Our response to Islam beware the Religious spirit

This was released a while back to those on our mailing list. With changes in the USA political climate it is an even more important word for the Lord’s people. We can easily be deluded and think this is a political battle. It is not. It is spiritual and as Paul says we do not battle against flesh and blood. The enemy of our soul would love to stir up the ‘religious spirit’ and start a battle between  Islam and cultural Christianity not rooted in grace but law. We can not allow this!

It is becoming increasingly popular among conservative Christians to militantly oppose Muslims. I know that as citizens of the USA and other non-Muslim nations we must be wise, but the Lord’s wisdom is not like human wisdom. We must consider our response to militant Islam in the light of two much larger battles: one for souls and one with the secular institutions within our own nations who would silence Christian witness.

The battle for souls is the most important. It is not the Lord’s heart to brag about destruction. Scripture is absolutely clear in this regard. Remember 2 Peter 3:9: God does not want anyone to die but everyone to be saved. And Ezekiel 18:23 says He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. When we brag about what we will do with our guns, we are definitely rejoicing in someone’s death, when instead we should be morning that we had to kill a non-believer and end his ability to choose Jesus. Almost as bad, we are playing into the hands of the enemy.

As we discuss the confrontation with Islam, I am not saying that Christians should roll over and play dead. I am not a pacifist. Nor am I saying we should not privately own guns and prepare to use them. There is a time and place for defense and a time and a place for martyrdom. The problem is our heart, and the rhetoric, especially public rhetoric, because that publicly reveals our hearts. Even there, I am not immune to the tough talk and I can easily slip into the talk of what I would do to protect my family. Fortunately the Holy Spirit nails me every time I get started.

The strategy for revealing the Lord’s heart to Islam ought to be very much on our minds and hearts. We should be intensely interested in strategy for interacting with Islam at a societal level.

As believers our main job on this earth is to reveal the heart of the Father. Mathew 5 and John 10:10 show that death and destruction are NOT his first choice. They are His last resort. He even gave the Canaanites 400 years to repent before He allowed the Jews to enter the Holy Land. I have taught intercession and prayer regularly over the last years, and James and John are the best examples of anger distorting that ministry. They really really did want to call down fire from heaven on that village. But Jesus rebuked them. It was not His plan to destroy. If they were to have true power, then they had to have His heart.

It is absolutely vital that Christians communicate the Lord’s heart to the world. God’s heart is captured in Mathew 5, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is especially important with the Islam/Christian confrontation for many reasons. Maybe the first and most important is that Muslims expect the anger and threats. It is love and respect that potentially confuses them.

There are two things happening in the Islam/Christian confrontation: culture and religious doctrine. A friend of ours spent a lot of time on mysterious trips to the middle east at Uncle Sam’s expense. He had more direct knowledge of the people and culture of the area than anyone I knew. He said an interesting thing. He was convinced the middle east conflicts had little to do with religion. They were simple straightforward blood feuds between families, something any Tennessee hillbilly knows. In the conflict with the West it is the same. Muslims treat it as a blood feud. This explains why a widow who might have been abused would take up arms against the West when her husband is collateral damage. If Christians talk of retribution and violence, it fits perfectly with their expectations that this IS a blood feud. This is especially true when everything is about the generic Muslim. That is blood feud thinking. You kill my uncle so your cousin is my enemy. The middle east has had a few thousand years of fighting and blood feuds. They may lose or they may win, but they are as ready to fight as any hillbilly. So the culture of feuding is as significant as the religious doctrine.

When we are talking about the religion of Islam it is important to be precise and subtle. The worst thing we can do is judge any group by their most extreme elements. This is true with Christian groups and no less true for Islam. It is also true that if we are to speak into someones heart, we must understand how they see themselves. Even if they are deluded and demonically controlled, we want to bind the demon and speak to their souls.

