?
How is the Church to conduct her self with this present state of affairs?
I have been seeking the Holy Spirit about this for many months!
What is the role of the church regarding the COVID-19 problem?
This week I felt a great deal of clarity, peace and also a release to start sharing.
I think about the Second World War and how most of the Church in Germany accepted Hitler. How many who did disagree didn’t speak up because of fear.
I heard a story of a church which was near the train tracks where cars of Jewish people were being transported to the concentration camps.
The people in the church would hear the cries of those who were suffering in the box cars and they would sing louder to drown out the Jewish peoples screams.
We cannot sing louder when the cries of injustice start to scream.
“To delay or fail to make decisions may be more sinful than to make wrong decisions out of faith and love.”
We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend these things are not happening.
This is just the beginning. Things will get worse before they get better.
We need to be prepared as a Church!
“If we want to be Christians, we must have some share in Christ’s large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom when the moment of danger comes. . . mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behaviour.”
What the Holy Spirt has said to me is we need to get in front of this.
How do we do that?
First we cannot give into fear. Despite how dark things seems to be, we have no reason to fear.
“The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” -1 John 4:4
We have no reason to fear.
Satan has his strategies and he will do anything he can to implement them but he is a defeated enemy.
He has lies and deceit.
Jesus is the truth and the light and all the enemies lies will one day be exposed.
We know the end of the story. Jesus wins! He returns in bodily form just as He left.
Jesus has greater plans and strategies than those used by Satan and Jesus wants to use His Church for His kingdom plans.
We who are part of the Church need to ask Him how we are to walk out His kingdom plans in our lives regarding world affairs and then be faithful to His call and know the power of heaven is behind you.
Let us remember that Satan is behind these schemes. We cannot afford to make this about the people around us.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.“- Ephesians 6:12
These ideologies go beyond one person!
Hitler himself was influenced by Charles Darwin and Charles Darwin was influenced by his grandfather Erasmus Darwin who along with other leaders of society signed the humanist manifesto. The purpose being, to get God out of every avenue of society.
After the Second World War, the same scientists who created the gas chambers went on to use some of the same compounds and chemicals to develop the morning after pill. Margret Sanger who created Planned Parenthood was greatly influenced by Adolf Hitler and she saw abortion as a way to eradicate the “lesser races”.
This selfishness, evil, self-worship and desire to control others is the essence of the first sin which was the attempt to be like God.
All of this is from the evil one. We fight against the lies and the false ideologies of this world, not against people.
I hate wearing the mask. Even more so, because it is a tool used to control and manipulate the masses.
Jesus loves that person. He died for that person!
We need to remember that.
We need to love those around us.
The governments of the world are manipulating people. Well intentioned people are following these “restrictions” thinking they are helping “flatten the curve” that they are saving lives, that they are not spreading COVID-19 to others. These people’s efforts and care for those around them are being used to enslave themselves and others. Those who have died “labeled” COVID-19 deaths have been used to further this underlying agenda.
I love those around me. I am not going to yell or argue with someone working in a store who is just trying to do their job by asking me to put a mask on. I will tell them politely that I am mask exempt. If that is not accepted I will quietly leave. However, I will not compromise my convictions nor my health to appease people. I will not contribute to the degradation of society by wearing a mask.
We have to tell others the truth out of love and not out of anger about the ideologies that they have been fed.
Then what do we do?
These huge global movements seem so overwhelming.
First we need to be informed. Maybe you have never heard the facts I have been sharing. Maybe it is all new to you.
Remember, all the information in the world will do you no good if you do not go to Christ to show you the truth behind the data.
How can we watch the news and not engage?
We need to engage with Christ!
Not engage with human reasoning but engage with the reasoning of the Holy Spirit.
We need to pray for our eyes to be opened to the enemy’s plans.
We need to ask the Father for discernment.
Then we need to speak up.
“First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out- Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”
How do we use the information that we have gathered?
We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada. Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Religion, of conscience, of belief. All of which are being trampled upon under the guise of health and safety.
The facts are clear. What the public health officials are telling us are not scientifically verifiable, nor do they represent the consensus of the health experts at large.
The public health officials are not the experts. The experts disagree with public health.
The public health officials get their pay cheques from the government, which are influenced by the mass media. It’s not to their advantage to listen to the proper science or to the experts. They actually are guilty of suppressing the truth.
It is reasonable to state our rights and freedoms just like Paul stated his roman citizenship. It’s within our rights to civilly disobey unjust and amoral rules and regulations. The restrictions are not laws and to subvert our rights and freedoms they need ample cause. It’s not a health emergency just because they stand up and say it is. They need proof. Which they have yet to provide. Nothing has been passed in the legislature or the parliament. We have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to stand upon for this very reason. We must stand upon them in times of wayward government regulations and restrictions. What the governments of Canada is doing is illegal and against our rights as Canadian citizens.
We need to ask the Holy Spirit where, and when we are to speak up and share the truth of what is going on in society. We need to ask the Holy Spirit where to take our stand.
“Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principals, his conscience, his freedoms, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith … and in exclusive allegiance to God…where are these people?”
The Church throughout the history of the world have been the leaders in every natural disaster, every social plight, speaking up regarding every corruption of society and injustice. The Church has lead all mankind forward by the guidance of Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
Matthew 5:14 says “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
We have the truth that the world needs. Jesus Christ is not surprised by what is going on and we don’t need to be either.
We are not behind the times. We as the Church have a prophetic voice to the nations and to the world.
Whether society wants to admit it or not, no where else will they find the answers they seek.
“The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is going to live.”
We as the Church cannot afford to sit in the shadows waiting for this “COVID Crisis” to pass. We need to rise up.
You see in scripture, the prophets rose up in the darkest of days prophetically proclaiming the coming days. Prophetical speaking about the deeper realities that they were facing in society.
They were shunned and despised, chased down and murdered. However, the Spirit of God could not be quenched. And it will not be quenched now. The Spirit of God burns on through His Church.
We are seeing a new season of prophecy unfolding in these trying times.
We saw an increase of miracles and healing the last decade. The increase of the miraculous will not stop. Along side the growing momentum of the miraculous, we are now seeing the spirit of prophecy increasing. It will continue to increase until Christ returns.
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up and proclaimed this prophecy in Acts 2:16-21
“No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
We have been living in the end-times since Christ ascended into heaven. This passage expresses the increase of the Spirit’s activity as the end of the age draws to a close and all history will be rolled back like a scroll.
