“I give command, and I bring them: Giants are coming to fulfill my wrath”


◄ Isaiah 13 ►
Brenton Septuagint Translation
A Judgment against Babylon
1THE VISION WHICH ESAIAS SON OF AMOS SAW AGAINST BABYLON.

2Lift up a standard on the mountain of the plain, exalt the voice to them, beckon with the hand, open the gates, ye rulers.

3I give command, and I bring them: giants are coming to fulfil my wrath, rejoicing at the same time and insulting.

4A voice of many nations on the mountains, even like to that of many nations; a voice of kings and nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts has given command to a war-like nation,

5to come from a land afar off, from the utmost foundation of heaven; the Lord and his warriors are coming to destroy all the world.

6Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is near, and destruction from God shall arrive.

7Therefore every hand shall become powerless, and every soul of man shall be dismayed.

8The elders shall be troubled, and pangs shall seize them, as of a woman in travail: and they shall mourn one to another, and shall be amazed, and shall change their countenance as a flame.

9For behold! the day of the Lord is coming which cannot be escaped, a day of wrath and anger, to make the world desolate, and to destroy sinners out of it.

10For the stars of heaven, and Orion, and all the host of heaven, shall not give their light; and it shall be dark at sunrise, and the moon shall not give her light.

11And I will command evils for the whole world, and will visit their sins on the ungodly: and I will destroy the pride of transgressors, and will bring low the pride of the haughty.

12And they that are left shall be more precious than gold tried in the fire; and a man shall be more precious than the stone that is in Suphir.

13For the heaven shall be enraged, and the earth shall be shaken from her foundation, because of the fierce anger of the Lord of hosts, in the day in which his wrath shall come on.

14And they that are left shall be as a fleeing fawn, and as a stray sheep, and there shall be none to gather them: so that a man shall turn back to his people, and a man shall flee to his own land.

15For whosoever shall be taken shall be overcome; and they that are gathered together shall fall by the sword.

16And they shall dash their children before their eyes; and they shall spoil their houses, and shall take their wives.

17Behold, I will stir up against you the Medes, who do not regard silver, neither have they need of gold.

18They shall break the bows of the young men; and they shall have no mercy on your children; nor shall their eyes spare thy children.

19And Babylon, which is called glorious by the king of the Chaldeans, shall be as when God overthrew Sodoma, and Gomorrha.

20It shall never be inhabited, neither shall any enter into it for many generations: neither shall the Arabians pass through it; nor shall shepherds at all rest in it.

21But wild beasts shall rest there; and the houses shall be filled with howling; and monsters shall rest there, and devils shall dance there,

22and satyrs shall dwell there; and hedgehogs shall make their nests in their houses. It will come soon, and will not tarry.

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Fragmented Souls & Breaking Soul Ties

1 Timothy 5:21-22 King James Version (KJV)

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

A must-hear episode of the Weekend Vigilante with Sheila Zilinsky. Breaking soul ties and healing your fragmented soul:

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 King James Version (KJV)

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Dark Side Disclaimer

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues…” – Matthew 10:16-17

Jesus told us to be as “wise as serpents and innocent as doves”. What does that mean? It means that we should not allow ourselves to remain ignorant, blissful as it may seem sometimes. Is it not easier to win a challenge of some sort if you know your opponent’s plans? Wouldn’t games be impossible to lose if you could read your opponent’s mind, predict their next move and pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses? (See Post: The Cosmic Chess Match – The Battlefield is in Your Mind) As Christians, our opponent is literally Satan himself. I mean, one of Satan’s many names is “The Adversary”, right? With an opponent like that, do you not think it wise to prepare before going into battle?

12 For 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

How great does a knife work if it isn’t sharpened first? Who fires a gun without loading it? Do you turn a light on before installing a bulb? Believers have a responsibility to brush up on facts and load up on the information they need, to navigate through the spiritual battlefield (that is this present life) without being blindfolded. Ignorance acts as a blindfold; I don’t know about you but I have no interest in walking the front lines or attempting to avoid landmines with a blindfold on. As the Pink Floyd song goes: “‘Forward!they cried, from the rear – and the front rank died.” Well, sorry to disappoint all the “elitist” tools of the world; but I don’t feel like dying today. I don’t want to die, and thankfully, I don’t have to.