The best example of what I am talking about is the vision that guided us in Ghana in ’98. I had an open vision before that trip of encountering a shaman at a village shrine. The Lord showed me that the man actually did love his village and was doing the best he knew to protect them. The Lord also showed me that he had realized that the spirits he served actually hated him and the village. Yet, appeasing them through blood sacrifice was the only way he had to protect his village. In the vision the Lord showed me to ignore the bad stuff and speak directly to his desire to protect. The shaman came to the Lord and brought the entire village to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus. (Much to my disappointment, I did not encounter this man, but a team from ORU who went there exactly a year later did, and it played out just as I saw in the vision!) Speaking to the good motivations are the best way to cut through error in practice.

Islam leads people away from Jesus and is oppressive in many ways, but there is enough error in most discussions that Muslims do not recognize themselves in most conservative portrayals of Islam. Counter intuitively, this is worst when we talk about jihad, which they see as a spiritual directive. For a conservative westerner, violent jihad is the most obvious danger, but it is easy for a Muslim to disconnect from that violence or to justify it. Think here about trying to take a Texan’s Bible away or hurt his family.

Violent jihad is probably the easiest aspect to deal with, since ISIS has few backers even in Islamic countries. Far worse, the most effective tools for Islam are the hash consequences for leaving the faith and the insistence that all children of mixed marriages must be Muslim. Add to that the economic barriers, and the social forces become compelling. That makes a great lobster trap for faith. Easy to get in but impossible to leave. This operates totally separately from the violent jihad, yet over the last few centuries has been Islam’s most effective tool for taking over regions.

Sharia is another target of Western conservatives. We revile Muslims because of sharia law and we want to keep it out of our nation at all costs. But think what this looks like from the other side. The freedom we speak about in the West is associated with immorality, homosexuality, chaos in our inner cities and general lawlessness. If that is what Christian grace and forgiveness is about, many people want none of it. Remember, sharia itself is mostly Old Testament law. Because the OT moral law was good, many of the benefits of doing things God’s way flow for those who follow sharia.

Of course, no one can actually follow the OT moral law, and so Islam is full of excuse making and lots of surface righteousness with dead men’s bones inside. But, compared to chaos and lawlessness, sharia can look pretty good. (Watch, over the next years as the US inner cities become more lawless; Islam will move in to provide protection and stability.) Many Muslims look at the chaos and immorality of the West and legitimately ask, do they really want that? When we revile them because of sharia and this society wants freedoms of all sorts, you can almost forgive them for thinking we are the crazy ones.

If you look at the moral underpinnings of sharia and exclude the laws directly related to religious practice, I think you could read through the requirements of sharia out of context and most conservative Christians would agree with enacting those moral laws. The point here is that ‘good’ men can actually see Islam as a stabilizing force. Faced with chaos, people will willingly give up their freedom for stability.

There are problems with Islam and with sharia. But, if we treat them globally, we cut ourselves off from the motivation for safety, security and righteousness. I know from personal experience that many Muslims are very aware of the gap between the law and their hearts. That’s the same gap Paul saw. Many are also aware of the excuses made by Imams for obvious violations. It is sharia that creates that awareness of sin. In the West everything is lining up to destroy that ‘awareness’ so that there can be freedom of any lifestyle choice. If we are to build any kind of common society, then we must use a much more precise scalpel in regard to Islam and sharia. As we share the heart of God, we certainly cannot dismiss the very tool God has left to reach Islam.

Sharing the heart of God requires linking his heart with a person’s deepest desires. We cannot do that if we use an ax rather than a scalpel in our criticisms. God will give us grace to refuse to make this a blood feud, and He will give us wisdom to communicate what parts of Islam lead to Him and which lead away from Him. We just have to listen to the Spirit of God.

There is one more aspect of the Islam-Western confrontation we must be aware of. There are two traps the enemy Satan plans for Christians in the west, and he would love to see us dig the pits ourselves. There is a second battle in process today. We all know it– we just don’t think about the relationship between the two. The battle between law and lawlessness and the battle between legalism and true Christianity. Hopefully you see that Islam is the most prominent representative of legalism in the world today. Christian legalism will make another appearance before things end, but for now it’s Islam. Now the enemy’s oldest game is to bounce us between these two extremes.