Satan is pushing his agenda and so the Holy Spirit pushes back with an increase of power, influence and truth.
We see the lies that are inundating our society. The Holy Spirit is proactively activating Christ’s Church with the Spirit of Prophecy. We see deeper words being spoken, we see spot-on accuracy with prophetic words increasing. We see servants of Christ cutting through the lies with words of truth.
Discernment will increase with the remnant that is the true Church. They will see with spiritual eyes to cut through the lies like a hot knife through butter. Their words will penetrate hearts and will open the eyes of those who are spiritually blind who will come to know Jesus as a result.
With a prophetic voice the Church will be given the wisdom and discernment to apply the gospel to what is going on in this nation and around the world.
We will have the prophetic insight on how to be proactive not reactive.
The world sees what they are being told to see/ Through the Holy Spirit we can see the unknown realm of the Spiritual battles that are going on behind the scenes.
2 Kings 6:15-18 conveys the reality of open eyes to spiritual realities. When the city of Dothan was surrounded by enemy forces:
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
Jesus, open our eyes to see the truth behind the curtain. Take the scales off our eyes to see the spiritual realities around us. Give us discernment, wisdom and piercing truth.
I proclaim every eye and ear be opened in your Global Church to be in complete unity with the work you wish to accomplish through us. In Jesus name!
I do not know how this all will end but I know how to read the signs of the times through discernment given by the Holy Spirit.
I do not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future.
I cannot accomplish anything on my own. The Church was never designed to function with a lone wolf mentality.
We cannot do this alone nor are we suppose to.
We must be united!
I can seek Christ on my knees and He will guide me. However, if the Church seeks Him on their knees together the nations will tremble and yield to the rushing wind of the Spirit’s power. All heaven will be moved by a Church united and deployed against the enemy of our souls and his demonic ideologies.
Matthew 10:34 says,”Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”
The Church formed in fire is the church that stands through the storm.
We have yet to be tested! Not tested in the ways scripture indicates we will be.
Hebrew 10:25: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
The Bible was not written to a single person but always to the Church as a whole. We must seek Christ together!
“The Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.”(Matthew 11:12)
The number one thing we must do is seek Jesus on our knees. More then reading, more then researching, more than talking. We must be face down before the Lord in prayer. Seeking the Lord as a community.
We don’t have all the answers but He does!
History repeats it self. Nations, kingdoms, governments go to ruin and fall. Christ remains the same!
Jesus is the same, Yesterday, today and forever.
Let us remember that and ask Him for guidance as we go forward in the midst of the COVID-19 propaganda, repression and hate crimes which we see being afflicted upon society.
If you are reading this and do not have an intimate, functional relationship with Jesus Christ, if your heart was stirred by the spiritual truths that we have been expressing in this paper, if you long to know what this Christian life is all about, then you need to come into relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves you and has a purpose for your life!
Know that Jesus came as God to earth in the form and appearance of man. Fully God and fully man. He lived in perfect submission to the Father and then bled and died to break the power of sin and death. He died to free you, He died to bring you into right relationship with God. He rose again, vanquishing the power of death forever. And He is coming again! You can know Him and be free and be filled with the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was filled with. I invite you to enter into your true identity, your true purpose and be united with God through relationship with Jesus Christ!
Blessings in the name of the all powerful One, Jesus Christ!
“…whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
“But this is not the way of life that Christ has unfolded within you. If you have really experienced the Anointed One, and heard his truth, it will be seen in your life; for we know that the ultimate reality is embodied in Jesus!
And he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self – life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you.And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.”
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus the majority of the churches in North America have closed their doors. Some are doing livestreams. Others have resigned to sending emails and prayer chains.
What does this means for the state of the global Church? Is this a massive blow to the Gospel, to evangelism, to the Church’s relevance in our society?
We need to keep praying for our world and for our communities and prepare for the end of this.
Historically, after war, famine and plague there has been massive revivals.
We are believing for revival after the end results of COVID-19. People will be looking for hope.
The Church must be prepared. We must be in prayer and seeking the Lord.
The spiritual climate as of late has been dark. We have seen an increase of sickness and hardships and now a pandemic that has left Canada in a state of disparity, worry, fear and distrust. You can see it in the eyes of those you pass at the grocery store as people in a panic grab everything they can get their hands on. Selfishness rules the day as people worry about number one and act out in irrational fear.
Jesus did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity but a spirit of power, love and of self control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
We cannot afford to buy into the wisdom of the world. We must cling to the wisdom of God which is a wisdom birthed by faith and by the Holy Spirit.
The Church has always risen to the opportunity to love in every terrible situation. In every war, in every natural disaster and in every plague. By being the hands and feet of Christ we cancel the assignments of the enemy. The darkness around us is his doing and he wishes to cripple the Church for the coming revival. I hear of 2020 being a “bad year.” People are resigning 2020 as some sort of write-off due to the present situation. What the Holy Spirit said to me at the beginning of the year and what He is still saying is that 2020 will be a year of harvest. He has told me this prior to this health crisis and He has not changed His mind. What the Holy Spirit has proclaimed will not be superseded by the works of the enemy. However, we must stand firm with the light that is within us.
Last week was Saint Patrick’s day. His life story is very timely in our present state. He was a man radically devoted to being Christ’s light in the darkness. He was a missionary in a society devoted to pagan religion which practised witchcraft and human sacrifices.
I am reminded of when the King of Ireland proclaimed no fire to be lit in all of Ireland in celebration of a Druid holiday.
Saint Patrick defied this order and lit a large fire on the highest hill. It burned bright in the darkness.
When he was brought before the King and was asked why he would defy the order, he preached the Gospel. He stated that Jesus is the light in the dark night. That His flame comes and extinguishes the darkness in our hearts. He expressed the truth of Jesus being the light of the world!
St. Patrick was bold in the darkness. He almost single handily turned the hearts and minds of the people of Ireland to Christ. One man or women with the Holy Spirit can do more then a hundred men and women without Him.
The last two weeks my family and I have been going through struggles not directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been up late every night and we are weary. As I lamented to Jesus about my weariness and the way things don’t seem to be going right for us, He spoke to me.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
This is a call not to be inactive but to trust Jesus with what you cannot control. I cannot micromanage all my circumstances–sickness, pestilence, natural disaster, other people’s actions. Much of this is out of our control. We can only do what we can do. In every actions we need to have faith that the Holy Spirit will use us. With what is out of our control we need to have faith that Jesus will see us through.
