What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty-six

What would the fathers of the church of the past century say?

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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Allow me to do some name dropping.  Smith Wigglesworth, William Branham, Jack Coe, Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, A.A. Allen, John G. Lake, William “Daddy Seymour.  Do any of those names ring a bell.  Let me add to that list.  Peter, John, James, Andrew, Thomas, Paul, and their peers.  You surely know who some of these are, perhaps all of them.  My question to you today is this.  What would they say if they entered into our churches today?   What would be their attitude towards the so-called pandemic (Covid 19), towards the racial unrest and schism that so few are trying to perpetrate upon so many, towards the political unrest and unjust attitude of so many leaders towards the free people of our nation, and ultimately the people of the world? 

I believe their speech and action toward the church of the Lord Jesus would be very much like the speech and action of Elihu toward Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.  When the young man Elihu came on the scene in the Job scenario, he told Job he was angry with him because he had continually sought only to justify himself, and not God.  Likewise, he spoke to Job’s friends and told them he was angry with them because they had continually judged Job wrongly.  Job and his friends were supposed to be the men of wisdom of their day; the “go-to men” of the hour; the men with all the answers and power to make things happen.  But obviously, they were not.  Likewise, it should be the leaders of the church of this hour, Christian men in high places who ought to be the true men of wisdom of our day; the “go-to men” of this hour; the men (and women) in places of power and authority who are the leaders and Christians in high places who ought to be able to make things happen.  Yet that is obviously not the case.

We hear much talk and few, if any, solutions.  We see people with great wealth and power, but little demonstration of either.  The “go-to men” of our day seem rather to be the “run-away-from-responsibility” of the hour, who simply want to appear eloquent while fostering little more than fear in the minds of all who hear them.  My friend, these things ought not be, any more than they should have been happening to Job.  And yet with all the issues Job faced, ultimately the power to change it was in his own hands.  And the same is true today.  With all the issues the church faces today, pandemic, race, riots, violence, and corruption, the power to ultimately change it all is in the hands of the church.  It’s time for the church to awake to righteousness and sin not.  More to come.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty-Five

Where is the faith of the church?

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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At this writing, I am 71-years old.  I have been in ministry now for more than 49 years.  I have been married for more than 49 years, and have sons 46 and 43-years old, respectively.  I pastored a church for 28 years.  I have served the church and the Lord’s kingdom in many places around the world.  I have seen all manner of signs and wonders, miracles, gifts of healings, gifts of faith, and every other of the gifts of the Spirit in manifestation.  In all that time, I never dreamed that I would be writing the words I write today.  The Scriptures ask, “When Jesus returns, will He find faith?”  I know the answer is “yes,” but at this moment, I must declare that if He came right now, it may be that His finding of faith might be sparce. 

I have ministered the word of faith for almost half a century.  I have rejoiced and still rejoice in all that I have witnessed the hand of the Lord do.  But at this hour, I am stunned at the fear I see dominating the decisions and actions of so many of God’s people, and especially the ministers of the Gospel.  My heart cries for the raising up of those who will speak with the voice, fervency, passion, and steadfastness of Elihu.  The church (Job) must have the truth openly declared to it, and that need is immediate. 

Father, in the Name of Jesus, raise up Joseph’s with a God-dream; raise up Elijah’s who will call down the fire of God on those who would destroy the faith of God; raise up David’s who will go out in the face of giants and bring back their heads in honor to our King; raise up Elihu’s who will openly and boldly speak truth to ministers and church leaders who seem to be embalmed with fear of so many devices of Satan.  Our Father, use me as You desire, where You desire, when You desire.  In the Name of Jesus, I ask this as your son, your heir, and your servant. Amen

I will write more in the coming days concerning the imagery of Job as it relates to the 21st century church.  That has not changed, but today, I have an urgency in my spirit man that the time is here, and may in fact be soon pressed upon faithful servants of God to take their stand in faith, to speak truth in love, to pray though threatened with lions, to stand though threatened with fire, to challenge when outnumbered 450 to one (or any odds), and to walk in love when threatened with stones.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty-four

We are living in NOW.  The line between THEN and NOW can point THERE.

