Saturday, December 17, 2011

Children Learn What They Live

Where U C Injustice

We live in unparalleled times. Not since the first century have more Scriptures been fulfilled in a single generation. Each unfolding Word brings down another mountain; it lifts another valley. In truth, the way is being prepared 4 our King's return into this world.

The Great Revolt
The Lord forewarned that, during the End Time, "many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase" (Daniel 12:4). Contrast our time w/any other in history: Not only are we traveling farther and more frequently, but we do so in a world inundated w/increasing knowledge. It has been our privilege 2 behold the prophetic return of Israel 2 its land (see Jeremiah 16:14-15), and our misfortune 2 live when "the earth is... polluted by its inhabitants" (Isaiah 24:5).

As though Jesus were reading a news summary of recent years, His prophecies of 2,000 years ago clearly describe our times. Thus, we are compelled 2 discern accurately the significant era in which we live. Indeed, of the many prophetic fulfillments of our day, one in particular rises w/undimmed candor. I am speaking of what the Bible calls the "apostasy." You will recall Paul's warning:

"Let no one in any way deceive u, 4 [the day of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

The apostasy has traditionally been described as a time of deception and massive falling away from authentic faith in Christ. Depending upon your specific view, sometime b4 or after the apostasy the rapture of the Church will occur. However, the concept of apostasy as merely "a falling away" is incomplete. The original Greek word 4 apostasy, apostasia, when used in classical Greek literature, meant "a political revolt." From this we understand that the End Time apostasy is not just a time of sinfulness or large scale backsliding; it is actually a time of open defiance and warlike aggression against divine moral foundations. In other words, the apostasia is a political insurrection against the laws of God.

This interpretation of the apostasy is not an isolated view. The New International Version, Revised Standard Version, Phillips Translation, and New English Bible all render apostasia as "the rebellion." The Living Bible interprets the apostasy as the "great rebellion," while the Jerusalem Bible assigns a proper name 2 this era: "The Great Revolt."

As we consider the fulfillment of so many other prophecies, let us carefully observe: mankind has entered an era of open revolt and outright rebellion – an apostasy – against the moral standards of God.

Today, we are witnessing a large-scale rebellion against godliness and moral values. Indeed, this brazen attitude has had a name 4 itself since the 1960s: the sexual revolution. And "revolution" is exactly what it is. Our moral standards have not only been challenged, they have been replaced by a nonstandard. Indeed, the great rebellion seeks 2 legitimize and then mainstream every perversity known 2 man!

There is much 2 say on behalf of those trapped in perversity and who hate sin's affect on their lives. We must be compassionate toward them and not strident; many are sitting in our churches afraid 2 even speak of their need lest they be disowned. I am not speaking w/reference 2 the victims of this advance, but of those who are engaged in a mutiny against the sway of God in our nation. They argue the only standard Americans have is the standard of individual freedom. In their view, freedom itself is the "god" ruling America, w/self-indulgence sitting as chief counsel.

Yet, the God of Heaven desires the nations of the world. Though the apostasy will certainly intensify, we must remember it is only one of many prophecies unfolding in our day. The same Divine Word that warned of the Great Rebellion also assures us that ultimately God's Kingdom shall crush the demonic influences in our world (see Daniel 2:44).

Yes, evil shall mature into full rebellion, but good is also ripening into full Christlikeness! (See Matthew 13:40-43; John 17:22-23.) True, the apostasy shall reveal the nature of satan, but the true Church shall manifest the nature of Christ! Our King is not only coming in the skies, He is coming "2b glorified in His saints on that day, and 2b marveled at among all who have believed" (2 Thessalonians 1:10). What seems 2b satan's hour, full of darkness and rebellion, is simply the opportunity 4 grace 2 abound 2 the glory of God in the Church!

Seated with Christ!
The Second Psalm, perhaps more than any other Bible text, accurately portrays the spirit of our time. Indeed, it also proclaims our correct response 2 satan's bold advance. Although it was quoted by the early Church (see Acts 4:25-26), God has set its full realization 4 the end of this age.

"Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!'" (Psalm 2:1-3).

Although "the rebellion" reveals itself worldwide in many ways, in America many of our leaders have certainly been counseling together "against the Lord" in their decisions. We see it in the legal protection offered the gay movement and the shelter provided 4 satanic rock music. Again, our anti-censorship laws, like armor plating, have been established 2 defend sin against the Lord, shielding the perversity of our entertainment industry. The virulent cry of those in rebellion hammers relentlessly upon the fetters of moral restraint!

This railing against God has not gone unnoticed in Heaven. Is the Almighty confounded? Has fear concerning recent developments gripped the Lord's heart? No. The Psalm continues,

"He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury" (Psalm 2:4-5).

The Lord laughs at the foolishness of those in full revolt, as they imagine God's judgments cannot reach them. Why then, u ask, does the Lord delay His full judgment? In part, the Lord waits 4 us, His Church. For while the world shall demand, and receive, the reign of Hell, the goal of the praying Church shall be 4 the reign of Heaven. You C, all of God's prophecies shall be fulfilled: those concerning evil and also those concerning righteousness. The Lord has purposed 2 have a "Bride w/o spot or wrinkle" and a "Kingdom" of wheat w/o tares. The transformation of the Church will be fulfilled as surely as every other prophecy occurring b4 the Lord's return.

Thus, w/great fear and holy trembling, we must review what God has promised concerning us. Let us remember, the Lord is not alone in the heavens. According 2 His Word, He has "seated us w/Him in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 2:6). It is time 4 our identity as Christians 2 shift. Our nationalities only define our ambassador status; our true citizenship is in Heaven (see Philippians 3:20). And if God is laughing at the mocking of those in the rebellion, let us also, as His subjects, share His confidence!

Thus, He commands us 2 sit w/Him in the completeness of His purpose. He requires us not only 2 live w/o fear but 2 stand in prayer 4 these very nations that defy Him!

Listen again 2 this Second Psalm, 4 in the very context of worldwide rebellion against the Lord, it records the most remarkable discourse: "Ask of Me," the Father says the Son, "and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession" (Psalm 2:8).

When I first came 2 Christ in 1970, Churches in America were deeply divided and rather cold in organized prayer. Today, leaders of denominations are working together, and it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million American Churches are moving toward deeper unity and increased prayer 4 this nation. Jesus has asked the Father 4 the United States, and in response, the prayer movement has been born!

As Christ's Church, we do not deserve a national revival, but Jesus does! As His representatives, in His name and virtue, we ask of the Father 4 America! More than an expression of faith, our prayer is actually an act of obedience: We are commanded 2 ask God 4 the nations!

Therefore, while the perverse strive toward complete rejection of God, even as their mocking words fill the air, the Almighty's unchangeable promise 2 His Son (and by extension, His Church as Christ's Body) is "Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations!''

As violence, New Age religions and witchcraft flourish in our schools, ask God 4 this nation. While all restraint is removed from the entertainment industry, ask God 4 this nation! While perversity dresses in normalcy, ask God 4 America! While abortion remains protected by laws, ask God w/confidence, w/ boldness, and 4 our land! Where u C injustice in any form, ask God 4 His Kingdom 2 manifest on earth!

"He who sits in the heavens laughs."
Put away fear and discouragement; repent of fretting. The more we accept our place in the divine plan, the more we shall laugh at the enemies' plans. The faith that relentlessly asks God, pleases God. Now, as the fullness of the times unfolds, as the world around us clothes itself in prophetic fulfillments, let us put away unbelief; let us repent 4 withdrawal. It is a time 2 boldly ask of God. As He has promised: He will give the nations as an inheritance 2 Christ!

Let's pray: Lord Jesus, how blessed we are that as evil matures into full rebellion, Your Church matures into full Christlikeness. Teach me 2 pray 4 my inheritance, my nation. Use me 2 stand in the gap until my people become Your people.

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane