FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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DREAM of REJECTION

5That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? 6Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; 7Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? 8He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. 9The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him. (Job 20:)



Last night I had a dream. Not so unusual; we all have them.

But this dream was a little different than others I have had. It seemed to have a particular significance that stuck with me in my waking hours.

The dream began with my parking my old delapidate car at the curb in front of a tenement building.

As I sat in my car, I observed several children leaving the tenement building heading for a bus parked on the other side of the street beyond where I sat. Out of the many youngsters (ages perhaps six to eight) two caught my eye seeing as they (in my dream) were my own children.

And although I knew that the children saw me since they had to walk right next to my car, they ignored me as if they didn't know me. I called them to me and inquired where they were going and how long they were going to be gone. They replied, stoically, that they and their school were going to Hawaii and would be gone for a week.

I then asked if I was going to get a hug from them before they left, to which I received a stiff, quick hug much like any stranger might receive from them if asked.

I was hurt. I thought of how I had raised them, created them and loved them, only to have them, for whatever their reason, which may well have been embarrassment, treat me like a stranger in front of their friends.

It did not bother me that all the other children, nor the teachers, nor people passing by did not even acknowledge me. I only saw the two who I had devoted my life to.


After the bus had departed, I walked into the tenement building looking for my apartment.

I couldn't find it. My key fit none of the locks.

Apparently, the wife of my dream and mother to my children, did not want me in my own house. Again I was hurt and angry.

At this point I began to think of the things I would do because of the rejection and disinterest of my family, those who I loved.

I considered leaving, letting them fend for themselves. And I considered other things as well, none of which I would ever do because I knew that although I was not loved by them; they needed me, and I loved them too much to let my own hurt and pride alter what I must do.

This dream was not real; but it is reality.

And though I do not have such a family, I have certainly felt rejected and dishonored by those I love deeply.


And so, I am sure, have you. In fact, I am just as sure that there are many of you who have had experiences exactly like the one in my dream.


And so has God.


We call God "Our Father."

We are a family.

And if a family, then we, you and me, are also brothers and sisters.


God is also our Creator.

He birthed us and provided this earth we call home.

He provides for us daily. In fact, there is nothing we have that He hasn't provided.


We, as Christians, call God "Our Father," if for no other reason than that God the Father has instructed us to do so. We may not fully understand why; in fact me may not have the slightest idea why, but we do so because we are told to do so.

Don't we?


I think of the Jews in which we have a very clear picture of how God deals with His family. We observe how the Jews promised, rebelled, denied, and were punished; promised, rebelled, denied, and were punished; over and over again.


And so, likewise goes the Church.

I think of how we are made in God's image. I figure that means He has feelings and attitudes just as we have. And as I read the Bible, I see a lot of places where He expresses joy, hurt, anger, and many other such human emotions.

In fact, the first real reference to a feeling being attributed to God is in Gen 6:6 where it says that God was "grieved" that He had made man. How many times have you and I been grieved, and how little we did with that feeling.

God destroyed all but 8 souls with a flood from His grieving. Just think what He must want to do all the times He is made "Angry," and "In My Wrath!"


"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," Paul says in Hebrews 10:31. I think that is putting it mildly.

We look at Jesus, meek and mild, never struck out in anger, even as He hung on a cross being tortured and killed. We see Him healing the sick, raising the dead, washing the disciples' feet, and feeding the multitudes.

We see Him as did the Pharisees and the Priests as well as others of those who were commissioned by God to tend His House (the Temple) and His sheep.

We see Jesus as the One who forgives "seventy times seven."

And I think we are sitting right at seventy one times seven, and that He is now in the process of filling His vials and bowls of Wrath (seen all through Revelation).

If God wiped out almost every living creature in a flood because He was "grieved." What on earth do you suppose He will do when He's Angry!

I, for one, do not want to find out.


"Someone might think I'm odd if I mention Jesus' name, or pray in public."

"I would be embarrassed if my friends knew I was different than they are."


I can assure you, if you feel that way, you are NOT different than "they are." You are a hypocrite living two lives - one in front of the church, and another in front of the world. (Mat 24:50-51)

And if you consider that hypocrisy is also lying (not telling the truth); while you're looking up the penalty for hypocrites, you might also check this Scripture out that applies to liars (Rev 21:7,8).


All through the New Testament we read that we are to be different from the world; to be a light into the darkness of the world; to glorify God by our light and our difference. And we are told that we are to witness to the world, not hid our identity from it.


"He's not my father (or mother, or sister, or whatever), I never saw him before and I don't even know him!"

Does the above statement bother you at all? Consider how you would feel if it was your child, or your parents, or your best friend saying that about you. Does that hurt?

