Thursday, March 31, 2011
The following article was retrieved from the May 2010 edition of The Revival Call, published by the End Time Handmaidens and Servants International. Their site can be found by clicking the link, or, if you wish: http://www.eth-s.org/
It is authored by Sister Gwen Shaw, and I am using it by permission.
"Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" Matthew 24:44
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" Revelation 19:7
As we hear the news of what is happening in our country, and all around the world, we must admit that we have come to the end of the Days of Grace. Everything is winding up so fast, it is mind-boggling --, and we don't know the half. We have but a small inkling of what is happening "behind the scenes," at the end of runways, in the dead of night, in closet meetings of the "elect" of Lucifer.
As I read the book of Revelation, I feel as though I am reading today's newspaper. And then, as I turn to the writings of the prophets that foretold the day in which we are now living, and read that the nations of the world (including America) "after many days...in the latter years, thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations [the return of the Diaspora] ... Thou shalt ascent [rise up], and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands [armies]...with thee... to take a spoil, and to take a prey..." Ezekiel 38:8-9, 12. I know I am reading about what Jesus referred to when He prophesied, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them wich are in Judea flee to the mountains...For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" Luke 21:20-22. Read these chapters prayerfully. Let the Holy Spirit teach you. He will show you God's calendar. Everything is on God's calendar. Everything is on God's schedule. Don't pray it away! Only pray for grace to be faithful to the end.
You ask, "How soon will this be?"
The words of Jesus clearly answer this question; "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, [this was fulfilled when Jerusalem fell to the Roman General Titus in 70 A.D.] and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" Luke 21:24. Then Jesus explained even more clearly in Luke 21:32, "Verily, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."
On May 14, 1948 Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed to the world, "ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DELCARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL."
People who were alive then are still living today. I remember that day very well. I was in Lanchow, Northwest China, when I heard the news, and rejoiced. It is my generation that will see all these prophecies fulfilled. Even quite a few of the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust are still living today. I know some; I have met them, talked with them, laughed, and cried with them. They are real people like you and me!
Jesus clearly said that "when the fig tree" and all the trees, shoot forth, you know that summer is near," Israel is that "fig tree." It "shot forth" i.e. became a nation, in our generation. Israel is God's time-clock. Watch Israel! Watch what the nations do to Israel! Watch how the leaders and rulers of the world treat Israel, and her leaders. Watch how they turn against her - and know the Son of Man is soon to appear.
You say, "How does that concern me; I am not a Jew, and I don't live in Jerusalem?"
But it does concern you, if you are a Christian. Jesus clearly said, "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth night" Luke 21:27-28
Jesus warned us how to live when He exhorted us, "....Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares" Luke 21:34 He warned that a "snare" would come on all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
And then, He gave us that ONE route of escape (not to Petra, or the Judean Hills), but being ready for our Wedding Day! Jesus gives His Bride a ray of hope in the same chapter of terrible suffering when He says, "Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" Luke 21:36 Only the Bride has been promised this "escape route."
I like the way the Message Bible interprets these last days, "It will seem like all hell has broken loose -sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar, and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the thread of doom, the powers-that-be quakaing....Be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complets surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. "Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through anything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man."
The "Days of the Gentiles" are over. The next thing on God's Calendar is happening so quickly, we hardly have time to get ready. Watch and pray! The Days of Testing are upon us. Small decisions you make today can determine where you will spend Eternity.
We will, no doubt, experience some of The Great End-Time Tribulation, for Daniel says, "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end..." Daniel 11:35. It will be an honour to go through the firey trials, because God only gives this to the few privileged saints whom He can trust for promotion into the Bridal Company. Accept your trials without complaining, that you may receive your Bridal Crown that fadeth not away.
In closing, I must bring us back to one of my opening scriptures, Revelation 19:7, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
Our Bridegroom will be wearing a vesture, "dipped in Blood" verse 13. His bride will be wearing fine linen (revealing her works and deeds of love for Him and others) made white and clean because they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb" Revelation 7:14.