If we look at the verses that precede verse 14:
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” (Exodus 14:13)
How many times did Jesus say “Fear not”?
This is a command of peace. Stand firm in your troubles. Stand firm at this time of disease and unrest.
What does standing firm look like?
Doing what the Church has always done. Sharing Jesus with everyone you meet.
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, drive out demons. Give as freely as you have received.” (Matthew 10:8)
Leprosy was considered a highly contagious disease in Jesus day. Yet Jesus and His disciples didn’t hesitate to lay hands upon the leper to bring healing. This must be our same attitude facing those ill with COVID-19. Take precautions if need be, like wearing a proper face mask and gloves but do not ignore the need. Jesus has called us to a time like this.
We hear a great deal about using wisdom. Wisdom and fear are miles apart. Fear and faith are total opposites. We serve a mighty God who does not compromise His commands or love on the back of a virus. His wisdom is the wisdom of love not of fear.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were condemned to be thrown into the fire as a result of obeying God rather than men, they said: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”( Daniel 3:16-18)
They were un-afraid of death for they knew they were doing the will of God. They had faith that they would be delivered. Even more they had faith that they were held by God even in death. Their faith went beyond safety and went into eternity.
That is the hope that believers in Christ are to hold.
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16:25)
“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past.
And I trust that my life will bring honour to Christ, whether I live or die.
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ.
So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.
But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” (Philippians 1:20-24)
Our lives are gifted to us to be used by God. To love Christ, to serve Christ. When we spend our lives in the service of the King there is no throwing away your life. There is no “saving your life” if we are not willing to do the things Jesus has commanded us to do.
Foolishness would be putting yourself in harms way for no purpose or reason. The Gospel is always a worthwhile reason. Every action, every twist and turn of our lives should be focused on the Gospel.
Wisdom says take the precautions you can without subverting evangelism, without subverting your call, your purpose or the Gospel. Trusting the Holy Spirit is protecting you and will protect you until the end. It is trusting that when your life does end, Christ will keep you into eternity.
Above all “Fear not for God is with you.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Don’t allow precaution to turn to fear. Do not allow this virus to make you fearful of people. People need Jesus and many are realizing their need for Him for the very first time. Those around you need the peace you carry.
The Holy Spirit’s power is unaffected by COVID-19 and He lives within you.
His power still wants to flow forth from you, touching the lives of those who desperately need Jesus.
Do you need to lay hands on people? No, most people would not be receptive to that at this time. The Holy Spirit moves and touch’s others at the moment you open your mouth to pray. His peace will rush over all you speak to in Jesus name.
You can bring food to those shut in due to this virus. You can help the more vulnerable in society by running errands for them. There are lineups for the banks, for the grocery stores, everywhere. You are a light of hope. While you stand there waiting. Smile and make conversation. People need to see us unafraid and joyful. We need to share where our joy comes from. Our joy comes from the Lord. There is so much we can accomplish for Christ if we walk forward and do not allow fear to govern our lives.
The enemy would use fear, confusion, and this plague to see the Church grow stale.
Jesus would have us rise to the occasion.
This is the moment when the first sparks of the coming revival are lit.
We are to be those sparks.
We are the light of the world, a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14)
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Choose to be the light in the darkness.
Choose to stand up to fear.
Let your faith increase.
Trust in God. Not in man.
We are here at this junction of history for a reason and a purpose. You were created and formed for Christ’s kingdom strategy at this time. Through this crisis, you are the hands and feet of Christ.
Believe that what I did on the cross really took away your sin?
Well, yeah God. I do!
Then why do you keep identifying with your sin, rather than identifying as being in Christ?
You can’t identify as being in Me and being a sinner. You see my child, when I died on the cross, I took your sin.
My blood paid for your freedom.
I have given you everything.
It is all available to you.
So, why my child, do you keep looking to your sin, which I took instead of looking to me?
Well, I believe you took away my sin God, BUT I’m human. I’m not perfect, I still get angry and hold bitterness and unforgiveness, I’m lazy and give into an attitude a lot of the time and even lash out once and a while.
God, you see, I still sin.
So maybe I’m not a sinner but I still sin.
You see me. You know. I will never measure up to your standard God.
I LOVE YOU!
I LOVE YOU!
I LOVE YOU!
Because of My death, My resurrection and My ascension. I now sit here at the right hand of the Father. My blood has been put on the mercy seat so that everything in Heaven and Earth would be accessible to YOU!
This is your inheritance.
I paid for your freedom.
Why do you insist on taking your old sinful nature and habits and bringing them into this new life I have given you?
Let them die and be in Christ.
So, you can truly live in the freedom I have paid a high price to give to you.
“In a short time God began to manifest His power and soon the building could not contain the people. Now the meetings continue all day and into the night and the fire is kindling all over the city and surrounding towns. Proud, well-dressed preachers come in to “investigate.” Soon their high looks are replaced with wonder, then conviction comes, and very often you will find them in a short time wallowing on the dirty floor, asking God to forgive them and make them as little children.”
– William J.Seymour
“On the day of Pentecostall the believers were meeting together in one place.Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.“
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”- Matthew 16:13-28
Whom did Jesus pick to be His disciples? Did He walk over to the local synagogue and pick the students of the law? Did He go and pick the top students of the class?