Here are the traps. The first has to do with terrorism and its definition. As conservatives attack Islam with the ax, the world sees this more and more as a dangerous battle between those with strong faith. I will absolutely guarantee that everything said about Islam will be applied to conservative Christians. This is already starting. Sometimes it is mind-blindingly-blatant, like when a liberal equates a lawsuit to block public funding for a disgusting picture of Christ with the slaughter of 12 people at a magazine office in France. At other times it is more rational, like wanting to put a security watch on the more radical anti abortion groups. We need to be very careful about how we push public opinion and create laws. It’s not ‘they might’ but those very laws will be used against us.

The second trap is related; it is about sharia. Again I will say that the moral basis of sharia is the OT law. The oldest accusation against the Bride of Christ is that she is unfit for rule or authority. The drum beat in the battle between Christians and the libertines is that religion and the Bible has no place in civil life and law. There are excesses in sharia, but the fundamental tenant of sharia is that God has every right to establish civil law and His law is by far the best. I would certainly agree with that statement, as would most conservative Christians. We would disagree about the details and disagree that clerics should interpret, but the principle is sound. On the other hand, the prevailing attitude in the Western societies is to soundly reject this principle. In our efforts to oppose sharia, we must be very careful not to reinforce our libertine opponents.

I think one of the most obvious of these scenarios has to do with the so called ‘no go zones’ where sharia is enforced. I want to be clear: I would never advocate allowing deadly force or even intimidation to be applied to enforce religious laws. I certainly would never advocate allowing such things to force conversion or prevent leaving any faith. However, as we see society and law veer in the direction of things like homosexual marriage and other clearly sinful freedoms, Christians need to protect their right to live by Biblical standards. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is clear. The world is only convinced that Christ is real by Christians living in unity and love in community. Living by the Biblical standards allows God to release grace to live in Christian community where that love can be demonstrated between members of the group. It allows us to model God’s wisdom and discipline within a community committed to accountability, forgiveness, and restoration. There is a debate underway among Christians as to what this kind of community looks like, and there will undoubtedly be many answers to that question. At some point, I will release my thoughts on this matter. The point here is that it is Christians, not secular authority, who should make that decision. Those who oppose Christianity will use the same laws which are developed to block sharia zones to also block the right of Christian communities to live internally by Biblical standards, unless those laws are carefully constructed.

This is not the time for promoting our cause with sword rattling, sound bites and emotional speeches. The battles we are fighting are much too subtle for such weapons. Even if we manage to stir up the troops and march on the enemies’ camp in this way, we will certainly find ourselves like the crusaders of the fourth crusade. Instead of reconquering the Holy Land, they ended up destroying the last stronghold of Christianity in the East. If we follow the Lord’s heart and seek His wisdom, then the world will see what God can do.

The Road Ahead Part 2: Who is the Body?

We know the importance of unity in the Body of Christ after all Christ prayed that we would be one just like He was one with the Father. That is a high standard! It raises the question of who we should be at one with. The answer for this question is clear, but it may surprise all of us. It is both much broader than we think and at the same time much narrower.

The Boundary:Who is Jesus?

TheBoundaryofChrist

The first and primary hurdle is Mathew 16:15-17. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This is Peters declaration in answer to Jesus’ question “Who do you think I am?”

1 John 2:22-23 says that we must know that Jesus is the Christ who came from the Father. It also affirms that if we do not know this about Jesus then we do not know the Father.

1 John 4:2-3 says we must also know that Jesus came ‘in the flesh’. If we think He was just a spirit, then we are against Christ.

Paul adds in 1 Corinthian 15:13 that the resurrection of Jesus is the basis for our hope.

This is the firm boundary of the circle:

Jesus is the Jewish messiah

who came from the Father in Heaven

, he has come in the flesh

and rose from the dead.

If one does not know this to be true then you are not a Christian. You may have a philosophy that is loosely based on Jesus’ teaching but there are things you cannot do that a Christian can do. John goes further and declares you instead represent the anti-Christ., the spirit in the world that opposes Christ and His work.

Are you inside the boundary?

This is the boundary, but how do we know that we are inside that boundary? Romans 10:9-10

because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord

and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead

, you will be saved

If this is your belief and your personal declaration you have decisively crossed the boundary.

But a word of caution. It is significant that Romans says we believe with our ‘hearth’ It is knowing the resurrection beyond intellectual convincing that gives the power to be saved. What the intellect gives, it can take away. A knowing beyond logic lasts.

Also, the Greek word for Lord is Kurios, used both for Yaweh and as the master of a servant. Confessing means we sign a contract with God giving Jesus full authority to do with us what He, Jesus, wants. This means we become a bond-servant. We enter into Galations 2:20

“I have been crucified with Jesus and I no longer live but Christ lives in me, So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

It is vital that we have a revelation of Jesus’ divinity like Peter did, a knowing that He came in the flesh like John did and He rose from the dead like Paul did. Unless we know these things in our heart because we received them from God not by intellectual argument, we will not have the power to resist when the test comes. Unless we have made a conscious voluntary decision to make Jesus our master as Paul stated in Galatians 2:20 then we will run when the test comes which requires that we give up things that seem to be our very being.

Are you headed toward the circle?

There is a lot of talk in the world about unity across religions based on the belief that we all worship the same God. This is the fuzzy outer area outside the boundary. In that area we need to know if someone is truly worshiping the same Father. It is easy to get lost and compromised if we don’t know the scriptures.

Fortunately, Jesus repeatedly tackled this issue and, unlike some Christian leaders today, He did not mince words. Talking to the Jewish leaders and those most determined to follow the God of Moses He said flatly. If you know the Father then you will accept Me. If you don’t accept me, then you are mistaken. You are following your father the devil. John 8:42-44

It is certainly appropriate for Christians to live in civil peace with people of all kinds and it is vitally important to recognize and affirm the search for Righteousness; after all, Paul calls the law the schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. But

unless we want to call Jesus a liar,

we cannot tell them they are headed in the right direction

until the light dawns and they recognize Jesus as Lord.

If they actively deny Jesus as Lord, then they are headed away from that circle. The Sadducees and Pharisees may have been hypocrites, but that was not what condemned them. They rejected Jesus.

Are we properly representing Jesus to those outside the circle?

This is an important question and is key to Christian outreach to the world.

Many quote 1Jn 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. (8) The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.

Or John 13:35

By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.

In isolation, both these are verses quoted by those wanting to make love the primary target and then to substitute human love for God’s love. So they reach out with humanitarian aide even while they refuse to disturb those they are helping by acknowledging the One who sent us, the Lord Jesus.

However, in this interpretation, they are ignoring the fact that both scripture passages are talking about love within the body not outside.

The complete thought of love outside, as well as inside, is in given in 1John 4:

1Jn 4:9-10 In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.

This love outside without sharing the gospel of Jesus on the cross as our propitiation from sin and entering the kingdom is far, far worse than we think. Jesus spoke to the cities where He himself had reached outside with love through the miracles He had done in them, recorded in Matthew 11:20-24:

Then He began to upbraid the cities in which most of His mighty works were done, because they did not repent. (21) Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the powerful acts which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes! (22) But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. (23) And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to the heaven, shall be brought down to hell. For if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (24) But I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.

When we reach outside without explicitly calling people to the One who sent us,

we put them in the cross-hairs of this pronouncement by Jesus.

As for us personally, we step into the position of Ezekiel; those outside still get the judgment but their blood is on our hands.

Where do we go?

So we know the boundary and we know when we ourselves have crossed inside and when people are headed in the right direction. In the world today, this is the shock that makes things tougher than many think. It is not enough to do good and be nice to others. It is not enough to build unity with the world even when that unity is around things Jesus taught not even love.