Since the beginning, we’ve been steadily inching towards a culmination of prophesied events that are leading up to the most horrifying and epic battle ever witnessed by mankind; the last battle of a war so incredibly intense and unspeakably disastrous that we couldn’t fathom the chaos if we tried, no matter how many times we’ve replayed the kill scenes from Braveheart. The world ain’t pretty boys and girls. Our cradle is corrupted and the time is coming when the battles we face in the spiritual will manifest into the physical. The veil between the two realities (the physical and spirit realm) is not going to be there forever. When Christ died on the cross and released His Spirit, the Temple curtain tore in two. This phenomenon signified the bridge that Jesus set down for us between God the Father in the Heavenly realm and sin-filled humanity in the physical realm. Since we as believers are granted free back-stage passes like that, should we not do all we can to guide the lost toward Jesus too?

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Should we not gather up all the info we can to break down the strongholds that are preventing the lost from being found?

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ… – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

It’s only a matter of time until our faith gets put to the ultimate test. This isn’t a pop quiz either, this is the biggest exam in the history of the world. Humanity has been warned of this coming test since the very beginning, so how much studying have you done? Every minute of the day we are part of the battles leading up to the final one; the battle of Armageddon that we’ve all heard about; but how many of us take the time throughout the day to even bother thinking about it? Shouldn’t we do what we can to survive this?

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Scary as these thoughts may seem, God has provided us with everything we need to come out of this alive, and collectively these things are known as the armor of God:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… – Ephesians 6:10-18

DISCLAIMER FOR OUR DARKER ARTICLES

Sometimes we write about some dark stuff here at 3 Minutes to Midnight. Okay, a lot of the time. We realize this. We also realize that some readers may find certain content offensive or better left buried. This viewpoint is understandable but we choose to respectfully disagree. Christians were not meant to live out their earthly lives with their heads in the sand. The old saying “knowledge is power” has merit. As mentioned above, the more prepared you are ahead of time, the better you will be at defending against Satan’s relentless attacks, evil tactics and cheap shots when the time comes. When his moves become predictable, you end up with the advantage; but if he is continuously able to sneak up behind you and level you with stuff you didn’t see coming, then what?

Another reason for the things we post is this: Knowledge of truth and solid preparation operates as an antidote to fear, discouragement and doubt. Christians were told not to fear anything but God. Why is that anyway? Because fear is a form of reverence. If you constantly fear the bad stuff then you are, in effect, constantly showing it reverence above God.

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

Remember: God LITERALLY IS Love.

We are told over and over again not to be discouraged or afraid:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

And doubt, obviously, has no place in the Christian life because it cripples our growth and severely limits our success:

James 1:6 – English Standard Version (ESV)

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

Here is yet another reason: The easiest way to get a person to respect your opinions and listen to what you have to say is to relate to them on their own level. This isn’t to say that you should do what they do or subscribe to their way of thinking. What we’re saying here is that you should know what they do. For instance, how do you plan on convincing Atheists that Darwin was a little messed in the cranial region if you can’t even recall the titles of his books or what he wrote about? Or how can a doctor treat a patient appropriately without first finding out the symptoms in order to figure out what the patient should be treated for? We have a responsibility to learn the nature of the lies and problems that are destroying people. We are told to be as wise as serpents while still remaining as innocent as doves. Don’t make the mistake of taking the “innocent as doves” part lightly either, it is far too easy to expose the sin of someone else only to fall into the same trap they fell into.

Galatians 6:1 – English Standard Version (ESV)

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Our goal here is to win souls. Our purpose in life is to help bring people to God. We are fishers of men. Our duty is to fish people out of a sea of confusion to keep them from drowning; but how can we possibly do that if we ourselves are confused and stuck in there with them? If we can’t explain to the lost exactly why they are lost and why they’re on their way to harvesting an influx of death, then why should they even listen to us? We must learn. We must grow, and we absolutely must act on our knowledge.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.James 2:14-26

(It’s not enough to just say that we believe in God. If our faith is genuine our actions will prove it. We are saved by grace, yes – we are justified by our faith, yes – but our deeds testify that our faith is real.)