Jesus had exactly that happen to Him by those who were closest to Him, and at the time He needed comforting the most. And by those who swore they would never abandon Him, even if it meant their life.


"I would never do that," you say.

Is that so? Then I'll bet you are a great witness for Jesus out there winning many souls (or at least planting seeds), and trying to keep as many people from falling into the Eternal Pit as you can.

Because, if not, then you haven't seen (or believe) what is going to happen to all those you love (which is all the world, if you are indeed a Christian) if they continue on the broad road - which you are very likely on yourself if you do not have a deep hunger to save Lost Souls.


Of course, witnessing is not a sure sign of Salvation or belief in the Jesus we know and love. There are many witnesses out there working hard for a "Jesus" that is not the Jesus of the Bible, nor one Who can save the converts.

Should we be doing less?


I should imagine that it must hurt Jesus very much to see what a wishy-washy, embarrassed of His Name, "Church" his supreme sacrifice has produced and become.

I think of the mighty revivals of but a half-century ago, and how strong the church was then. I remember how it was assumed that just about everyone was a "Christian" and went to church regularly. It was expected.

Now almost all the "Christians" confine their "Christianity" to the church, if that. In this very dark period when light is desperately needed, it is hidden under a bushel called "church."


"I can't believe I just said what I did in front of a preacher!"

If that was you, a "Christian" who made such a statement, you really need to take a close look at your soul.


"I can't believe I said that, and in front of a Christian!"

That should be the reaction of the world, and at one time it was.

In the late 50's and the 60's when I was in the Army, and later when I worked at a factory of hard-working men, people almost invariably refrained from using profanity or smoking in my presence. And if a word slipped, I was almost always given an apology.

It was not because I was a preacher, because I wasn't. It is not because I was a Christian, because I wasn't. It is not even because I requested it of them, because I didn't. It is the mere fact that I did not smoke or use profanity that they respected.

Times they are a changing. And one of those changes is the slow loss of respect. That decline is almost measurable.

When I was a young man, I was given respect, even from old men. Now that I am an old man due such respect, there is very little given (not just to me, but to anyone). I never hear someone apologize for their profanity, or their smoking, or any such thing, unless it is a close friend who does so automatically with anyone.

Such is one of the benefits of progress, of civilization, of evolution where things are getting better and better (?). So much for the age of Enlightenment.


Man's disregard for man. Ok, we are accepting that, and even feeding into it, more and more. But what of our decline in respect for God? Can we just sit back and not even acknowledge that?

Oh, I know, that's the job of the Pastor, of the TV Evangelist, of the Missionaries, of Billy Graham. Your job is to come to church on Sunday and keep the pews warm - unless it's Superbowl Sunday, or raining, or good weather for golf.

"How about you and me going out in the back yard and batting a few balls back and forth, son."

"Can't dad, me and my friends are going to go out and have some fun today."

"But you say that every week-end. Don't you want to spend any time with me?"

"Sure dad, but you know how it is and all. I got so many other things to do. By the way, you got ten bucks I can borrow so I can take my friends to the movies?"


Does that hurt?

How do you think God feels about such an attitude towards Him? If you had other sons who liked being with you and showed you respect, would you still desire to give this one much of your attention?

And it's not that this one is a bad kid - he just isn't really your child. He is just a child of the world, a product of society.

And a burden to your heart and wallet.

*

In my dream, my key wouldn't fit the lock of my own apartment. The apartment that I was paying for, I was restricted from entering.


Once, the story goes, there was a man who was in a church where Jesus' name was mentioned so rarely that when it was, he stood and yelled "Hallelujah!"

After many hard stares, an usher was assigned to stand by him to keep him quiet.

"I just get excited when I hear the Name of Jesus, the One who saved me, and I always look for Him every where I go."

"Well," the usher replied. "You won't find Him here, so shut up!"


There are a lot of "churches" like the one in the story above. And they're growing in number very rapidly. People want to go to "church," but they don't want to hear Jesus' name mentioned, or to be reminded of sin, or told they have to change in any way. They want to feel good, and be entertained.

God's Churches, the one's where He has a key and is welcomed into, are becoming fewer and fewer; while the ones where the lock has been changed is growing by leaps and bounds.


There is a tension in the air that covers the entire world. (When it rains on the righteous, it rains on the wicked as well.) During previous "Rains" (we call them "Latter Rains") the Spirit also fell on everyone. During these Rains, many churches and cults are founded, and grow rapidly as people seek to soak up all the rain they can.