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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Once again, I launch today’s Second Miler with the statement, the Job scenario is a prophetic picture of the 21st century church.  Job was living at the height of his existence.  By the close of the 20th century, the church was living at the height of its financial and influential existence (not the height of its spiritual existence).  Job was attacked by the enemy, and between Job and his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar), the foundation for distraction was laid that it was God Who was doing the affliction.  On 9/11, the foundation began for distraction was laid that it was a matter of international politics, religion, and social attitudes and acceptance.  In both cases, the foundation for distraction was wrong.  The distraction worked, and simply drew people further into it.

In both cases, the issue was not shallow politics, religion, and social matters.  It was deeply spiritual.  In both cases, the attacks that occurred did so to destroy God’s influence in the lives of all the people involved.  With Job, the involvement was of a limited group.  With the church, the involvement is the whole world, for the church is the light of the world; it is the salt of the earth.  If the ploys of Satan can put out the light of the world, and make unsavory the salt of the earth, the church become ineffective and powerless against the ploys of Satan.

In the end of the matter with Job, restoration came, but in a measure far greater than that which he lost.  With the church, restoration SHALL come, and in a measure far greater than the lost.  I hear many words about the times in which we live being the judgment of God.  IT IS NOT!  I challenge you again to read Job 37:23.  Focus on the words that declare “He (God) will not afflict.”   Job’s trouble came on Job from the hand of the enemy, but the door was opened by Job himself.  The trouble the church is facing at this hour (Covid 19, the plague of social unrest, political unrest, and the like) are from the hands of Satan, but the door for it was opened by the church itself when it stepped from moving in faith to moving in fear.  Job was offering sacrifices daily for his children, for he said, “they MAY have sinned.”  He did not know for sure.  Where is the faith in such actions?  Fear was his motivator.  Today, the church is more concerned with what attendees think, what the world thinks, and what it can do to please and attract society.  That is motivated by fear.  Where is the faith in that?  The church MUST come back to what pleases God, not how to be seeker sensitive.  We MUST be sensitive to Holy Ghost.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty-three

Let’s look closely at the connection between the story of Job and the 21st century church.

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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Let’s take a look at what we can call a group photo of the Job scenario.  That includes Job, his wife, his sons and daughters, his servants (messengers who came to him), his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, & Zophar), and Elihu (God’s messenger).  The only characters not considered here are God and the devil.  We should see the church represented in the entire group.  Job, his children, and wife represent the family units within the church.  The servants (messengers who came to Job) represent the servants to the body of Christ (five-fold ministry and church workers).  Elihu also represents the five-fold ministry and the voice of right division and sound spiritual reason.  Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, represent the media, politicians, and the intellectual elite.  And we know that each of these three groups of people have within their ranks Christians, many of whom are horribly influenced by the systems in which they reside, and are misled spiritual voices that believe their opinions and perceived truths are above the Word of God.

Job was a very wealthy man in every way; family, houses, lands, herds, crops, and servants.  He was well-positioned, well-respected, and powerful in influence.  By the time of the close of the 20th century, the church as an organization was much the same way.  I’m not speaking of individual churches, but of the church as a whole.  So, poised for its transition into the 21st century, the church was in much the same position as Job at the beginning of his story as recorded in Scripture.  This is especially true of the church in the United States.  And of all nations, the United States is likely the most obvious one to be called a Christian nation, especially in light of the fact that no other nation in history has invested as much in world missionary work than the United States.  Prior to the year 2000, the church had its issues, but great move of God after great move of God (healing revival, Charismatic renewal, Word revival, great church revivals as in Brownsville, Florida, brought us into the 21st century in a good position.  But then Job, the church, came under the most brutal attacks it has seen in modern history.  It began in earnest on 9/11, though it appeared to be a political, or national action of radical Islam against the United States, or as the radical Islamists would call it, “big Satan.”  Keep in mind that Israel is known as “little Satan” to radical Islamists.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty

Look directly at the truth to see it clearly.

Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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I encourage you to read the book of Job in its entirety, read it slowly, think clearly of what is being said, and weigh it in its own light, NOT in the light of what you have perhaps always been told.  Many misguiding things have been said about what is in the book of Job, and such things lead us to false conclusions.  Again, I refer you to those who say Satan came before God to get permission to attack Job.  The Scriptures simply do not say any such thing.  Satan’s attempt was to tempt God into harming Job.  But God would in no way harm Job.  Job 37:23 clearly states that God “will not afflict.”  Remember, if God said it, that settles it, and that was a true statement made by Elihu who was bringing Godly correction to the errors of men that came from religious and traditional thinking.

Regardless of Job’s shortcomings, all God would say about him was that he was “perfect and upright in all his ways, loving righteousness and hating evil.”  You see, regardless of how man behaves, God NEVER stops being a faith God, calling things that be not as though they were.  When Job said that God gives and God takes away, he was wrong.  Yet God never did anything He was accused of doing by Job’s servants, or by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.  Once again, I challenge you to read the first two chapters of Job closely, slowly, and without prejudice based on what you’ve heard men say in the past.  It was NOT God who sent down fire to destroy Job’s wealth and servants; it was Satan.

And though Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are called “friends” of Job, their behavior, actions, and words spoken to and about him were far from being the behavior, actions, and words spoken to and about Job.  Their behavior was hostile, their actions hurtful, and their words critical and judgmental.  At the same time, Job’s words weren’t any better.  He was in a constant mode of self-justification, being critical of Jehovah for actions, words, and attitudes that were in no way coming from Him.  And when Elihu finally steps into the picture to bring Godly correction, he speaks of his anger, first toward Job for being self-justifying, and then towards Job’s friends for being wrongfully judgmental toward Job.  When we read the book for what it actually says, why would anyone try to build doctrine on the words of four men who were so obviously misguided?  Once again, as you read, do not allow yourself to be misled.  Read with good sense, not a religious mind.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty One

It’s time to see the picture as clearly as possible.

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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The book of Job, while historical in its telling, is also a prophetic image of the church of the last days.  Consider for a moment some of the prophecies concerning the church at the end of the age.  Isaiah declares that the end-of-age church will be one upon which its light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon it.  That agrees fully with the words of Jesus in which He is praying to Father and says, “The glory You have given Me, I have given them.”  The Scriptures also declare that Jesus is coming after a “glorious church” without spot, wrinkle, or blemish.  My friend, we have not reached that stage, but we shall, for that is the church Jesus is coming to make His bride.  The Word declares that we will come to the unity of the faith and to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ.  Once again, we have not attained to that point yet, but we shall surely do so, for the Lord has declared it.  And always remember, if God said it, that settles it.  We also know, if we will be honest with ourselves, that there have been times in our past when the church functioned at a higher level of power, honor, and respect, and that today, the church is struggling in many respects, being the object of horrible attacks by the enemy of our soul.

Now consider the story of Job.  He was blessed, rich, safe, well-off, and highly respected.  Satan attacked him.  Allow me to point to a truth that is too often missed, or even worse, misrepresented.  Satan did NOT come before God to get permission to attack Job.  That is simply not in the Word of God.  Yes, Satan COULD come before God in the Old Testament, but he can no longer do so in the New Testament.  After Adam’s fall in the Old Testament, Satan held rule over all God had created, up to, but not including God’s throne.  God gave it to Adam, Adam committed high treason, and gave it all to the devil.  That is why we can see him coming before God as the book of Job declares.  But be assured, dear saint, those days are past.  When Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave, He took back the authority Adam lost.  Now, the ONLY way to the Father is THROUGH Jesus Christ, and dear one, there is NO WAY J­esus will give Satan access to the Father.  That is now reserved for His children.  If you are His child, you have access to Father through Jesus, but Satan does not.  Rejoice in that.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty

It’s time for the church to look beyond the natural scheme of things without blinking.

