Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. – Luke 21:35

 I’m a couple of days late with this. Yes, I meant to say days.

On God's calendar, the New Year,  and the first month of God's year, just began with the sighting of the first sliver of the moon on the evening of Wednesday, March 29th. According to God's calendar, we just began the New Year.

This is significant because in the Jewish law, on the 10th day of the first month, the Jews were to bring a spotless lamb into their homes. This lamb was to be the symbolic sacrifice that celebrated their deliverance out of Egypt. It was the blood of this lamb on the door posts which caused the Angel of Death to Pass Over them. To make things very clear that He was the perfect sacrificial lamb, Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Israel's home) on a donkey on the 10th day of the first month. Later in that week, He was sacrificed in the same way and for the same purpose as the sacrificial lambs of the Passover.

It is likely that few of those who are reading this post are Jews. As Christian, we are called by the name of Jesus, but we share two feast days with the Jews. Both of which are extremely significant. The first feast we share with the Jews is the Passover, though we look at it a little differently with the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and then Jesus' death and resurrection. For Christians, this is our feast of deliverance out of bondage, because our sacrificial lamb, Jesus, was slain for us and we were covered by His blood so that death will not come to us.

The other feast we share with the Jews is Pentecost, which is the Jewish Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. This was a celebration of the bringing of the covenant and the first fruits of the wheat harvest for the Jews. For Christians, Pentecost was the arrival of Jesus' covenant of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, the New Covenant, but the significance of the first fruits of wheat shouldn’t be lost on us either, as Jesus often refers to the planting and harvesting of wheat in parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. (This is incidental to my post, but in Daniel's counting, Shavuots had extreme significance and are regularly misunderstood when people discuss End Times prophesies.)

While everyone's focus is on the fall festivals of the Jews, especially those setting dates for the rapture, the beginning of the tribulation, etc., we Christians need to focus on OUR festivals, because we are not a part of the Jewish covenant. We are a part of the NEW covenant of Jesus. Though we cannot know the exact day and hour of Jesus' return, we can know the SEASON. I believe that the next 60 days or so, are HIGH times to be looking for His call to us to come away to Him. At the same time that I am eagerly looking forward to that event, these are also times when it is easy for us to be deceived by a false messiah or a false prophet.

Be careful with any celebration or teaching which exalts anything EXCEPT Jesus, His sovereignty, His glory, His grace and His work in salvation.

Among the false teachings to look for are individuals standing up and declaring themselves to be the Messiah, Christ, Jesus or the Savior… seems like a no brainer, right? Believe it or not, there are those who, "hearing flattering words," will turn aside and follow a false teacher or a false messiah, because their words smack with honey. Beware of teachings that exalt freedom, peace, safety, security, unity, tolerance, the environment, health care and new world order. (Environmental and health care are political objectives that tend to go beyond their stated objectives and are focused on gaining complete control over how people live, work, buy and sell.)

Yes… I did list freedom above.

Apart from God’s righteousness, freedom is rebellion against God and is a MAJOR stumbling block. It is better to be bound to and abiding in Jesus as a slave than to be free apart from God’s righteousness. (I will take up this topic in a different blog someday.)

The signs and season of Jesus’ return are here and we should be anticipating His return. Jesus tells us how to anticipate His return after explaining what the End of the Age would look like in Luke 21. He said:

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21:34-36

Do not be a dweller of this earth who are concerned with the snares and cares of this earth!

We are dwellers of heaven who are on a missionary trip to the earth. If your heart and your hope rest in the things of the earth, then you need to ask Jesus for a change of perspective. If you continue as a dweller of the earth, then you are putting yourself at risk to be deceived. Return to Jesus, focus on abiding in Him and being a dweller of heaven whose hope is in heaven and not upon this earth.

Today, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are four critical days in the Quail Songs and Canciones de Codorniz devotionals. Their purpose is to draw you into a deeper abiding with Jesus as your true Lord and Savior. I’m asking three things of everyone who reads this post:

1.  I am calling you to pay attention, read and apply the words of scripture that are being shared these four days to your lives. Whether you agree with me or not is not important. Apply the words of scripture that I am sharing to your life.
2.  Share these devotionals to family, friends and acquaintances that need Jesus in their lives or need to experience renewal in Him.
3.  Pray that Jesus will be exalted in the lives of your friends, family and acquaintances throughout these four days and throughout the coming season.