No. He picked those who couldn’t cut it at rabbinical school. He went to those who held the lowest stations of life! He chose those who had been rejected by the religious elite. Jesus called society’s rejects, the lowest of the low. Tax collectors and fishermen. We read throughout the Gospel that they mostly got things wrong rather than right. James and John were nicknamed the “sons of thunder” for their explosive anger. One of the suggestions they gave Jesus was to fry an entire city. However, they were transformed by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. John went from wanting to call down fire from heaven and being a “son of thunder” to the “apostle of love.” In the Gospels, we see the disciples were always ten steps behind, thick headed, slow and spiritually poor. They did not possess anything good, which is why Jesus chose them. Minds on the World Not on God
The Disciples thoughts were completely centred on the way of the world. Jesus was a stumbling block for the Jews, because the Jewish man thought heavenly power was the same as earthly power. The Messiah was to be a conquering king, who would free them from the Romans. “Who do people say I am?” In other words, Jesus is asking, “Who do people want me to be?” The disciples were afraid to express their hope for freedom, so they hesitated. They likened Jesus to other spiritual leaders who were stuck in slavery to other nations. One yelled out “Jeremiah,” a couple others joined in, “Elijah or one of the prophets.” Another shouted John the Baptist, Jesus’ bold cousin who spoke out against those who had worldly power. But Jesus did not fit that shoe. Jesus pressed His disciples to tell him what they really thought! “Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16) Peter the most aggressive of the bunch, the one who would be quick to lash out with a sword when he felt the time for a violent revolt was at hand, spoke out on the hope they all had. His words were true, given to him by God, but as we will see, his concept of the messiah and what He was to accomplish was much different than who Jesus was and what His ultimate goal was. Peter thought he was proclaiming an earthly king, a messiah who would take down their Roman oppressors. He didn’t foresee a king who would free them from sin, death and bondage. That was not part of his worldview. Power and Authority? When it came to power and authority, the disciples were lost.
In Mark 9 they asked one another while walking down a dusty road,“Who is the greatest?”
Who is the least? Where did everyone fit in the kingdom Jesus was to have?
These are the arguments they had. They were so concerned with earthly power and authority. They fought like children on a playground. “I am the greatest,” one said to the other. “no I am the greatest,” another said. They lusted after earthly power and authority. But, Jesus was to give them real power. Power over this world, not of this world. Spiritual, forever power. Verse 19 reads: “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” They were walking with power, because they walked with Jesus. The Holy Spirit was with them through the physical presence of Jesus. There was power when relationship happened. Matthew 10:1 illustrates shows this: “Jesus called the twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness” Jesus gave them authority and a measure of power as He walked beside them on this earth. It is scary they had any power considering what shape they were in. Though limited in power, their relationship with the Holy Spirit came only through their relationship with Jesus. They had no indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This why Jesus said in John 16:7: ” But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. “ In order for all truth and power to be in them and flow through them, Jesus had to die and come back to life, beating the power of sin and death. To bring all human-kind back to relationship with their Poppa. There could be no real freedom or power without this intimate relationship. Orphans Turned to Sons Before Jesus fulfilled His purpose on earth, the disciples argued with one another because they didn’t know who they were. Jesus knew they were arguing like this because they were orphans. When they received the Holy Spirit, they were returned to the image that God originally formed man to be. They became sons. When you’re a son you won’t argue about who is the greatest. When you’re no longer an orphan that doesn’t matter anymore. When you’re a son you don’t have to compete. Even though Peter made the statement of Christ’s lordship as an orphan (verse 16), God was speaking truth through Peters lips. Which is why Jesus said in verse 17 and 18: “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
Not the rock as in Peter but upon the proclamation that Jesus is Lord and God. Jesus Christ is the revelation that the Church needs to be build upon. The Church was not built upon Peter, but upon the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. Any merit Peter had as a man was installed in him by Jesus Christ. We see that Peter never even realized what he was proclaiming, as he turns around and shows his true colours only a couple verses later. Verses 21-23 reads: “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Peter is speaking out of ignorance because he is still speaking with an orphan spirit. He has not yet received the Holy Spirit. Peter is not a son. He is still an orphan. Jesus makes this abundantly clear! Jesus says,“get away from me Satan!” because Peter is expressing statements from the enemy’s camp, not from God’s. This orphan spirit, this twisted demonic spirit still had influence over Peter. This demonic devil-like thinking was on earth, because there were no sons. The revelation of sonship had not yet come. When the revelation of sonship hits your heart, it changes your attitude. It changes your heart. It changes everything. Jesus Speaks Plainly to Us We see that Peter could proclaim the truth of God in one breath but in another, when Jesus told them plainly the plan of God and His kingdom, Peter wanted none of it. Verse 21 says – “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.” Because of the statement Peter original proclaimed, Jesus began speaking plainly to them. After the disciples came to the understanding that Jesus was Lord, Jesus built upon this knowledge with the truth of His purpose. When we come to the place where we accept Jesus as Lord, when we proclaim “Jesus you are Lord and King,” when we have our initial salvation experience, Jesus begins to speak plainly to us. We need to go beyond mere words. When the truth of “GOD SPEAKING plainly to us” hits our reality, we need to take Him at His Word. His reality has to become our reality. When the plain truth was spoken to Peter, because the Spirit of God was not in him, the demonic came out. He wanted Jesus to be who he thought he should be. He wanted an earthly king, not the God of the universe but a small “g” God that the world said he should have been. Peter said the true words, that Jesus is God, but he also turned around and refuted God. He basically told God He was wrong! That is not being obedient. That is not trusting and that is not submitting. Peter did not actually believe the words he spoke. Peter’s reality was the reality of the world and at that point of his life he was not ready for the kingdom of God to live inside of him and become his reality. Children of God vs Children of Darkness When the truth of God is spoken to us—when the Holy Spirit presents His reality—will we either manifest the demonic or have Jesus become our life. Those are our only two choices! For a house divided cannot stand. We cannot merely incorporate Jesus into our lives. It is all or none. He is either all of our life or He is not Lord of our lives at all. This is the scary truth of this passage. The Holy Spirit either lives fully in us or we are full of the demonic! You cannot incorporate Jesus into your life to give you a better day. Jesus didn’t die to simply meet your needs. He died to make you like Him! To make you an “imitator of God dear children and walk in love.” (EPH 5:1) Jesus paid a price not to just get you to heaven, but to make us like Him—to become children of God. What does that look like? Jesus has the answer in verses 24-28: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.” We must give up our own way—the way that seems right to a man—and accept Gods way. The truth of Jesus, the truth of the gospel. We must not only accept that Jesus is God. We must accept what He has done for us, and who He is calling us to be: sons and daughters of the King. We must accept the Holy Spirit’s refining work inside of us to make us into the image of Christ. We must give up our lives, our preconceived ideas, our faulty concepts of who Jesus was and allow Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal who He is! Jesus is alive, not dead. We are His sons and daughters, not orphans. We cannot allow the spirit of the world and the ideas and concepts of the world, influence how we walk, talk and live. We need to stop hanging onto the trappings and worldly pleasures of this life and simply hang on to Him who has called us by name. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16:25) Conclusion Once Peter embraced the resurrected Lord, when Jesus breathed upon him and the other disciples, they all gave up the lives they once lived.
