Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Tag

The Night is About to Get Colder   2 comments

thz9528kes

This is from the blog Grace and Truth:

“Crystal meth is the devil’s drug,” Jacob said.

“You mean ice?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he  answered, “It is the devil’s drug. I was on it.  It ruined my life.  I lost my family and my friends.

“Everyone’s on it,” he went on, “it’s taking over this city.”

I was talking to Jacob last night on the street.  A young guy who looked like he had done some heavy stuff in his young life.

“One time, ” Jacob told me, “I went straight up through the clouds to heaven (on a trip).  But when I got there the gates were locked and they wouldn’t let me in.  I have had a bad past.  So they sent me to hell to work as a slave.  It was so hot there I could feel the flames.  I knew I wasn’t fit enough or strong enough to stay in hell forever though and I didn’t know how to get out.”

Ice is crystal methamphetamine, a synthetic drug, in its purest form.  Ice is now endemic in Australia.  The government and law enforcement are powerless against this demonic drug, but so far are unwilling to admit that they have lost control and have no idea what to do about it.

I believe that we are entering a new season my brothers and sisters.  And ice is only a small part of what is coming.  God is going to all0w everything that can be shaken to be shaken.  Everything we have trusted in – money, global economics, security, the things Western culture was built on, even Christianity – everything that can be shaken will be shaken.

“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.” Haggai 2:21, 22

The birth pangs have already begun : earthquakes in diverse places, mass deception, wars, rumours of wars, men  are now lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (see Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3)

All this was prophesied 2000 years ago, and it is happening right NOW.  There’s not time left now.  God is permitting a huge shaking to come and it is going to begin in the church.

Why would He do that?

“”I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it…” Ezekiel 21:27

Because He needs to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The only way to separate precious wheat kernels from the inedible husk (or chaff) is to shake, shake, shake it with a winnowing fork till

farmer winnowing on his threshing floor

Farmer winnowing on his threshing floor

the chaff breaks off.  The wind then catches the useless chaff and blows it away, leaving only the lovely kernel of wheat.

“He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”  Luke 3:17 (John Baptist speaking of Christ)

Jesus is now looking to see who will stand.  Who will stand when the shaking comes? When all we have put our trust in topples and falls… will we be blown away as chaff?  Where will we put our trust…  Will it be in Christ alone?

Will the Son of Man find faith on the earth?

This is it my friends.  Now is the time to topple Self off the throne of your life and allow the rightful king back  on His throne.  It is Jesus Christ only who will provide refuge in the coming storm.  It is Him alone who can save you.

Jacob said to me last night on the street after I’d shared the gospel with him that he is the “god of his own life”.

(Is that the case with you?)

My answer to Jacob was : “Well, you are going to hell then.”

He half-gasped/ half-laughed in surprise: “I can’t believe you just said that to me.”

Yeah, because no one says the honest, blatant truth anymore.

The essence of sin is self-love.  That is it.  The devil had it, he tried to elevate himself to god-hood and he is on his way to the lake of fire to burn with the chaff for eternity.

There’s no time left for seeker-sensitive rubbish and I can’t be bothered with it anymore.  For goodness sake, Christ has died for us. He took the punishment for your sin and mine at the cross.  He shed His sinless blood to pay for our horrendous crimes against God.  What wondrous love is that? What more could He do?

Get right with God now or face Him at the judgment seat of Christ. Your choice.

Jacob took a New Testament last night.  He said that he is going to seriously consider what we talked about.

I pray that he will. I pray that you will too.

In the love of Christ,

Belinda

A Sword is Sharpened
The Killer Angels
Jacksonites, Yours is a Bloody City

Being Fed   7 comments

bread

This is from the blog Grace and Truth:

When once a hunger had been born in me for God’s presence then, naturally, I sought to be fed.  The revelation of our own spiritual bankruptcy, whether by food shortage or some sort of crisis, is the catalyst for the formation of a hunger for God.  When we are able to see our spiritual bankruptcy it is then that we can truly seek God in the way He should be sought.  Not as a means to an end, or to fulfill an agenda of our own but by loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.  It is because we have seen that without Him we are starving and dying, and in the desperation of soul-hunger we begin to seek after the Bread of Life.  And that’s what I did.  Suddenly the temporal, physical things that used to bring me some degree of satisfaction became empty and vain.  I began to crave Jesus and His presence.  My prayer time was in the evening, and all day long I would look forward to the evening when I could be with Him again.

Jesus said “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27)

God sees our need of Him.   He knows that without Him we are starving.  And He knew that man would reject Him in the Garden of Eden, in order to pursue his own way.  That is why God prepared a “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  Because of His infinite mercy, God had already prepared a way to repair the breach between man and God and to bring us back into fellowship with Him.   That way was by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to the cross to bear the dreadful curse for our souls.  Before He was crucified Jesus said:

“I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.   The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?   Then Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoso eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day.   For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.  He that eats My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me.”  (John 6:53-57)

Jesus said this to the very people whom, the day before, had been miraculously fed with the loaves and the fish.  He wasn’t referring to cannibalism, He was telling them to look beyond the physical miracle of the multiplied loaves and fish and to see the greater miracle standing before them – God’s own Son.  His life was about to be given for them so that they may have life.  He was going to be crucified, His body broken and His blood poured out for their sin so that they would no longer have to be separated from God by those very sins.  There was no longer any need to starve spiritually.   Here was the provision right in front of them.  In verses 48 and 58 He says “I am the bread of life…This is the bread that came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead.  He who eats this bread will live forever.”

So here is God’s provision for our spiritual starvation right in front of us.  It is Christ’s Himself.  When we turn away from our sin of independence and pride and put our faith in the Bread of Life then we are filled with His life, by His Holy Spirit.

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

Jesus2He is the source of our life and He is the sustainer of our life.  We need to be full of Him.  Nothing else can satisfy, no religious duty or practice, neither anything in this world – only Him.  We need to be in His presence regularly, feasting on the Word every day, allowing His Spirit to convict us, speak to us, minister to us and we need fellowship with others who are full of Him too.  As David, we need to know how to encourage ourselves in the Lord.  We need to know how to feed on Him.

We also need to maintain a hunger for Him. I find that that is more difficult when life is going well.  Although I actually still need Him now as much as I did when I suffered the depressive episode, it’s easier for me to forget that need of Him now that I am free of depression.  That’s why I need to read the Word because it convicts me, washes me and changes me.  I also need to pray regularly because I find that the more time I spend with Him the more time I want to spend with Him and feed on the Bread of Life.

To the Laodiceans, who could not see their own poverty and need of Him, Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Broken Bread and Poured-out Wine

Does a Spiritual Yet Political Trend link USA to Britain?   5 comments

banderas-ingles

This is from the blog Richard’s Watch:

Are subtle changes in the British and American political scene afoot, and is there a spiritual link between them?

Could a positive trend relating to revival come from the ‘mother’ nation to its ‘adult child’? A trend that includes a rebellious, corrective ‘fight-back’ from Christians!

Courtesy WatcharakunReading a few remarks on the US mid-term election results, comments upon our fuel prices and on the Labour party leader’s about-face, a provocative notion popped into mind. Just like one of my loaves it began to rise, and my premise is submitted for what it may be worth. Now it’s out of the ‘oven’ and not half-baked, I’d value your tasting and opinion, so kindly bear with me.

Let’s bite and chew upon these facts as they emerged over weekend 7-9th November:

1. Rick Joyner’s prophetic bulletin arrived whilst I was drafting POTUS’ party pummelled and, although I’d only skimmed it, his careful consideration of the results was evident. He’s of the opinion the GOP now has a mandate from the people – but not necessarily so, because turn-out was low with Democrat supporters staying away in droves. One could, however, argue they couldn’t care less, or that their own president’s policies are so chronic his voters are against him. Moreover, the mandate comes from many who are sufficiently concerned about state of the Union to express this by their vote.

Rick suggests two main questions need answering very quickly with the new Congress:

  1. Will Republican leaders lead with the resolution needed to fulfill their mandate?
  2. Will President Obama now work with Congress to make the mandated changes or will he become an obstructionist President?  (Do leopards change spots? RB)

He refers to Bill Clinton’s wise course of action after a mid-term rebuke as shown in his working with Republicans and their ‘Contract with America’.  Incumbent Obama has the same choice but, “If he doesn’t get the message and act accordingly, it will get very ugly, and impeachment will not be off the table for the abundance of crimes committed by his Administration”. (Now where did I blog about that? – ah yes, on 4th June 2013.)