Speaking of faith, knowledge of truth increases faith and causes us to stand steady and unwavering on a solid and unshakable foundation. The more you know about our existence, the meaning of life, the way things went down in history and where they’re going today, the world religions that people buy into and the common traps that people fall into, the more solid your foundation in Christ becomes. Why? Because Jesus really is The Way and God really does exist. Don’t be afraid to look into it out of fear of what you may find. The more truth you know, the less likely you are of becoming one of those unfortunate seeds that sprout up quickly and instantly wither from an insufficient root system; or one of the ones that sprout up only to be choked out by surrounding thorns. If someone tells you that the sky is purple plaid, you know for certain that they are wrong and you stand strong and unwavering in your certainty. This is how your faith should be. The only way to get there is through knowledge of the truth.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

Please take some time today to toss your net into the water off the right side of the boat and sharpen your sword for battle, you’re gonna need it.

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Faith Without Works is Dead

Faith Without Works is Dead

Lately I’ve noticed a growing trend I like to refer to as the ‘Lazy Man’s Salvation Plan’. There seems to be a fairly large group of Christians out there who like to use the ‘Saved by Grace Alone’ card to justify their continuous questionable behavior, regardless of how many times the Bible reiterates the evil and dangers associated with every form of sin, regardless of the ‘Butterfly Effect’, regardless of the inevitable fallout and unfortunate collateral damage. These people continue to sail down the extra-wide highway to hell, sinning like it ain’t no thang, expecting God’s grace to perpetually cover and shield them no matter what they do or say, or where they stray in life; even though they know that sin is in direct opposition to God and opposes His very nature. How many people out there call themselves Christians then turn around and do things that contradict that, over and over again? Too many. How can you tell when someone has strayed from the straight and narrow path that leads to life and landed instead on the highway that catapults people to their death?

Matthew 7:15-20 – New King James Version (NKJV)

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

We are identified by our deeds; by what we do, say and produce. We cannot continue to live a life of willful sin and expect God’s grace to just deal with it.

Romans 6 – English Standard Version (ESV)

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey it’s passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and it’s end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Actions speak louder than words and faith without works is dead. Ask yourself this question and answer honestly: Do you talk the talk without walking the walk?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. – James 2:14-26

It’s not enough to just say that you believe in God. If our faith is genuine then our actions will prove it. We are saved by grace, yes – we are justified by faith, yes – but our actions and works testify that our faith is real.

Revelation 3:2 – English Standard Version (ESV)

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

Read the Book of Revelation in it’s entirety by clicking here.

The Cosmic Chess Match: The Battlefield is in Your Mind

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2 Corinthians 10:3-12 – English Standard Version (ESV)

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

Spiritual warfare is and will continue to be a common theme here on 3 Minutes to Midnight. Spiritually speaking, the battles we face on a daily basis take place in our heads. The issues we face in the physical realm are manifest symptoms of our inner spiritual battle. The battlefield is in your mind. The war that is going on is FOR your mind.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

What and who are we if we aren’t our personalities; our convictions and beliefs? This is why knowledge of truth is so important, because it shapes who we are and where we’re going. Our true identities are hidden and preserved for us, inside the truth. When we become conscious of something and believe it wholeheartedly it changes our worldview and points us in a new direction. This is why it says in the Bible that God’s people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge. We live in a fallen world and we’re stuck here until we move on to the next. Humans by nature are “children of wrath”. We are sinners by default; self-preservation comes naturally, as it does to any animal. The difference between us and them (the animals) is our spirit. Our goal is to shed our animalistic (self-preserving flesh) nature and discover and truly live and breathe Christ-consciousness, with thankfulness. Oh and hey, I’m part native but I still stand by what I’m saying here. Respect for creation and it’s creatures is a good thing, yes; but in everything we must draw lines until it becomes a clear picture. This may come as a surprise to you – but you are worth more than the animals, though they are valuable.