Peter’s foolish zeal faded away. His confusion about who he was left Him. His confidence was no longer misplaced. He lived not as an orphan but a son of God. He soon experienced what true power and authority was through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His whole life was consumed by the Spirit of God. We have this same Spirit living in us. We can walk in the same confidence and assurance of son-ship. We are not left as orphans; we are the children of the living God. We don’t need to be afraid of this world or hold fast to any of its securities. We can hold on to Jesus Christ and Him alone.
We are filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, able to walk in full power and authority.
We just need to give up and give in to who Christ has made us to be.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals, whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours…our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feelings for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner- no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. – C.S. Lewis
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13:
In the last post I spoke about the reality of life and death, that life is eternal and unending, that life has a beginning but no end, that the end of physical life is just the continuation into eternal life.
Because of this truth we know that we will meet our loved ones who have accepted Christ again,that they are included in the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews. They are safe with Christ, without pain and in everlasting peace.
Because of this hope as believers our duty and desire is to live full and extraordinary lives,trusting God and walking out the calling He has placed before us and upon us.
A large part of our calling is to impact our world for Christ, to influence this fallen world with the Gospel of Jesus, to offer the free gift of true life that is found in Christ Jesus.
I talked about the true life that is found through Jesus. However the majority of the world does not hold to this truth.
The World’s Perspective
The World, much like the Sadducees, cannot accept the truth of the resurrection nor understand the full scope of the life they have been given. The World does not see the truth because people are blind to it.
People only see the external reality which is present in the physical realm. To unbelievers, when the body is no longer functioning, the person is dead.
This is a limited view when we have the knowledge of all reality that is through Jesus Christ. What seems to be is not always the case. A lot more is going on behind the scenes.
Just because one doesn’t see the spiritual realm doesn’t mean that it does not exist. In fact the unseen realm is more real than the seen, in the sense that it is eternal. The natural world had a beginning and it will have an end.
Our senses are in tune with physical realities but often we miss the deep truths of the eternal reality. We look at the natural and fail to see the spiritual. This is like seeing the one you love from a great distance away. You can recognize a silhouette and the figure of the familiar but you do not yet behold their full beauty and radiance until they stand before you.
Life can be pleasant for those who are only present to the fleshly realm but as they are confronted with physical death their limited sight and perception fail and they are unable to recognize the deeper truth of what life was designed to fulfill.
They then cannot find any peace, hope or contentment after they lose a loved one. For them it is a finite and permanent loss. They have no revelation of continued life after death. They have no reassurance that they will ever see those whom they have lost.
This can be a spiraling hole of depression and grief that many do not escape. Over the years I have wondered how people with no hope can continue on.
How can a mother who has lost her daughter find joy in the turmoil and loss?
How can a wife who has lost her husband get up every morning in the house they bought together, surrounded by the life they have built together and keep going?
I know some do not ever fully live again. The loss is to great and they crumble under the pressure. Some grow depressed and isolate themselves; many try to cover the pain with drugs and alcohol.
Some go into a deep denial and pretend that the person they lost never existed.You see this with some parents who have lost a young child, as they will remove every piece of evidence of their child’s existence and never speak of them. Or they do the opposite and pretend the child is still with them, keeping every detail of their child’s life the same, keeping their room like a museum and living as if their child is still in the physical world, cutting off other relationships in the process, never dealing with their grief.
Holy Spirit Calling
You will hear many things from those who are desperate to deal with the death of a loved one.
“They are an angel now, looking down on me.” “They live on in my heart.” “I know that their spirit is with me.”
These things are said, not only as an effort to find comfort but as a heart cry for more. As we discussed in the last post, life is not meant to end! It was created at the beginning and is to go on for eternity.
God made each person with a soul and spirit that is designed to be in everlasting relationship with Him.
When people say these things as quoted above, their souls are crying out for the truth that has been placed deep within them. What they are saying is not true, but the hearts behind those words are calling out for the truth!
All truth and hope is found through Jesus Christ!
Isaiah 40:6-8 says, “A voice said, “Shout!”
I asked, “What should I shout?”
“Shout that people are like the grass.
Their beauty fades as quickly
as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
This is a prophesy of eternal life, of the restoration of all life, through Jesus Christ. Though sin and death came into the world and flesh dies, “The word of our God Stands forever.”
Jesus Christ is the Living Word, so through Him there is life forever.
As 1 Peter 1:23 states: “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.”
The old view of death is what the World still holds as true. However, their hearts cry out for the eternal life that is found in Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is already working in their hearts, calling them to Jesus, calling sorrowing people to His healing hands, calling them to restoration and to eternal life, calling them from death to life!
Jesus spoke of this calling in John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
Our Job: What We Can Do
God has placed us here to minister to those around us. Though it seems like a daunting task, for what can we do or say to someone who has lost those they love so dearly? Jesus stated in John 12:32:“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.“
The Holy Spirit is already present in grief and Jesus is drawing everyone to Himself. On our own we can do nothing to help those hurting, but through Christ all things are possible.
The truth is, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, and so we bring the presence of Jesus with us as we are with those hurting.
Matthew 5:13-15:“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Jesus told us we are the salt of the earth. We bring His flavour everywhere we go.
The most important thing we can do is be present with those hurting. To be there physically beside them in their hurt. To fill in the gap between death and life. For when we are physically present we bring the presence of the Holy Spirit, who brings life.
Jesus said we are the light of the world, This means when we are physically present in the darkness of death, we are actually bringing the light of Christ into the darkness.
If you have ever been to a funeral with those who do not hold to the truth of life offered through Jesus Christ, you know what I am talking about. The darkness and despair feels heavy and the air feels think and humid making it hard to breath. It as if the spirit of death penetrates the very air in the place.
As a believer you bring the light of Christ and the fresh breath of life of the Spirit.
John 7:37- 38: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
We have rivers of living water flowing out of our hearts! We must let them gush forward like a spring. Water grows stale unless it continually moves. We must allow this living water to flow forth. We must be present with those hurting and the love we show will be the flow of living water.
Matthew 12:43 says “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.” The enemy needs dry arid places to flourish. He is the one of death and he wishes to bring more death. He would take possession of those who are mourning. He would like to keep the place of mourning dark and dry so He can work more death and despair.