All of that is to convince people that Jesus is God.

What about inside the border? The circle we just defined leaves huge debates in the Church inside the boundary! Can that be true? This is the issue in the next installment.InsidetheKingdom

 

Kiss the Son

John the cousin of Jesus had proclaimed that the Messiah would come with winnowing fork in his hand to separate the evil men from the righteousness and would bring a blazing fire on the world as a baptism of the Spirit of God. When Jesus started his ministry, he declared, The kingdom of God has come! The Kingdom of God is now here!” (Mark 1:15), so that his followers would have assumed he would do the things proclaimed of God in Psalm 97 “Fire goes before him consuming his foes….and all the people see his glory” and that John had proclaimed of Messiah ushering in the kingdom with a baptism of fire. Jesus also said now is the time to “Repent and believe the good news of the King’s arrival!” Wow, double-take! There is time to stop, take stock of what and where you are headed, and turn around to face this King with readiness and acceptance!

 

That meant the fire which the Messiah that John proclaimed was bringing on earth was either delayed a bit or that it was a different kind of fire than described in the Psalm 97, a deadly fire that consumes his foes. It did seem a different kind of fire that Jesus brought in himself, after his baptism in water and the Spirit. Jesus did casting out evil spirits from bound-up people and healing them, body and mind. He was bringing a fire that chases away the evil from the human, cleanses and purifies him. Jesus showed himself to be Lord over the nature of evil– but also Servant of humankind, to set individuals free from evil inside by his true love for them. Amazing twist!

 

So was the fire baptism which Jesus brought solely that different kind of fire—one that sends spiritual evil spirits packing, leaving individual humans free to know God? No, for the fire Jesus ushered in with the announcement of the Kingdom of God is so much more!

 

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, he sent the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire baptism on his followers to give them power to boldly witness to his identity as Messiah King in the face of evil men—no matter what nationality or language– and that fire instilled powerful transformation of thousands of people simultaneously (Acts 2). What’s more, John the apostle had a revelation of the Second coming of Messiah King (Revelation 19:11-16) where he is bringing the fire of judgment on his foes with blazing fire shooting from his eyes and a sharp sword coming from his mouth to strike down nations who oppose his reign. So the fire that Messiah has brought is so much more than the cousin of John could envision at the first announcement of the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

 

And the TIME for repentance has been greatly extended by merciful God. There is still time to stop, take stock of what and where you are headed, and turn around to face this King with readiness and acceptance! BEFORE this Messiah returns with the fire in his eyes that literally consumes nations in a bloodbath in an instant! Kiss the Son of God now (Psalm 2:11-12), while there is time to receive his purifying freedom from the evil within you and to be transformed by his redeeming love, before he comes in judgment in the fire of his wrath on wicked lawless nations of which you are a part.

 

When you do kiss the Son, you can yourself become baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit to boldly witness to his identity as Messiah King. You yourself can become a blazing wonder that brings transformation to thousands and does astounding miracles that attest to His power and glory! Yet, you must keep the Servant heart that walks in righteous Love, like Jesus showed us, for He alone is the One that will come to consume them with the breath of His mouth. So your lightening bolts are meant to wake men up, so that they enter into His kingdom while there is time.

The Road Ahead: Part 1 The time of Joshua 5

Now is the time of Joshua 5:13-15. With the nations and ethnic groups in uproar and problems on every side. Each of us wants to ask God in a pointed way Joshua’s question. “Are you on my side?” (or on ‘our’ side!) But the answer is the same now as then. He answers, “Neither! Do you stand with me?!” Continue reading “The Road Ahead: Part 1 The time of Joshua 5”

The Consequences of human unity outside of Christ

We are witnessing a time when the world appears to be falling apart. At the same time the dream of human unity is very much alive. Unity is a big topic and across the globe there are groups working to build unity across human religions and cultures. Many believers are caught up in the effort to bridge religious divides through human effort. There is no question ending sectarian violence is a good thing. Human unity is seductive. Who can argue with such a goal? But human unity it is a false hope and a trap! It is up to God’s people to lead those who are willing out of the trap.