Behold! The Bridegroom Cometh. Go ye out to meet Him!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A WORD FOR THOSE WHO FEEL LIKE QUITTING
by Carter Conlon
If you feel like quitting, this word is for you. Beloved, you are so close to something in God—so close to the victory that your heart has longed for.
This is not the time to quit!
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf” (2 Corinthians 1:8–11 ).
Paul was saying, “I don’t want you to be ignorant of this. We were on a divine commission from the Lord to bring life and liberty to people who needed to know there is a Savior.
When we were involved in this, trouble came against us so suddenly and powerfully that we could not stand against it.”
“…pressed out of measure…” ( 2 Corinthians 1:8) means the opposition was stronger than any resistance they could find within themselves. They didn’t know how to handle it, which eventually brought them to a point where dying looked better than living. Have you ever reached that place?
Many people today can probably testify, “When I first came to Christ, I had such optimism. Things around me were changing for the better, and the future appeared to be full of great promise. I was given a new heart, a new mind, a new spirit. But suddenly, without warning, things seemed to grow dark— circumstances changed, and
threatening voices from without and within grew so loud that I could hardly hear the promises of God. Now I am afraid to go on. I can hardly see hope ahead of me anymore.”
It is not uncommon to suddenly and inexplicably face violent opposition while serving Christ. However, it is important to remember that in reality, none of it can conquer you, no matter how it looks. It is like walking through a dark alley and being surrounded by vicious junkyard dogs—yet their chains stop them just short of being able to hurt you.
The devil’s whole tactic is to convince you that the evil around you is going
to overpower you. However, he really has no power to stop the work of God
in your life, for he was defeated on Calvary. His reign, the law of sin and death, and all the power that he had was cancelled on Calvary. There is nothing he can do but stand on the shores and watch the people of God go through the seas of impossibility into every promise given in Christ Jesus. The only potential power the devil has is when we fall into agreement with his reasoning and embrace his threats. “I don’t think I will ever change. I don’t think I can make it.”
In contrast, consider the words of Paul: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
(Romans 8:31–32). Only someone who has come through everything that we must face today could write such words. Paul had to get to the point of understanding that these things were more powerful than he could ever hope to be. His only recourse was quitting and he finally realized that his only help was in God.
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, not angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:36–39). I am persuaded! It is easy to be persuaded when you’re on the mountaintop, but being persuaded down in the valley is where you find the difference.
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with
tongues, and prophesied…. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul” (Acts 19:5–6, 10–11). For at least two years in Ephesus, Paul had experienced unimpeded preaching and miracles. People were receiving the Word of God in unprecedented measure and Scripture says that even handkerchiefs were taken from Paul and placed on people who were deathly ill, and they were healed.
“And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious (magical) arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand
pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18–19). There was no religious deception here—people were honest with God and put away their evil practices. They came to an understanding of the depth of Christ on Calvary—the depth of the forgiveness that was bought there. It was an incredible revival!
I think most of us would have been happy to live during that time—to see the things that Paul and those who ministered with him saw. However, it soon became evident that
it was time to move on. “After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that
ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season” (Acts 19:21–22). After sending Timothy and Erastus on, I believe Paul took just a moment to relax and reflect on all the wonders God had done. Have you ever done that? Have you ever just put your feet up and thought about all the miracles that have happened in your life since you became a Christian? We can picture Paul doing that here—just sitting back for a bit to savor the moment.
Then the next day, all hell broke out! Most commentators agree that this season was what Paul was referring to when he spoke the words of our opening text— “…pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life…” (2 Corinthians 1:8). A local silversmith began to stir up the other idol makers whose trade was in danger due to Paul’s preaching, and they all became infuriated (their profit margin was being affected). It grew into an uproar in the arena, and the people shouted for two hours straight, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Can you imagine being a Christian in the midst of that cacophony—a roar of voices trying to
shout down the Word, claiming that something else is greater than the God that you serve?
But that is the tactic of the devil. He was trying to convince Paul and his associates that there was a power greater than the God they were walking with, the one who had begun to manifest His glory. This uproar lasted for quite a while, and Paul was in the midst of it. We don’t have all the details, we just know that it was violent and that society had suddenly turned. The turning point seemed to have been when their god of gold was touched—their god of income and prosperity. At that time this great revival turned inward and turned against the believers.