We possess rivers of living water and the fire of the Holy Spirit! We can wet the ground of the funeral home with the Spirit of God, we can wet the ground of the house of mourning with Jesus Christ and bring life! If it is dry, a single spark of the Spirit will light the whole place on fire.
Hearts set on fire and soaked in the love of the Spirit! The devil will have no place there.
Do as scripture says, “Mourn with those who mourn, weep with those who weep.”(Romans 12:15)
By doing this we will soak those who mourn with living water! By doing this she took ground from the enemy. The enemy cannot reside in living water soaked ground!
We have great authority as believers! We may not feel like we can do much in these situations; we may feel small and insignificant. But this is not true! We cannot let our feelings get in the way of the truth. We have authority in these places to bring life!
Wherever we go, we bring life and we bring Christ!
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”(2 Corinthians 5:20)
We are His ambassadors!
We feel we need to say all these things to those who are hurting and if we do not, we miss the opportunity.
This is not true. The most important thing is just to be present with them! Because we are His, because we bring His Spirit, because we have His love, we will make a difference.
Those who are lost and broken will recognize this light, they will feel encouraged and refreshed by our very presence. They will see the hope and love that is within us and desire to have it themselves.
When they ask about this hope we must be ready to give an answer. Then, when we do open our mouths to speak they will be words of life, peace, hope and comfort, for it says in 1 Peter 3:15,“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”
We must be ready to share where our spring of living water is found, in Jesus Christ. We will speak words “in due season.” We will speak the hope that is found through Jesus Christ!
We must be able to tell those who are hurting, “Jesus didn’t take your husband away: He gives only life, He does not take it.”
“Your daughter was not left alone when she died: Jesus was with her the whole time and He loves her deeply.”
We must let them know they are not alone in their sorrow and grief, that Jesus is close to the brokenhearted. After all the crowds of mourners dissipate and go home, He is still there! He loves them and wants to heal their broken hearts!
Our words have power, for we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In many of the letters in the New Testament the apostles opened by saying, “Peace be with you.” This was not a mere greeting but a proclamation of peace. We speak peace, and peace will be present. We speak hope, and hope will be present. We say “strongholds be broken,” and they will be broken! We say, “Grief and darkness be gone from this place, and it will leave: in Jesus name! Do Not Doubt. We Are The Hands and Feet of Christ.
When Lazarus died, scripture says Jesus wept. I do not believe He wept for Lazarus for He knew he was to be brought back to life. I believe He wept for the people for they still doubted Jesus and His power. They still did not see that He had the power to bring life nor did they have faith in Him.
We cannot afford to doubt Christ! We cannot afford to question the truth of the life He offers. We cannot afford to doubt the power He has placed in us through His Holy Spirit!
The Only Death in this World is the Death We As a Church Allow!
Life is here among us: the life is Jesus Christ within us. We must share it! We cannot hoard it. We cannot be ashamed of it, or be afraid to share it.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
We are the hands and feet of Christ! We are His flavour, the salt of the earth, We are the lights of the world, we have rivers of living water flowing through us. We are ambassadors of Christ and His kingdom.
His Kingdom come, His will be done. His will is that no man should perish. His will is that no one be left in the darkness of death and despair.
Rise up Church! Let us go forward and meet the darkness with light and flow forth with rivers of living water!
We cannot afford to stay at home while the world mourns. We have the answer they search so desperately for!
Everyone raise your hands up and pray for the healing hands of Christ.
Lord Jesus I pray you raise your Church to the calling you have put in our lives, that you will give us your healing hands. That whomever we touch, we will impart your healing, Lord. Let others feel the presence we bring. Let your Spirit burn within us and manifest in healing and with peace, joy and love. Let your sons and daughters arise and go to the desolate places and bring life. Let those who mourn be comforted. Let your hope of eternal life spread throughout the world and may every man and women we meet come into a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Amen.
Now, go out and grab a hold of the hand of those close to you and impart peace to those around you. Say, “Peace be with you”!
Let the peace of Jesus Christ be upon you and flow through you to this hurting world.
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”-Matthew25:1-13
A wedding was a great occasion in Jewish culture. The whole village would turn out to accompany the couple to their new home and they went by the longest possible road in order that they might receive the good wishes of as many as possible.
There was a Jewish saying regarding this: “Everyone, from six to sixty will follow the marriage drum.”
The point of this parable lies in a Jewish custom, which is very different from anything we know. When a couple married, they did not go away for a honeymoon. They stayed at home for a week keeping open house. They were treated and even addressed as royalty. It was the greatest week in all their lives. The festivities would last all week and only their chosen friends were admitted. The celebration continued after the marriage ceremony. It was also that joyous week that the foolish virgins missed; because they were unprepared.
This story is true to life. You still see this in Palestine today.
Dr. J. Alexander Findlay wrote on his experience when he visited Palestine:
“When we were approaching the gates of a Galilean town, I caught sight of ten maidens gaily clad and playing some kind of musical instrument, as they danced along the road in front of our car; when I asked what they were doing, the taxi driver told me that they were going to keep the bride company till her bridegroom arrived. I asked him if there was any chance of seeing the wedding, but he shook his head, saying in effect: ‘It might be tonight, or tomorrow night, or in a fortnight’s time; nobody ever knows for certain.’ Then he went on to explain that one of the great things to do, if you could, at a middle-class wedding in Palestine was to catch the bridal party napping. So the bridegroom comes unexpectedly, and sometimes in the middle of the night; it is true that he is required by public opinion to send a man along the street to shout: ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming!’ but that may happen at any time; so the bridal party have to be ready to go out into the street at any time to meet him, whenever he chooses to come. … Other important points are that no one is allowed on the streets after dark without a lighted lamp, and also that, when the bridegroom has once arrived, and the door has been shut, late-comers to the ceremony are not admitted.”
This parable, like all of the stories Jesus told, had a local context. The people would immediately understand this story in a practical sense. Most of them would also understand the story held a deep spiritual significance as well.
If Jesus is indeed speaking on spiritual truths and drawing His listeners in, where do we fit in?
On a quick read through this parable, it is easy to claim this is simply a story of salvation. Here we have those who are ready to meet Jesus and those who are not. Here we have the foolish bridesmaids, representing those who are unsaved and not ready for Jesus to return, and we have the wise bridesmaids, representing those who are saved and are ready for Christ’s return. This is the most straightforward reading, and what of most of us have been taught.