Exalting Jesus above ourselves and all other things is the best defense against deception.

Here are the links to the English and Spanish versions of the Quail Songs Daily Devotionals:

Quail Songs

Canciones de Codorniz

May God bless each of you in this New Year.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Second Coming: The ONLY Thing to Expect Is the Unexpected

No matter how big of a box you build, God won’t fit inside of it. No matter how clever you think you are in figuring out the riddles contained in the scriptures concerning the second coming of Jesus, God is still going to work beyond your wisdom to carry out His will. Therefore, the ONLY thing to expect concerning Jesus’ second coming is the unexpected. His second coming will be just like His first; unpredictable. Consider this passage from the seventh chapter of John:

Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.”

 But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division among the people because of Him. Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”

 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”

 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”

 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.” - John 7:40-52

Jesus didn’t fit into their box. According to what they knew about Him, He didn’t come out of Bethlehem, He came from Nazareth in Galilee. We only know better because we have the gospels and the books of the New Testament. The major point to understand here is that Jesus didn’t fit into their box; in fact, Jesus was a law breaker because He healed on the Sabbath and He was a blasphemer because He claimed to be the Son of God. Look at another discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees in the fifth chapter of John:

“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” – John 5:36-40

We are in exactly the same situation now. Those who are building boxes (or timelines) to fit Jesus into for His second coming are committing the exact same error. In fact, when I called out a particular date setter concerning an error in his interpretation, He told me that I am ignorant, another not so nice name, which I won't repeat here, and then assured me that his timeline was elegant and bulletproof and was put together by great theological minds.

We can see the signs, just as Jesus said we would, but we don’t really know the who, what, when, where, why and how things are going to play out. There are plenty of holes that no one knows how to explain. Here is an example of one of those errors, but there are many.

Many are saying that a third temple must be built so that the Anti-Christ can stop the sacrifice in the temple. Yet the scriptures teach that our bodies are the temple in which Christ now dwells in spirit and truth. Additionally, Christ was the ultimate sacrifice, which fulfilled the purpose of sacrifices; atonement for sin. With those two things in mind, why does God need a third temple and why would He be angry if sacrifices in it were stopped? I would think that the exact opposite would be true. The building of a third temple and resumed sacrifices would anger God, because it rejects the new covenant that He made through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.

Let me ask a few more questions. Isn’t there already an abomination which causes desolation sitting in a place where it should not be? Isn’t there an anti-Christ sitting on the temple mount of Jerusalem? Could we be constructing our timelines based on certain passages of scripture that we draw out to use as building material and by doing so we’re missing critical truths? The Pharisees did, what makes us think we are above that now?

Return to the passage from John 5 above. Why didn’t the Pharisees see the truth? Jesus explains clearly in verse 38, “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.” Constructing timelines and boxes to hold God in are completely backward and cause the scriptures to become an enormous stumbling block.

Brothers and sisters, work on causing the Word of God to abide in you rather than using it to build a box in which to put God. Jesus will come in the same way that He came the first time; unpredictably. The only thing to expect is the unexpected. Be found in Jesus, because the who, what, when, where, how and why won’t matter when it all plays out. The ONLY thing that will matter will be whether or not you and Jesus have a relationship.

NOTE: Pay close attention to Quail Songs this week.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Tribulation: Prepare to Go the Distance

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28

This post is not going to be an easy one, nor is it going to cause me to gain all sorts of popularity among Christians or anyone else for that matter. I do not belong to the Pre-trib, Mid-trib or Post-trib camps. There is valid, scriptural support for each of the three views. Some might accuse me of being wishy-washy for not coming down in one of the three camps and taking a stand. That’s their opinion.

In my personal experience and from what I have read in the Bible, I believe that the greatest error that Christians can make is to force God into a box and attempt to adamantly state that God will act in a specific way in a particular situation. The Jewish leaders were experts in the scriptures, yet because they had formed a box for God and placed the Messiah inside that box, they didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. I believe that our modern, expert theologians run the same risk when attempting to define what, when, where, why and how in relation to the End of the Age and the rapture or calling away of the Bride of Christ.

Here’s the part that’s going to kill my popularity. It really doesn’t matter when we are called away. Just in case you’re wondering if I really wrote that, I’ll write it again. It really doesn’t matter when we are called away. Here it is in bold print…


There is WAY TOO MUCH focus on the signs. There is way too much speculation on the dates. There is way too much focus on guessing who the anti-Christ is and when he will appear. There is way too much focus on whether or not there will be a third temple built in Jerusalem. There is way too much attention given to Jesus returning on particular feast days and sticking to God’s divine calendar. The list goes on and on and on and on, those confessing Christ are far too focused on these things and ignoring what really matters. Should we be watching? Yes, we should be watching. Should we be recognizing the signs as they appear? Yes, we should recognize the signs and even share them with others. Should we be anticipating the return of Jesus? Overwhelmingly yes, we should be anticipating the return of Jesus. What we should not be expecting or anticipating is that we will escape tribulation. Oops, I did it again, I made another unpopular statement. I’ll repeat it as well. What we should not be expecting or anticipating is that we will escape tribulation.


In fact, the overwhelming evidence from cover to cover of the Bible suggests that those who profess Jesus will not only face tribulation, but will face The Tribulation. I’m not saying this out of any sort of arrogance or pride or prophetic authority. I am as eager to be caught up before The Tribulation hits as you are, but the fact of the matter is that the whole of scriptures shows that God is glorified when the people who are called by His name are put to the test. Do I need to make a list for you? How about if I just toss out a few names like Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Noah, Job, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Gideon, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter and Paul. Oops, I forgot one, Jesus.

We are extremely arrogant to think that we can skate right into heaven at a leisurely pace with our hands behind our backs because we believed in Jesus as our Lord and Savior and were “born again.” This next question is directed right at you. What makes you such a great hero of the faith that you will be allowed to escape tribulation when none of these others, including Jesus, escaped it? Stop reading right here if that angered you. The words that follow will mean nothing to you unless that question humbled you.

Other than the Christians in some parts of the world that are being tortured, beheaded and killed for confessing Jesus, modern Christians are wimps. I AM A CHRISTIAN WIMP. I’ve never been truly tested in my faith to the point of death. I have a nice place to live with all of the modern conveniences. I don’t starve. I have plenty of clean water. I use the facilities and flush the waste away. I drop my garbage down a chute and someone else hauls it away every night. I’m free to sing and praise the Lord without anyone threatening to kill me. I can speak my mind without being arrested and thrown into prison. The worst persecution I can expect is someone being “offended” on Facebook.

If we are to be prepared to face tribulation, then we need to be asking ourselves some very hard questions and looking for the answers to those questions in Jesus. Here are those questions:

·         If all of the modern conveniences that you take for granted were suddenly gone, where would you turn? If clean water quit coming through the tap, if you had to start living in a shed without your wi-fi, your television and your recliner, if you couldn’t drive to the grocery store and stock up, if your storage of food and equipment and all of the prepping that you’ve done had exploded or been wiped out, and if you had to dig your own hole to bury your waste, then where would you turn?
·         If a gun was placed to your forehead and you were told to deny Jesus or go to meet Him, how would you respond? That’s the easy one, right? What if that gun was held to the heads of your wife and your children and/or grandchildren and you were told to deny Jesus or they would be sent to meet Him? What if because you refused to deny Jesus you saw your wife and your children raped and/or tortured?
·         What if you were watching your family starve to death and a relief agency pulled up with a truck loaded with food and fresh water and that you could have all the food that you and your family needed if you’d just allow a tiny little mark or chip to be installed in your hand or on your forehead?

Could you endure these things and more still singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”? I don’t know that I could endure those things. I’ll admit it plainly. I hope with every ounce of hope in me that I won’t have to endure those things, but I have to expect them and anticipate them in order to drive me to my knees and remind me that it will not be my will that is done, but God’s. It will not be my strength that allows me to endure them, but that of Jesus living within me.

A merciful God would NEVER do that! Really? What did Job have and lose? What did God’s own Son endure? What did those great heroes of the faith between them, which we read about with a sense of literary glibness, endure? Consider Psalm 18, what do you think David was enduring or seeing in a vision when he wrote those words? Where did David turn?

We have to put aside our arrogance. We have to understand that our ONLY hope is to be found in Jesus. My daily devotional, Quail Songs, hammers away on that theme every day, because HE is our ONLY hope. HE is our Rock and our Fortress. JESUS is our salvation. JESUS is our strength, our joy, our song, our patience, our endurance, our deliverance, our intelligence, our future, our shield, our EVERYTHING.