We live at a pivotal period in human history. In the last two centuries science has removed one barrier after another to human control of nature and even our own biology. During that time we have seen both the best and worst in humanity. Triumphs in science and human rights have time after time been followed by the terrors of death camps. There is a theme that has developed as we humans have struggled to understand who we are and our purpose in the universe. It is that we can achieve everything and live at peace with each other if only we can achieve mutual understanding and unity across the globe.

Our energy is focused on removing barriers to ‘mutual understanding’ because we assume that wars and evil in the earth happen because we misunderstand one another, and we are beginning to succeed. We are at a place in history where for the first time since Babel, humans are beginning to understand one another across the globe. Language and culture barriers are falling fast. There are efforts to reconcile religions. Technology is removing the barriers of time and space. Now is the time to look back at when those barriers were put into place and why. The story of the Tower of Babel is the starting point because scripture records that God Himself destroyed human unity at that time. Why? Continue reading “The Consequences of human unity outside of Christ”

John 17: Where does the power come from?

Our Lord and Master, Jesus, has all power in heaven and earth.  He has sent us to tell the world the Good News and proclaim Him as the true King of the World.

So where does the power come from to succeed in our task?

Jesus’ answer to this question is found in His prayer recorded in John 17.

John 17:23 ” I in them and you in me — that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.”

 ‘so that’: the Greek word is ‘kia hinna’ and is causal even though the KJV uses ‘and so’. Jesus himself said that If we do not walk in unity, then all of our good works and preaching will have limited impact.

Unity is the miracle that convinces the world Jesus is divine and His prayer was answered. Just minutes before this prayer, the disciples were arguing over who among the disciples was the greatest. They were arguing even though Jesus had given them strong teachings on servant leadership several times in the previous days and even that evening.

After this prayer and the resurrection, these formerly contentious disciples walked in unity. At Pentecost they were in ‘one accord’. It is startling: 3 years of power ministry by Jesus, accompanied by disciples always arguing over who was the greatest, yielded only a handful of disciples. A few days of ministry after Pentecost yielded thousands.

This unity was tested over the years, but it held even when Paul and Peter crossed swords over Jewish customs.

So how is this unity produced? Continue reading “John 17: Where does the power come from?”

Why will God fill His messengers with Glory Fire?

His purpose is to also be ours with Him—to bring in the promised harvest of His sons and daughters from every nation and ethnic group and to protect the remnant of the Church that will be refined like gold. Daniel says the people of God will shine brilliantly like the stars of heaven.

We are to rise and shine, not duck and hide!

Why is it so important? He is coming down to us, to bring the Kingdom of God to dwell with us on the earth. Our sons and daughters are given the opportunity to choose the Eternal Son and be the brilliant Overcoming Heroes of this hour on the earth! And then they will reign with him in justice and righteousness here, in every nation!

Take heart, tired ones.

We are not fading away as dry bones, but we are rising up as Dry Trees with immense Life-giving power to usher in the promised harvest for the everlasting Kingdom of the Son. The LORD is mighty and the Mighty One is causing His Spirit to rise up in you mightily in this hour on the earth. We will overcome by the words of our testimony!

We will not shrink back and we will not cower down! This is the hour of triumph of those who live by faith in the Son of God who is LORD of all lords.
The devil will throw all he has at us, but it will not be enough. Jesus declared that we would do “greater miracles” than he did on the earth, so that they have no excuse whatsoever before the judgment of the LORD at His coming.
He has indwelt us with His mighty power. We will blaze with Him and we will not be consumed. He will have a people on this earth full of faith and full of mighty actions for the Glory of His Son Jesus.

Jesus told the women as he was walking the way to the Cross, “Weep for yourselves and your children, for if they do these things in the green tree, what will they do in the dry?” (See blog post What is the meaning of the metaphor of the dry tree?)