Ephesians 2:1-5 – English Standard Version (ESV)

By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

We are expected to work hard towards capturing our thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Jesus. Every thought? Yes. Every. Single. Thought. All of them. As it is in a physical war, so it is with the spiritual. As above, so below. A war consists of many battles; we win some, we lose some. The fact remains though that God has already won this war. You have the advantage of knowing which side will win. The question though, is will you die in the process? This is where free will comes in. Will you die? Are you willing to fight for life or will you roll over and allow death to overtake you? How do you prep for battle? Are you a deflector? Are you a prisoner of war? A treasonous traitor? Are you in the front lines or are you busy hiding behind a wall of dead bodies? When you see the enemy coming, do you fight or do you flee? Can you imagine what this battle would look like if it manifested in the flesh, with each one of us playing a part? What part would you be playing? Are you a Pawn? A Knight? A Bishop? Do you guard the King or run head-long into the path of the Adversary’s Queen Babylon? Are you becoming a part of the body that makes up your King’s Queen? Are you becoming a member of the Body of Christ? The Bride of Christ? Do you remember Esther? Do you see what I’m saying or do you play chess with a blindfold on?

Speaking of pawns; contrary to popular belief, they do have value. They are extremely useful and they absolutely serve a purpose.

1 Corinthians 12 – English Standard Version (ESV)

Spiritual Gifts

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13 – English Standard Version (ESV)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

So again I reiterate: What part are you playing in this war, who’s side are you assisting and how prepared and willing are you to fight to defend it?

Only a Faithless Generation

6ef5ac15b08d6efb3a2f2870856571f7So many people are looking for signs; so many of us are hunting for reason, searching for purpose, seeking something higher than ourselves. We collect evidence, argue opinions, debate everything, seek out people who will tell us what we want to hear and refuse to allow ourselves to be convinced of things we should already know.

When did we become so stubborn and blind? How many alarms have to go off before we wake up?

Matthew 16:1-4 – King James Version (KJV)

16 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And he left them, and departed.


I got some bad news today. More bad news. News that most people would consider devastating or heartbreaking. News I never wanted to hear and never thought I would hear.. because streaks of calamity like this only happen to other people, and sometimes in the movies, right?

I received a short text message from my dad today, 14 words that readjusted my floppy sails. I went kind of dumb and numb for a few minutes, then I cried and prayed for a bit, then realization swept over me in a way that isn’t easy to explain. We’ll see how long it takes me to get this out without publishing too many private details. I just looked at the clock, it’s 4:44 p.m. When I checked the time earlier it was 3:33 and when I checked the time before that it was 1:11, obviously. I’m having one of those days again, but I digress (sort of).

At face value, these problems seem insurmountable. These issues seem endless. The bad news comes in waves and the waves recede only long enough for me to catch half a breath, then they crash over me again. This is not a cry for help though. On the contrary – this is a declaration of stability. I am not drowning.

How much of our lives is really an illusion? Is this reality we’ve become accustomed to the beginning and end of everything? Is this earth the Alpha and Omega? Of course not. There are so many things beyond the scope of our polluted vision that we can’t grasp unless they’re handed to us, which begs the question: When? When are these elusive things handed to us? I believe the answer to that is always. The truth and the answers are always in our faces and standing right in front of us. We trip over and smash into them daily but still don’t see because our eyes are closed and our ears are covered. We’re like indignant little kids, stuck inside the boundaries of this playpen called Earth, covering our ears and closing our eyes, complaining and stressing, feeling hopeless or even panic-stricken, and waiting for someone to come along and impress us, entertain us, save us, pamper us, deliver us, sacrifice for us. When did we inherit this sense of entitlement? Who died and made us kings? It most certainly wasn’t us, which renders us undeserving.

We are still alive, if you can even call it that. Our sense of reality is morbidly skewed and there’s something vitally significant that we aren’t getting. There are things we don’t understand. So many of us hear these things and recite them to others but fail to absorb the information ourselves. I know this because I have been guilty of it on more than one occasion.

2 Timothy 3:1-10 – English Standard Version (ESV)

Godlessness in the Last Days

3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

In our ignorance we push and clamor and crash around our padded playpen and still manage to succeed in destroying ourselves despite being confined to the safety of our bound and limited physical environment. So many blessings pass over us because we’re too busy focusing on the blinding neon distraction that is the material world, instead of considering all the wonders we can’t see and reaching for them before they pass us by. Why is it so hard to ask ourselves what we’re missing, what we don’t know – when it’s so easy to complain that we don’t have enough of what we want? Do we not lack what we want as a result of lacking the understanding that we need to pick it up? And when our needs are met, is that not the result of a loving God who knows what we need even when we don’t?