I earnestly pray that I won’t have to endure The Tribulation. If I do, I earnestly pray that I won’t have to endure all of it. If I do have to endure all of it, I pray with all that is within me that Jesus will carry me through it and I won’t try to do it on my own, because I WILL FAIL.

Too many who confess Jesus are looking toward the coming tribulation with a glib attitude, believing that they’ll just sail right into heaven in the winking of an eye. It is that glibness which makes me believe that we will probably have to face, at least, some of The Tribulation. I believe that the Bride of Christ will be purified. I believe that Jesus will be doing some separating between those who have truly humbled themselves and confessed Him as Lord from those who believe they’ll just skate leisurely into heaven. The preponderance of scripture does not support the idea of a leisurely stroll into heaven.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.” - Matthew 10:24 & 25


Those who will enter the throne room of God confessing Jesus as Lord will do so humbly. They will not be counting on their own righteousness, that day they walked the isle, that day they were dunked in water, that day they started speaking in tongues, that seminary degree or the fact that they happened to guess right on God’s timeline of End Times Events. The elect of Jesus will come before the throne of God on their knees, knowing that they are deserving of the same treatment that was dished out upon Jesus before He was crucified. The elect will know that there is no hope for them apart from Jesus as they bow before God.

HUMBLE YOURSELVES! in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. – James 4:10

Our great God and His Son, Jesus, are HOLY! If it is in their will that you should suffer The Tribulation, then count it as great joy and a small price to pay for what your savior endured to deliver you. You might have to go through The Tribulation, but if you truly count upon Jesus as your Lord, if He truly reigns in your life, if He is truly your hope and salvation, and if He has placed the seal of His salvation within you, then through JESUS you WILL endure it.


He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. – Revelation 21:7

Tribulation or no tribulation, your ONLY hope of being called away to meet Jesus in the air, at any point, is found in the Great and Worthy Lamb of God. Stop worrying over the what, when, where, why and how of what is coming and fix a steady gaze upon your ONLY savior. Look into His eyes and get ready for the ride He has in store for you. Let God and His Worthy Lamb be glorified! Amen.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Not My Will, But Thine Be Done

Jesus called me to subdue the city.
“The walls are too thick,” I replied.
“Walk around the outside of the city for six days. On the seven walk around it seven times and then blow the trumpet and shout my name,” He said.
I did as he asked and the wall of the city crumbled to the ground.

“Drive the invaders from this land,” Jesus told me.
“I’m afraid,” I answered. “I don’t know how to fight.”
Jesus handed me and the three hundred men with me a torch and a clay pot.
“Surround the army, sound the trumpet, shout my name and break the pots,” He commanded.
I did as he asked and the entire army of invaders killed each other.

“That giant defies My Holy name and raises a challenge against My people,” Jesus declared.
“I’m a mere boy, not a man of war,” I protested.
“Take your sling and five smooth stones and go out to meet him,” Jesus directed.
I put a stone in my sling and slung it with all the strength I had in me. Jesus guided the stone to strike the giant in the head and he died at my feet.

“Prophesy the words I direct you to prophesy,” Jesus demanded.
“My lips are unclean. I am not worthy,” I replied.
Jesus touched a burning coal to my lips, cleansed them and His words flowed from my mouth.

“Do not cease your prayers to me,” Jesus ordered.
“But if I continue praying, I’ll be cast into a den of lions,” I cried.
I obeyed Him and was cast into a den of lions, but their mouths were shut tightly and they did not harm me.

“Follow me,” Jesus said.
“I’m just an ignorant fisherman,” I answered.
“I will make you a fisherman after the souls of men,” He replied.
I followed and saw the blind be made to see, the lame made to walk, the deaf made to hear, the mute able to speak, the sick restored to health, those possessed by demons set free and the dead raised to life. I spoke and communed with God made manifest in the flesh, saw Moses and Elijah appear on the mountain and heard the voice of God.

“Go to the gentile nations and proclaim My Word,” Jesus ordered.
“But I am the one who is persecuting them for believing in you,” I responded.
I obeyed Him and all of the nations of the earth heard the Word of the Truth because of the testimony I passed along to those who had never heard of Jesus.

“Come home,” Jesus called. “Your work is finished.”
I went.