But just as in every other area of endeavor, along with the real comes the counterfeit. Spirit is spirit, to the Great Unwashed. And because Man is worldly, he gravitates to any spirit that will make him feel good, comfortable, special, and oddly enough - will cost him the most money.

Consider many of the most successful cults; they require that you give everything to them, and only (for a time) give you a special feeling in return.


Salvation is free; you can't buy it, and you can't work for it - but if you have received it (by the Holy Spirit), then you want nothing more than to give everything you have, (and are) to the Lord, and to make sure others know of Him too.

If you do not have that desire to witness (which oddly enough is the very thing cults require without God's compensation) then you very possibly don't have that Salvation.


All these denominations and cults fit neatly into the tenement house called the "Church." Some of the apartments are on higher levels than the others, some are even in the sub-basement. And some are in the penthouse (of course these are the elite and are very expensive.)


God said that He does not live in a Temple made by man. He lives in tabernacles (tents) "not made by hands." However, He is building Himself a Temple, for which the Cornerstone, and the Foundations, and the Gates have already been established. (See the study "Ten Gates.")

God dwells in these Tabernacles as they move about this earth. Some Tabernacles wander through the Wilderness either led by the spirit from within. Or are being led to the Spirit from without.

Then there are those who have completed their Wilderness testing and are fully governed by the Spirit wherever God wants them to go, even to a willing death for Him. (The Apostles and Martyrs of long ago are examples; as are those even now - in other countries.)


These Tabernacles are not in the Penthouse, nor in the basement - they are scattered throughout the Tenement house; one here, two there, and maybe a half dozen somewhere else.


How can one of these True Disciples of Jesus be recognized? Are they TV Evangelists? Not likely. Are they standing behind pulpits on Sunday (or Saturday)? Maybe. Are they walking the streets beating on drums and tambourines and yelling Hallelujah? Unlikely. Are they chasing people down with pamphlets in hand, and knocking on doors as they point at some great leader? Read for yourself. (2Tim 3:6; Mat 24:26)

Then who are the True Believers? I can't tell you, besides you wouldn't believe me anyway; that is, unless you are one yourself, and then you don't need any description from me.


Living in the Tenement building that God built and owns is not an indication that someone is a True Christian.

Nor is being filled with a spirit any indication of a believer, because there are many spirits floating around out there in the world (Jesus had to cast out many of them).

Doing good works is not an identifier either. Incidently, God does not grade on a "Curve" when determining who He will let into His Eternal Bliss. A 99% won't qualify. It has to be a hundred percent. (Sin is "missing the mark," by a quarter inch or a mile. Remember Adam's Apple?) And there has been only one person who has attained that perfect grade: Jesus. Moses didn't make it, Elijah fell short. Even Abraham and Enoch missed the mark.

Thankfully, Jesus is allowing us to ride His coat tails in. That is, He is the "Door" (the "Narrow Gate") that permits us admission into His Father's House.

The ticket for admission is free, but there are requirements. He has to go in with you. And He first does this by dwelling in you; (through the Holy Spirit) and once He has cleansed you from the inside out, He Clothes you with a robe of pure white (His righteousness that we could never attain on our own. Consider the wedding guest without a wedding garment).


So, who holds the key to your heart? Are you still clutching it in your iron fist, unwilling to give up your favorite, secret sin? Or perhaps you have hidden it on your person somewhere and hope God can't find it. Or maybe you gave it to Jesus, but with a string attached so you can yank it back again when the urge to do so arises.


Then again, perhaps you have given the Lord your key, but have since changed the lock, hoping that He doesn't try the key and find out that He is locked out.


If my own experience is anything like the norm, I can assure you that the Lord does not leave your door alone. He opens it slowly to begin with (He will not give you more than you can handle) as you pull mightily on the other handle in effort to close it. Then eventually, in spite of all your effort, you lose and the door is flung wide open, and the light comes flooding in to that dark, dark recess that you had always considered so bright.

Darkness is deceiving. In the darkness we can imagine anything we like, and believe it to be real. This is especially true when it comes to our own self-image and our ego.

Light destroys darkness - and it melts ego and superstition.

While the door was being opened, I fought it, I feared it greatly - and I was horrified with what I saw in the light.

But then, after the Lord dealt with me for a time, I became joyful, and was given that peace beyond understanding. And the purposes of God, and How I fit into them has become so much clearer. I've only just begun, and I doubt I will even reach the bottom rung of the ladder I am supposed to be on. But I also know that none of that is in my hands, nor does it matter.

I know, positively, that I am part of the Body of Christ - just a kidney stone to be sure - but a part none the less.


And I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything in this world; not even if I was told by God Himself that hell awaited me because of the gifts I have been given.


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