Similarly, you and I are going to experience opposition from a kingdom that is being overthrown by the presence of God in us. We may know victory for a season, but keep
in mind that we are standing for God in a world that is against the ways of God—a world filled with people who, in their own ignorance, are opposing their own salvation. Some of you go to a workplace where those around you tolerate the fact that you are a Christian, and some may even be interested in what you say. That is, until it begins to affect their livelihood—because you are walking honestly while they are not. Then suddenly all hell begins to break out around you.
This world will profess tolerance toward us until their sense of wellbeing comes into question—until they realize the church is a force in the nation. Then we will find ourselves in the midst of this incredible war, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!
Great is Dow Jones of the United States of America! Great are our corporations and our image of ourselves!”
I don’t know what you are facing today or what kind of voice is coming against you, but I do know that you do not have to be overcome by it. You are not walking in a kingdom made by the hands of men but rather fashioned by the hand of God Himself. After the apostles witnessed Jesus feed the multitudes with the loaves and fishes, they got into their boat to cross to the other side. Suddenly a violent storm arose and it seemed the elements themselves were trying to throw off the testimony of what
Christ had just done. Why did that storm come? The enemy knows that the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is something he must oppose with everything he has.
This was not a chance storm in the apostles’ day and this same storm will come against every believer today. If you find yourself losing strength in a storm, you are a partaker of what others before you have gone through. Search the Scriptures and you will see that those who walked with God ended up facing all types of opposition. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions and Elijah had to flee from a wicked king. King David, mighty king of Israel, had a great anointing on his life and had won many victories in battle. Yet suddenly he found himself completely alone—the only ones who came near were those who were against him. But he did what you and
I need to do in such seasons—he encouraged himself in the Lord.
You must go back in your mind and remember how good God has been to you. David remembered how God’s anointing had come upon him. He remembered victories in his life— fighting the lion and the bear and running into the valley to face Goliath.
He also remembered picking up his harp and singing to King Saul, binding the devil so that he was no longer able to torment him. David thought about these things and encouraged himself in the Lord.
David went into the closet of prayer, and God showed him a way through. That is why he could write, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4 ). God was saying, “I am not going to take you out immediately; I am going to take you through. I am going to show you where strength is.” With his few men, David pursued what was lost, and although the odds were overwhelmingly against him, everything was restored—“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit…” (Zechariah 4:6). David concluded, “I will not get through this by reasoning or by figuring a way over or around. I will get through it just the way I started—by the supernatural power of Almighty God.”
When you get to the end, you will have a song, but that song will not be about how you figured it all out. That song will be, “Jesus took me through, Jesus saved me, Jesus carried me, Jesus walked with me, Jesus defeated my enemies, Jesus took me over the finish line.” You are more than a conqueror! There is no prison door that can hold you. There is no roaring voice that can drown out the voice of Almighty God, and no plan of hell formed against you can prosper. You are a child of God, and Jesus said, “I am taking you through to the other side.” Hallelujah!
Look again at Paul’s words: “…he will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered” (2 Corinthians 1:10–11, NLT). Paul acknowledged that God would rescue them because people prayed, and as a result many would give thanks to God. I believe one of the greatest victories we will know in our time is simply the awareness that we are not walking this journey alone. It is not just about me, and it is not just about you, it is about the whole body of Christ. We spend so much of our time praying for ourselves, don’t we? “Lord, help me; Lord, bless me; Lord, keep me; Lord, why me?” But the Lord says, “Would you let Me expand your thinking a little bit?” As you pray for those presently going through a tough season, when God brings them through, they will pray for you when your time comes. Then there will be great rejoicing, and many will give
thanks to God.
How are we going to get through the days ahead? How are we even going to get through the present time? We will get through because we are going to pray and believe the promises of God. We will get through because we are moving together as a body—nobody will be left behind. That was the cry of Moses, “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go… Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind” (Exodus 10:9, 26). As the church—the Bride of Christ—we are going to make it to the other side. We are heading out of here—going home!