Hosea 4:6 – King James Version (KJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

God literally IS Love and Truth. To reject Love and Truth is to reject God, and to reject God is to reject Love and Truth.

We weren’t given life so we would give up and die. We were given life so that we could live and we were given Christ so that we could live more abundantly. And I don’t mean rolling around in piles of money, by the way. Money is literally one of the dirtiest, filthiest things on Earth and not by coincidence either. I don’t want to die only to leave an epic legacy of wasted oxygen and a list of complaints so long it could be wrapped around a football stadium. I want to live right now and walk on these killer waves like I would a solid foundation, and humbly embrace the gifts that God has offered me. The only way to do that is through faith in the love and power of God. It’s kind of hard to see when your eyes are clamped shut or busy rolling into the back of your head, isn’t it? We need faith to see why faith isn’t blind. We need to care enough about truth, justice and love to give it a chance. We have to give it the benefit of the doubt to start seeing all the things that are hidden in plain sight.

John 14:12-14 – King James Version (KJV)

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

The kicker is that to whom much is given, much is required. No one is going to understand what I’m saying here unless they already have understanding.

When I received that news today I did the human thing and freaked out a bit, but the calm came quickly when a collection of many eclectic thoughts and memories suddenly popped into my head at once at the most illogical time. I guess you could say I had an epiphany. I am an analyst by design, it is both a strength and a weakness. It’s exceedingly difficult to sneak things past me. I can’t help it, I was born to see the fault-lines and zero in on the little things from miles away. When people talk to me I hear what they are saying but I also listen to the unspoken words and read between the lines. The world falls apart and back together in my head. I deconstruct and rebuild the invisible just to see how it works. These are not the ramblings of an insane person, this is not wishful thinking or ego or delusions brought on by confusion. These are logical and simplifying metaphorical illustrations of things that are incredibly complicated and equally difficult to explain coherently without utilizing metaphors. Our earthly existence is one big giant metaphor made up of countless little timeless metaphors, with finite and dying lies thrown in that make things appear random to those who can’t see. Even the definition of the word metaphor gives an example of the word’s meaning by saying “A mighty fortress is our God”, and the definition of parable is “a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle or moral lesson.”  The lies are caused by a serial generational lack of understanding. Parables and metaphors are a tell-tale sign of knowledge of the truth, but I am not claiming to be knowledgeable, lest I cause myself to stop learning by allowing pride to creep in and stupefy me. There are more than a billion things I don’t know, but one thing I do know is this: There is no truth in chaos. Nothing is random. Nothing under the sun is new. Everything here is either carefully recycled, replayed, reinvented… or clumsily regurgitated old stuff. Darkness is not really the opposite of light; darkness is only the absence of light. Likewise, chaos is nothing but the absence of order. Darkness and Chaos are not.

Proverbs 12:19 – English Standard Version (ESV)

19 Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Do you see what I see? I see the walls crumbling. I see the veil lifting, I’m looking at the Temple curtain torn in two. I’m watching barriers dissolve. I recognize that matter is only energy, held together by the will of God. The waves are steps towards Heaven but the Kingdom is inside me. I find myself and discover my own identity by finding God; or rather, I discover my identity when God finds me. I am not God, there is only The One, but He loves me and lives in me and I in Him. I am just a lowly but loved, undeserving but blessed servant who is called a child and a friend of The Almighty when I am connected to Him. My life is just a wisp, a vapor – tiny and insignificant but He keeps it going. Do you know what Love is? Do you see what I see? I see signs of calculated intention by a loving God who knows what we’re going through, who knows and desires to bring order out of chaos and light where there is none. A God who has already won the war; the cosmic chess match of the ages.

Romans 8:28 – New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

I light a candle with the match that God has given me and I watch the darkness flee for it’s life when it doesn’t even have one. Only a faithless generation would ask for signs, because the ones who have faith can already see them.

CELEBRATE THE OCCASION

When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. – Genesis 21:8

Have you lost sight of the importance of celebrating God’s blessings? Sometimes we overlook celebrations and think of them as frivolous, costly or unimportant; but it is during these times of celebration that we remember the most. Feasting over God’s blessings encourages us and motivates us to continue on our journey of pressing on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) Do you have an occasion, large or small, in your life to celebrate? Take time to celebrate it.

Happy Birthday to my little brother.

Isaiah 41:10 – New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’