So, let us weep for ourselves, that we become these Vessels. Let us weep and cry out not only for ourselves, but for the generation of our sons and daughters, for our grandsons and granddaughters, to become not only green but also dry, fully saturated with the Water of Life and blazing with His Glory and power in these increasingly difficult years before Jesus’ return!

What is the cover-up men will crave?

On his way to the cross, Jesus told the weeping women the prophesy given by Hosea (10:8). “Then they will say to the mountains, “fall on us!”, and to the hills, “cover us!”
Who is the “they” in this statement? “they” are the wicked, the unbelievers

Screams and running for cover will be coming from evil men and women, as they cry in terror for the altars of the high places of wickedness to hide them and for the power of the hill top shrines to cover up their evil deeds. These men are calling on their demonic gods to protect them from the wrath of the LORD which would destroy those high places and them.

In keeping with Jesus’ words, we can be assured that those evil men will see the Dry Tree—the Mature Church– blazing forth with the power and Glory of the LORD.

The apostolic writer of Hebrews reminds the Church that He is the LORD who makes his angels winds, And his servants a flame of fire. (1:7)

Ezekiel also saw that the appearance of the man as one of the four living creatures was a human face, yet it was like that of a bright burning torch, moving back and forth rapidly, issuing lightening flashes. The lightening flashes are the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, hitting the mark precisely where ever these beings aimed to go.

The servants of the Lord, even his sons and daughters who are alive in His Spirit, are hitting the mark with the Word of the LORD flashing forth like lightening bolts from their mouths. So much so, that these evil men who worship demonic entities will fear the LORD’s messengers who, in the face of the enemies’ death threats and the beheadings are still uncompromisingly holding forth the Word of Life. Remember the words of Apostle John in The Revelation!

And they overcame him [the devil, the dragon] by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (NIV, Rev. 12:11)

No matter how much the enemies of the Eternal Son Jesus try to hide their sources of Satanic power, the Burning Light of the sons of God will expose them. Fire-filled words of the LORD from the lips of the Dry Mature Church will accomplish His purpose.

What is this generation meant to do?

The prophet Isaiah (ch. 60:1-2) says His people will rise up and shine with brilliant Light, manifesting the Glory of the LORD, even in the midst of growing darkness covering the land. The prophet Daniel pointed out that the people of God will be strong and do mighty exploits (Daniel 11:32) as they take a firm resistant stand against the Anti-Christ. The Church will indeed stand up with power!

John saw in the Revelation (ch. 11) that two witnesses will have fire coming from their mouths and will be able to call down plagues on the earth such as the ones Moses saw happen before the Exodus of the people of God. Recall also that Moses saw and heard the LORD speaking from a tree or bush which was blazing with fire, but the tree was NOT burned to ash nor even burned out.

This is a foreshadowing of those end-time sons and daughters of God who will be the Mature Church, the DRY TREES which are burning and boiling with the Fire of the LORD– speaking and doing with demonstrations of incredible power. His Awesome Glory will be on their words and on their hero actions!
The messengers that the LORD has on the earth now are already rising with the Brilliant Light of His Holy Fire in their mouths. How? by proclaiming the WORD of the LORD for this time of purification and harvest. Miracles are happening around the world, even resurrections from the dead.

The people of God in this end-times persecution are not weak, but mighty to stand and do exploits—so much so– that now we can understand why Jesus entreated those women—and is entreating us.

Jesus said to weep, to cry out to Him about the calling and destiny of our children in this generation: “What will our children do in the dry tree?”

When we begin to weep and plead for our sons and daughters to choose to pursue Jesus Christ with all their soul, might, and strength, then they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and be able, with His authority, to do the amazing greater works Jesus prophesied.

Jesus Himself is standing at the right hand of God the Father interceding for them. And we are entreated by Jesus, even since He was on his way to the Cross, to intercede for these sons and daughters. Will we rise to intercede?