Today you may feel “pressed out of measure, above strength,” as Paul wrote. People are facing serious battles. Some have lost children; some don’t know where their next meal is coming from; some are fighting for their sanity; marriages are falling
apart. I want you to know that we are standing with you—you are not alone. We are praying for God’s grace and strength to be yours. You are not going to be overwhelmed; you are not going to go down—we are fighting this together, and we will walk in the victory Jesus has already secured for us. Hallelujah!
©2010 Times Square Church
This article is used by permission.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Carter Conlon, senior pastor of Times Square Church, New York City, preaches this message "Deal With Sin Christ Is Coming." Very much worth your time to view. Just click this link and it will take you there. Presently, only the MP3 can be used, the video has been removed.
A message shared on February 28, 2010.
Father, HELP US to turn to You and deal with everything that would separate us from You. HELP US to walk away from everything that would easily beset us. We can only do this with YOUR HELP. In Jesus' Name.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
When we are praying all we know to in our own language, and there is a prompting of God's Spirit that there's yet more, we can depend upon the Holy Spirit to pray with God's wisdom to finish giving birth to what HE wants in the Spirit.
I remember making the remark often, over the years, that if I was not involved with raising a young family I'd be in some O.B. ward helping babies be born. God reminded me yesterday that everytime I go into prayer/intercession I AM in a Birthing Room, giving birth to those things that God is anxiously waiting for.
While I was taking my car out of the garage yesterday morning to go to prayer, He reminded me of that, and was telling me that He has the same excitement and anticipation awaiting what is being birthed in prayer, as WE do going to a delivery room with family and waiting to see for the first time a sweet new family member.
I want God to ALWAYS remind me of His expectations and the importance of intercession, and that it is NOT a small thing or just an obligation or drugery. It's something that brings God GREAT JOY, when we enter into His Birthing Room and that we have the privelage to be a part of such wonderful happenings in His Kingdom.
Father, I ask YOU to HELP US to not just to pray always, but to be enthralled about all that YOU want done in Your Kingdom. Help us to respond QUICKLY to prayer time and to make Your Birthing Room a place of joy and fulfillment in our lives. In Jesus' Name.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
by Carter Conlon
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six”(Revelation 13:15–18).
This passage of Scripture refers to an end-time event that will cause the entire world to spiral out of control. Whether triggered by a financial meltdown or a
military confrontation—whatever its cause—it will result in men’s hearts failing them and an emerging cry for a one-world government.
The Scriptures tell us that a man known as the Antichrist will arise and lead this one-world government. While at first he will appear to be a peaceful man, ultimately it will be revealed that he is indwelt by Satan himself. He will cause people to receive a mark on their forehead or their right hand in order to be permitted to buy or sell. Many Christians have spent a lot of time over the years worrying about this
mark. However, there is no need to be worried—and you will understand why by the end of this message.
In order to gain a better understanding of the days to come, it is necessary to go back to the beginning. Remember that Satan exalted himself against God and was subsequently deposed from his high-ranking position in heaven. Coming down into the
Garden of Eden, he approached those whom God had created in His own image, Adam and Eve, and sowed in them that same seed of rebellion. This original sin remains in our fallen nature today—a desire to be our own god, living however we please
without suffering any consequences.
Now regarding the number 666: Most biblical numerologists ascribe the number six to man, the number three to God, and seven to God’s perfection. When man is indwelt in
his body, soul, and spirit by Satan himself, we have what we might call a 666 trinity. Satan’s rebellion will finally reach its climax and a man physically indwelt by Satan himself will go into the temple in Israel and declare himself to be God. That was Satan’s goal from the beginning.
At that point, Satan will finally have created an unholy trinity. All of humanity that agrees with the concept that man can be as God will not think twice about receiving a mark on the forehead or the hand. They will have already stood in agreement with this fallen theology long before the mark ever came.