However, what is the church called in Revelation? The Bride of Christ! The church, as in the global and historical group of believers, is the bride of Christ.
It is then not so simple to interpret Matthew 25 as a passage about believers and unbelievers. We see in this passage an important message for the church!
About the Church
This story begins with a picture of the church following and rejoicing in the celebration of the Bridegroom. The church is to be a people of worship! However, Jesus barely lets this sink in as He continues.
Verse 2-4: “Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil.
Right away we are presented with the problem: five were foolish and five were wise.
In celebration, as we meet and fellowship together, celebrating the risen Lord, as we function as the Church, we have people who are foolish, and we have people who are wise.
This is not a surprise to anyone as we humans are marked with the problem of a sinful heritage. We have the potential to be both foolish and wise.
God uses what seems to be foolishness to the world to express His true wisdom.
1 Corinthians 1:18-21 says:
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.“
We should not be so prideful that we are afraid to look foolish for the Gospel. However, we should be determined to have only one sort of wisdom, and that is the wisdom of God.
As the Apostle Paul so eloquently stated: “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
The Oil and the Flame
The distinction Jesus made between the two groups of bridesmaids went beyond simply calling one group foolish and one wise. He explained that one group brought extra oil for their lamps while the others didn’t bring enough.
Then, what do the lamps and oil represent? We see in Scripture that oil represents anointing, as symbolized in Exodus 30, where Aaron and his sons were anointed by oil for service as priests. The audience that Jesus was speaking to would have immediately known that He was referring to anointing.
Hebrews 1:9 refers to the oil of gladness in which Jesus was anointed, which reinforces oil representing anointing.
From this oil comes a flame to bring light.
What immediately comes to mind when we see this imagery of the flames of the lamp, are the tongues of fire which rested upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
The oil then represents anointing and the flame represents the power of the Holy Spirit. The lamp is the vessel in which these two are held, thus representing the believer.
We are the vessels! We have the anointing of God on our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit flows through us.
Those in the body of Christ have been anointed for service. When we receive Christ we are given a purpose in His Kingdom and in His Church. We can choose to cultivate this anointing or we can choose to misuse it. We can choose to give it to God for His service or choose to ignore His call.
Look at parable of the three servants further down in Matthew 25. They were all given their talent, the first two chose to use they’re anointing wisely and invest it in the kingdom of God, reaping a spiritual harvest, the third chose to use human wisdom and rely on his own understanding and was left with nothing.
Verses 24- 28 read: “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
I have seen men who were powerful preachers and evangelists, anointed by God to preach, who squandered their giftings. They were prideful of their gifts, thinking it was out of their own merits that they could do such great things for the Lord, refusing to truly acknowledge or give praise to Christ. They did not cultivate their relationship with Christ, or care to work on their character. Eventually, their human strength gave out and they turned to worldly desires.
You see, we cannot rely on our anointing, but rather must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives our lights will go dim!
Verse 6-8 say: “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’”
Christ will call at unexpected hour. Can we rely on our own wisdom and experience when we are called to action?
No, we will find that our lights have gone dim and we cannot rouse the Spirit that we never knew!
This shows a picture of a people who don’t even understand where they have gone wrong. They truly are foolish! Their lights are dim and they ask their fellow believers to light their fire instead of going to God.
Verse 9 -“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
We cannot rely on someone else’s anointing to fill our tanks. We have personally been given the Holy Spirit. He does not rest upon a “special” individual in order to be equally distributed.
He is given by the Father and is a result of relationship. We need to go to the source!
Have you ever seen people in the church do this? They jump from leader to leader, church to church, trying to piggyback off what the Holy Spirit is doing there.
You can’t get a good drink standing under someone who is gulping from a canteen.You need to take the canteen in your hands and place the bottle to your lips and drink deeply. You can’t get a tan by standing beside a tanning bed. You must get in and let the glow touch your skin.
There is no secondhand Holy Spirit! There is only true relationship with Christ; there is only the power of the Holy Spirit working through the true believer.
Ephesians 4:4-6 says:
“For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.
When the wise bridesmaids said “We don’t have enough for all of us, go to the shop and buy some for yourselves” What they were really saying was: “Why are you asking me for something I cannot give? The Spirit is within me, but I cannot give it to you. Go to the Source, go to God!”
We must not be foolish. We must go to the Source for our strength and power, we must cultivate the Spirit in our lives.
These parables tell an internal story, On the surface the bridesmaids looked the same. They all held lamps, they all followed the same path. They even rested at the same time. You could not tell the difference between them. To the outside world they were all equal. There was no way to tell the difference between the wise and foolish.
It is the same in the Church. We do not know what is in each other’s hearts. We all appear to be following Jesus together. We are all servants equal before our King. We are not to pass final judgement on who is a true servant of God, and who is not. That’s up to God in the end!
This story also tells us we all have equal opportunity! Just like the bridesmaids and servants had equal opportunities and were all given the same chance to follow and obey. God’s grace is upon us our entire lives, before salvation and after. We choose to follow God. We choose to obey or turn away. We choose to use what we are given or squander it. We choose to go to Him to be fulfilled or go to the world. No matter what our choices, God knows the entire time where we are at.
He knows the giftings and anointings He has bestowed upon us. He knows if we are allowing His Spirit’s power to manifest itself in our lives. And, as in these parables, our lives will end and everything will come to light.
So this message is for today: Verse 29 – “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
This message is for the future:
Verses 31-33“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.”
This is the urgency expressed in these stories. There is a time when it is too late. We must get to know God right now, we must drink deeply of the Spirit right now. We don’t know how long we have on this earth and we definitely don’t know when Christ will return.
The need to Serve
This may appear like a scare tactic, a “who is in and who is out” scenario, but this is not the main point of this passage.
Verses 34-40 say:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
If our hearts are full of the Spirit, we will naturally want to serve in this life, we will naturally want to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. However, we need to take our desire to serve and actually serve.
This has become true in my life. It is easy to make excuses as the third servant did. He made all the excuses he could think of before his master. They did not stand, they did not “hold water.” Neither will ours. It is easy to make them. I have made them for years. “I am too busy to help right now.” “Maybe next month when things settle down I will volunteer.” “If my job didn’t take so much out of me…” None of these excuses are valid. They will not stand before God!