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What in the World Is Happening? – Part Twenty

Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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For twenty days now we have been looking at the Job scenario.  While it is historical in its telling about Job’s victory, it is also prophetic in revealing what is happening today concerning the church of the 21st century.  So, today I will clarify once again, many of the elements in this prophetic revelation, and how the church should behave toward them.

On 9/11, America was horribly attacked by radical Muslims.  That’s history.  While many have a great hatred toward Muslim people, Jesus does not.  He hates the sin, but loves the sinner.  The church should be walking in its spiritual authority in the Name of Jesus over all the spiritual devices of Satan, and that includes the heinous, murderous, destructive spirit that had deceived millions to embrace the Islamic religion.  While nation may rage against nation, the church must realize that the problem is NOT political.  And while it appears to arise from religious or cultural differences, the problem lies in the spiritual realm.  Nations may use military weapons, even warring with great animosity in their hearts, but with the church, it MUST NOT be so.  The weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal.  The church MUST operate from a Biblical stance.  The church of this hour is perhaps in the most precarious position of its existence. 

I am a Christian.  l love my enemies as the Scriptures command.  I pray for my enemies as the Scriptures command.  I endeavor to NOT speak evil of them.  Rather, by praying for them, I take myself out of the way of strife so the Lord can bring the spiritual fire of Holy Ghost conviction upon those who are used as weapons against me by Satan.  As a Christian, my attitude, choices, and actions should NOT BE to engage in activities that would harm, threaten, or incite others to violent and criminal actions.  That, my friend, is completely unchristian.  But until we realize the true source of these very things taking place all around us today, we will always be drawn into the conflict in such as way as to hinder the Lord from entering into the matter in a way that can make it possible for the voice of modern-day Elihu’s to speak and be heard.  Only AFTER men and women of God are heard by those embroiled in the struggle will they be quiet and prepared enough to hear the Lord speak into their lives.  More to come.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Nineteen

False targets, when pursued, consumes resources, creates confusion, and conquers nothing.

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Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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The circumstances in our present world; international intrigue, ethnicity issues, race relations, politics, violence, lawlessness, and the myriad of issues we may consider just social or moral ALL have spiritual roots.  And in those arenas where we have forgotten the spiritual basis of their origin, and attempted to deal with them from a completely natural, carnal perspective, we will not only have not true solutions, but we will only see them get worse until they are addressed with the truth of their origin.  Let’s unveil the truth of these origins so we can stop wasting our time, talent, and treasures on false targets.  The problem problems we presently face in our world that have been assigned to racial matters, political matters, even religious matters, are all, in truth spiritual matters. 

Let’s look at racial issues.  Every human being on this planet came from one parent set – Adam and Eve.  That should be the end of the story.  All human beings are of ONE race – the human race.  Yes, there are many ethnicities, but that recognition arose from division.  The name, Adam, means “red man.”  From the base color of red, one can derive every skin tone of every ethnicity on the planet.  It simply means that all mankind has arisen from one set of parents, Adam and Eve, with Adam being formed from the soil, and Eve being formed from the rib of Adam.  The source of both original parents was the soil of this earth, and the life source of both of them was Jehovah God.  Regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or any other distinguishable feature, we all bleed the same color blood, and every ethnicity has within it individual whose blood type may vary; O, A, B, AB, and of those four, either positive or negative.  And any given blood type, regardless of the ethnicity from which it flows, can flow and function in any other person, regardless of ethnicity, in the world. 

From the basic truths I have just shared, even a cursory look at history through the ages should indicate to any reasonable person that racism as we know it, that is division and contention that arises because of skin color is totally a cultural creation.  It does not naturally occur.  While anecdotal reports are not accepted as scientific, there are enough accounts to give full credence to that truth that racism is not a natural thing.  Racism is a learned behavior, and has been so well learned by many people that it appears to be completely natural.  It is not.  And for it to exist at any level, it must be learned, but it was released in the earth as a spiritual condition that led to dividing what God intended to live in harmony – mankind.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Eighteen

For a proper prognosis, we must make an accurate diagnosis.  Surface knowledge NOT enough.

Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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Everything that exists in the natural realm has a basis in the spiritual realm.  Another way to say that is, that which is seen arises from that which is unseen.  It is law of Hebrews 11:1.  Nothing of natural substance or action exists except there first be a spiritual foundation for its existence.  These are statements of spiritual law.  From that spiritual law, we must come to the following conclusions.  The seeds of strife and contention among men were first sown between Cain and Abel, and that led to Cain slaying his brother.  When two strangers engage in violence against one another, it is from that same seed.  They are still family, human beings, both being descended from the original seed, Adam and Eve. 

In addressing a particular element of that pattern, let’s look at the current day tensions relating to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  These tensions have existed for thousands of years, even before the existence of what we presently know as Christianity and Islam.  Before the term Judaism or Jew was ever known, God had a people.  They were the seed of Abraham.  His grandsons, Esau and Jacob had their own dividing of the ways, and from that early division arose the seed of current issues between todays Jews and Muslims.  When Christianity came into being, hundreds of years before what is now called Islam, still more tensions arose.  This was not the plan of God, because Jesus died for ALL mankind, not just a certain segment.  But when men refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and His work and plan for their lives, they automatically become a part of the problem, and NOT the solution. 

From those earliest interactions from which strife was birthed, until our current day, where too many people have accepted religion as “the opiate of the masses, Christianity of this hour is generally viewed as just another of the world’s religions.  That identity is powerless, lifeless, poverty stricken, and generally useless as it regards true life and blessing.  Because of that, Satan has been able to disguise the true spiritual content of the problems of today’s world, and cause most people to buy into the concept that we are dealing with political, cultural, ethnic, racial, and national issues.  While all these arenas are indeed impacted, the truth is, the great problems of our world today arise from spiritual issues.  Until that understanding is reached, true spiritual solutions will be pushed aside as daydreams and wishful thinking.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job

What in the World Is Happening? – Part Seventeen

Returning to church-as-usual will not adequate to move forward from our present state.

Mark 4:3 & 26 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:….&…..So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

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As I have stated from the beginning of this series, the book of Job is a prophetic revelation of the final preparation of the Lord to prepare His glorious Church before His coming for that Church.  I am convinced that 9/11 marked the opening sequence of events for the church that has paralleled the opening sequence of events in the book of Job.  Let us consider the following.

Job was one of the richest and most powerful men of his time.  The first chapter of Job declares he was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”  He had seven sons and three daughters.  He owned 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels.  He also possessed 500 yoke of oxen and 500 she asses.  Add to that the fact that he was the richest man in the world in which he lived.  His sons had an ongoing party circuit with a party at one of their houses each day.  It was in all this that Job showed his first vulnerability.  He was making sacrifices each day for his sons and daughters, but his sacrifices were not being made in faith.  Job thought they may have sinned, and so his daily sacrifices were done in fear of a possibility that he could not know for sure had happened.  Job realized what could happen if sin entered into his world, but did not seem to understand that it was his fear of the unknown that really opened the door for Satan to strike, steal all he had, ultimately bring sickness and disease upon him, and ruin his reputation among his friends.

Dear reader, the current state of the church-at-large in the world today is a perfect parallel with the Job scenario.  The church has known great power, glorious moves of the Lord and dynamic manifestations of His power.  But today, in general, the church seems to be stripped of its former power and influence in the world.  As in the Job scenario, within today’s church is much internal arguing, debate, and competition.  Many judge others, and that wrongly, and those who believe themselves being judged are striving to justify themselves.  Satan has robbed the church blind, and many are blaming the Lord for the situation, saying He has sent current problems to judge the church.  Perhaps those folks should read Job 37:23, and the statement that God “will not afflict.”  Sound doctrine by which the church should live cannot be set forth when thinking is anchored in the sense realm, more observant of natural circumstances than the reality of God’s supernatural power that has been given us to overcome.  Returning to church-as-usual after the events of recent weeks will not suffice to please Father and fulfill His plan for His church.

Manna for Today – Mark 4; Genesis 3:7 & 21; Hebrews 9:22; Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 2:10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 24; Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job