Jesus described the last days as being just as “the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark…” (Matthew 24:3 ). Obviously eating, drinking and marriage are not bad things. However, the danger comes when there is a preoccupation with security, and pretending that all is well—convincing ourselves that there is no God, no judgment, no everlasting peril just ahead.
Even if there is some acknowledgement of God, it comes with an inner contempt. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3–4). There is a scorning among those who walk after their own lusts and are not seeking the things of God. Their minds are not fixed on the things of heaven, and their hands are not reaching out to do the work of God. Therefore scoffing enters their hearts and they ask, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4). The same type of person sits here today and says, “Oh, no! Not another message about the coming of Christ. They have been preaching that for 2,000 years.” However, we must realize that the conclusion of the world as we know it is indeed very close, and there are multitudes in a place of decision. “How deep am I going to go with God? How much am I going to let Him rule my life? How willing am I to let His plan become the plan of my life?”
Paul also said, “That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In order to fall away, you must have been somewhere to fall away from. I believe this will be a falling away of people who sat in church but never
really embraced the work of God. They didn’t want to go to hell, but they didn’t want to live for heaven, either. They wanted the cross for redemption but did not want the cross for a lifestyle. However, that type of experience will not keep
them when the storm hits.
Esau, son of Isaac, had access to the promise God gave to Abraham—the promise that he would be blessed to be a blessing in the earth—and we, as Abraham’s spiritual descendants, have that same promise. One day Esau returned from hunting, tired and
hungry, and asked his twin brother Jacob for some of the stew Jacob was cooking. Esau, the older of the two, had the right to a double portion of his father’s inheritance, but he put his temporary, physical needs over his God-given blessing and sold his birthright to Jacob (see Genesis 25:27–34). It is almost inconceivable that he traded his birthright for a bowl of stew, choosing the temporal over the eternal.
Why will people fall away in the last days? Because even though they have been part of the family, they have never internally embraced what that meant, saying, “God, You promised me life; You promised to make me much more than I could ever be in myself. You promised to lead me on a path of righteousness as a testimony to many, and then into eternity where I will rule and reign with You.”
The Lord has given us great and precious promises, yet we may not see the fulfillment of all of them on this side of eternity. Esau, however, like the prodigal son, insisted, “I want my inheritance now! I don’t want to wait until this physical life is over. I want satisfaction now; I want to be wealthy now; I want to
rule now!” So he sold off what was of eternal worth and headed in the wrong direction. “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things”
(Philippians 3:18–19). Just as Paul said, many live every day focused
Picture, for example, somebody inside the first-class passenger liner Titanic after it hit the iceberg. Everyone had fled the ship or was in the process of trying to flee. One poor, hapless soul was down on the second deck examining the cabins, excited about all that he saw. “Wow! Look at this—gold faucets!” Oh, the insanity of seeking comfort and security in a ship that is going down to the bottom of the ocean. Yet it is the same for Christians who are looking for fulfillment in the things of this world. Of course, I am not suggesting that you can’t enjoy a walk in the park on a sunny day, or that we ought to walk around mournful all the time. Rather, it is our identity—who we are and what we are becoming—that should not be in the things of this world but in the things of God..
The Lord said, “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste…” (Malachi 1:3). Perhaps Esau professed, “Yes, Abraham is my grandfather and the promise is mine!” Yet God said that He hated the testimony and image of God that this man portrayed in the earth—this self-focused, carnal man who claimed to be in the lineage of God. You can say that the mark was on him because he owned neither the presence nor the promise of God.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 4:15 that the first marked man in the Bible was Cain, a man who willfully brought to God less than what He required of him. I cannot help but plead for people today who are willfully bringing to God less than He requires. There are things that they know God is asking of them, but they are not willing to obey. They are looking to be god of their own lives and somehow circumvent God’s will and God’s Word. They are trying to justify practices, relationships—trying to make what is wrong right. the presence nor the promise of God.
God put a mark on Cain, and he became an unsatisfied wanderer. In a sense he was relegated to a life of endless searching without ever finding that which satisfies. I cannot help but wonder why Christians run all over the world looking for Jesus, a practice that seems to have become more pronounced in the last two decades. Suddenly there is a new manifestation somewhere in the world and they are on the next
flight over. Is it possible that there is a mark there? Is it possible that they are not bringing to God what He requires? Subsequently, since there is nothing where they are—no living relationship, no prayer life, no revelation—they must wander the
world searching for satisfaction.
Jesus Himself said, “If they say he is over here, he is in the desert, don’t go there, don’t believe it” (Matthew 24:26, paraphrase). The Lord is everywhere—omnipresent. He is in the text of Scripture and if you are a believer, He is inside of you. You don’t have to look very far for Him. He is right here!
As you begin to do the work of God, the prophet Isaiah said you will ask, “Lord, where are You?” You will hear an inner voice saying, “Here I am. What is it that you want Me to do? For we are walking in unison; you are walking in step with Me” (see Isaiah 58:9).
“And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary” (Ezekiel 9:3–6).
God was about to judge His own city, Jerusalem—suddenly! However, the people were caught unaware—many had chosen to put off that day; most never believed. “It’s not possible that God would ever judge us—His own temple. Consider the history here; the
prayers that have been prayed here. No, surely God would never do this!” But when we start to believe that, we have substituted our own thoughts for the Word of God.
However, the Lord had a man who was instructed, “Go and set a mark upon the foreheads.” (Remember, the mark in Revelation was on the foreheads or right hands of the people.) In other words, set a mark upon those whose value system is in line with God’s; set a mark upon those who feel what God feels, who are walking in a way that Christ Himself would walk if He were on these streets. Set a mark upon those whose value system is not so intertwined with this world that they don’t understand the day in which we are living. Rather, they are aware of the peril ahead; they are concerned about the plight of the eternity of those who are vomiting in the streets in the evening.
Beloved, if there is a sighing in your heart, you can be thankful for that. It is not that you are morose, but rather there is an inner awareness that you do not belong here—this is not your home, your satisfaction is not here. God has set a mark on you!
Imagine the scenario for a moment: Satan sends a demonic horde into the world and says, “Go down and convince these people they should receive a mark.” I can see this devil coming back to his captain, saying, “Well, I went down and tried to place a mark on this person, but there was no place to put it. There was already a covering there, and it took up the whole space! There wasn’t even a corner where I could put a mark.” Satan replies, “Well, why didn’t you write over the top of it?” He explains,
“Because when I tried to do that, your pen wouldn’t write there!”
The prophet Joel said that even though all of this darkness may come upon the earth, the Lord will be the help of His people (see Joel 3:16). You may hear a lot about the mark of the beast in our generation, but I want to remind you that you don’t have to worry about any of these things. You are already marked—the space is taken and nothing else can be put there!
Always remember that God knows those who are His. He has set a mark on them, and they are sealed in His hand. I don’t know about you, but that settles it for me! Let hell throw what it may; let the devil send a flood out of his mouth; let society get as confused as it wants to get. But those who belong to Christ are sealed in
the hand of Almighty God, and nothing—no flood, no fire, no army, no demonic power, no poverty, no trial—can take them out of His hand! “For I know whom I have believed…” (2 Timothy 1:12). Paul was saying, “I am intimately acquainted with Him—I know Him.” I encourage you to continue spending quality time in the Word, meditating on the promises of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to make them so real that you can stand and say, “I know in Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep everything I have put into His hand until that day I am home with Him. God has set His mark on me, and I am persuaded that nothing that comes against me is going to stop His work in my life!” Hallelujah!
©2011 Times Square Church
This article is used by permission
Monday, March 7, 2011
Pastor Carter Conlon, is one of the pastors of Times Square Church, in New York City, and he presented a sermon March 6, 2011 that is very much worth your time to listen to. It's entitled, "A Plea For Moral Purity."
The link below provides access, and if you are interested, click the "Listen Now" and then point your mouse to "Listen to this audio in a new window." It will appear straight away.
A Plea For Moral Purity
Father HELP US to hear the urgency with which this man speaks and HELP US to use Your Word as the plumb line it should be, in our lives. In JESUS' NAME.