Look at the scripture. We are to serve the hungry, naked, sick, lonely people who need caring for. These people are all around us in our daily lives. We don’t necessarily need to volunteer, or take that much time out of our busy schedules in order to care for these people. We can and should help when the Spirit directs, but this passage implies a moving and working Gospel. We can respond in the thick of things, meeting needs, bringing God’s Kingdom as the opportunities present ithemselves.
Can we not stop and pray for a sick or lame person? That’s what Jesus did, and people were healed! Can we not stop and talk to a lonely person on the street? I believe we can do better in these areas. I know I want to, I know I can and I will.
When I was growing up, the church emphasized that in our culture the primary way to bring people to Christ was through relational evangelism. The building of an ongoing relationship with a person is a great way to present the Gospel, but it is not the only way. I have seen this model presented for years and I am sure it has a lot of merit and was partly a response to a time when people would preach on the street but ignore their neighbour. But to say this is the primary way to bring people to Christ is a lie that is damaging the church. From what I have seen, many Christians today will begin relationships superficially, not being outspoken or forward with the Gospel. They then look for the right moment to share Jesus. The right moment was when they first met! We then see Christian women and men being led into a sinful lifestyle rather then leading others to Jesus. They never find the right moment to share the gospel with their unsaved friends and as the relationship progresses it becomes more and more awkward to mention their faith, as it was never mentioned in the first place. They are afraid to offend and lose a friendship and so the believer is influenced by the non-believer instead of the reverse. This is what the Bible calls “Friendship with the world” (James 4:4). It is not evangelism and surely not biblical.
If we look in the Bible, the Gospel is presented throughout every relationship: big or small, ongoing relationship or one time encounters.
As Jesus walked through His days, He taught, healed and presented the Good News to everyone He met, The apostles followed His example and we are to do the same.
Christianity is an “on the move” faith. We are to look for every opportunity to present the Gospel. We are to ask the Holy Spirit to broaden our views, our influences and take us out of our comfort zone.
This last year I have been seeking the Lord on what He would have for me in ministry. He has asked me to step out. As I felt the pull of His Spirit, I have prayed for more discernment and for an open heart to His Spirit’s leading. The result is, I cannot go to the mall without being given a word about someone. I can barely leave my house without being led to speak to people about Jesus or pray for someone’s healing. This has been difficult as it’s outside my comfort zone. I often make excuses not to speak to others or pray for healing.
Since I have begun praying this prayer, the Lord has brought many in my path. The first time I was filling up at a gas station and five feet from me, there was a lame beggar. People would walk by and give him money. I felt the call to pray for his healing, but I made excuses: that I needed to move my car so others in line could fill up, that I would move my car and park it and then go speak to him. When there was no parking spot, I just went home. I phoned my pastor that night and he encouraged me that at least I am open to the Holy Spirit’s voice and if I am open He will bring more opportunity. I prayed, “Lord give me more chances. I wish to be obedient.” God is full of grace. Since then the opportunities have become more frequent and I have heard His voice louder, always when I am out by myself, never with my family as they would provide another excuse not to step out. I have now begun to speak the name of Jesus to this hurting world. When I do get a chance to pray for people, I believe the Lord uses these times to build His kingdom.
God Knows Us
The fantastic thing about Matthew 25 is that it shows us how much God really knows us. This passage is not to scare us.Yes it’s a warning, and it’s to bring conviction. It reassures us that God knows us, inside and out. He knows us better then we know ourselves.
Jesus wants us to take a long look at ourselves. Are we living up to who God made us to be? Are we squandering His anointing? Are we living by His Spirit’s guidance? Are we being obedient? Are we serving Him, by simply meeting the needs of those around us?
The things which Jesus picks out–giving a hungry man a meal, or a thirsty man a drink, welcoming a stranger, cheering the sick, visiting the prisoner–are things which anyone can do. It is not a question of giving away thousands of dollars, or of writing our names in the annals of history. It is a case of giving simple help to the people we meet every day. Jesus knows that we can all do these things, He believes in us!
Verse 34 says: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.”
The Kingdom of God was prepared for you and me. God meant for us to inherit it!
Ephesians 1:4,5 says: “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
Even before He made the world, He knew us! He loved us, He chose us! Before HE MADE THE WORLD! We were predestined to know Christ! He chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. This is radical. This means that God saw you; He saw you before a single organism was created. Before He took hydrogen and oxygen to make water, before all creation. He knew you would be here and you were loved, valued and were important to Him. Does this not give us confidence? It’s not God who doesn’t believe in us. It’s we who do not believe in ourselves!
It gave Him GREAT PLEASURE! He loves to see us succeed, He yearns for us to live up to who He made us to be. He is full of Grace! Let us not waste our lives making excuses. Let us not take advantage of His grace. For that is the warning of this passage: Don’t let what you can do today be left for tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come!
People are dying! This world slips more into darkness every day. Do we not care? Do we not feel this urgency? I know you care in your hearts and in your heads. But the world would have us wait, make excuses and turn us into goats! We need to put care into action. Because love is proven true with action.
We cannot wait! We need to get this gospel message out! We need to pray for the sick, we need to care for the down trodden, broken and depressed. We need to get out of our bubbles and open our eyes and hearts to what the Spirit is saying to us.
1 Cor 1:8-9 says: “He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
He will give you to strength to live this out. He will help you live with integrity and love. He will enable you to see your selves for who your really are, sons and daughters of the King. Then you will be able to accomplish this great task set before you.
God is with us! And He has invited us to partner with Him! Lets us heed the call!
There were five wise bridesmaids who followed in the celebration of the Bridegroom. They were prepared. They knew who they were in Christ. They were anointed for service and filled with the Spirit. They were ready for what was ahead of them.
Let us be a prepared Church, going to the Father for our identity, walking out in our anointing and fully functioning in the Spirit’s power!
Let us use what was given to us for the Kingdom of God, not laying dormant, not hiding our purpose, but rather, partnering with Christ, to reap a harvest for His Kingdom.
Let us serve those around us, not helping in order to get praise or adoration, out of disguised selfishness, but rather serving because we cannot stop ourselves because the Spirit compels us, and because we cannot bear to see one person lost in darkness.
So then we can look forward to the coming day:
But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
Let us be His Sheep!
(note* This was originally a sermon presented at Living Springs Church in Calgary AB, Canada summer 2015)
Byron Frank holds a Bachelor Of Biblical Studies: Evangelism Concentration. He is writer, poet, evangelist and public speaker. For questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements please email him at email@example.com