Rick comments upon voters’ main concerns as revealed in exit polls and I noted nearly half (45%) saw the American economy as an issue. In recommending how GOP should proceed, he refers to Joshua’s defeat at the battle of Ai and how he learned to prevail and concludes:

To effectively deal with the threats to our existence that are still gathering against us, it is imperative that we throw off the extreme devotion to political correctness that has blinded us from seeing or confronting some of the biggest threats…

After elections that seemed to go in our favor, Christians and conservatives have often relaxed. Some would just go back to sleep. If that happens now, it can prove fatal…

“This election was a great victory, but it is just the beginning of getting America back on course. This is no time to let up, and this is no time to become arrogant.

[FYI: Rick Joyner is a founder of ‘a grassroots movement to unite, mobilize, equip, and activate Christians to be the salt and light they are called to be by engaging in the great issues of our time from a sound biblical worldview’ known as The Oak Initiative. Its rise was rapid across all 50 states and over 50 nations worldwide, as well as attracting over 300 Christian leaders.]

BillKoenig_hdr2. Friday’s Eye View From The White House from William Koenig connected right into Rick’s remarks  about Clinton. He opens from his personal, frontline coverage with header; Defiant Obama Completely Misses the Point of His Political Party’s Shellacking (transl: ‘thrashing’)

I was at President Obama’s White House press conference Wednesday afternoon. As I listened to him explain what happened in the 2014 mid-term election, I thought, “Does he really not understand that this election was a shellacking about him and his failed agenda? Is he that far removed from reality or in total denial?” This was one of the largest political defeats in modern election history at all levels of government, both national and state.

But Obama refuses to take responsibility despite the fact that his political party did not invite him to do any national or local political campaigning, which he said he loves to do…

As Obama’s yet to learn from the 2010 fiasco, as in this from BBC on ‘shellacking’, the chances of his now changing attitude seem negligible!

Bill’s review continues with quotations from leading left- and right-wing journalists who hammer Obama’s denial and defiance of sweeping GOP gains in the Senate, House and governorships. He also quotes National Review’s article on the Democrats in States Legislature sinking to levels only known prior to the Great Depression!!

3. The most surprising element of Bill Koenig’s ‘Eye View’ is on Christians’ decisive role in the Democrats’ demise!  Political involvement by churches in the US is regarded by Brits as an American peculiarity, probably because of our centuries of politico-religious conflicts and state-established Anglican church presided over by the monarch. Yet we need to be aware and appreciate what’s happened…

The Faith & Foundation Coalition report upon a post-election survey showing, ‘Self-Identified Conservative Christians Comprised Record Share of the Electorate, Backed GOP Candidates by 8 to 1 Margin’. Bill quotes FFC founder Ralph Reed,

Their share of the electorate exceeded that of the African-American vote, Hispanic vote, and union vote combined.  Religious conservative voters and the issues they care about are here to stay. They will be equally vital in 2016. Politicians of both parties ignore this constituency at their peril.

It’s instructive to note the Christian share of the vote was almost 1 in 3 and that those who identified themselves as believers voted as follows:

  • conservative – 82%:12% GOP:Dem (approx 52.4% GOP vote-share)
  • evangelical – 82%:18% GOP:Dem (constitute 23% electorate)
  • Catholic – 70%:30% GOP:Dem (constitute 9% electorate)

4. On Saturday I read about the reasons UK motorists are being ripped off and this cast doubt on claims about the state of the US economy being a major factor in the election results.

In his Business Comment, Allister Heath explains horrendous tax rates are the real reason why petrol is still so expensive and that international oil prices are directly connected to the petro-dollar. This is only one reason why falling prices are not quickly reflected in pump prices. A drop in price can be cancelled out by weak value of sterling against US dollar, as is happening today. “The value of the pound has slumped to a 14-month low against the dollar, partly as a result of strong employment figures from the US.”

Costs at the pump are hiked up by fuel duty and value-added tax totalling 63.4% of retail price. [At 1.60 £/$, petrol at just under £1.25/litre = $2.00. So 1 gallon here costs £5.68 = $9.10 : that is, $7.60/gallon (US).]

So, I thought this commentator’s remark ran contrary to US exit-poll reasons. Of course what really counts is voters’ personal perception and experience of economic realities. It is another thing for economists to look at leading indicators showing the US economy is now strengthening (eg. Guardian’s Trevor Williams, Calm down financial markets; the message on UK and US growth is good).

5. Then in the same paper I espied an op-ed’s strap-line ‘Sooner or later a line has to be drawn – and anti-Semitism is surely a good place to start’.  Dan Hodges’ Politics has become detached from morality opens on Tory strategists’ ideas to counter UKIP’s poaching conservative voters. Apparently, UKIP Leader Farage did a deal with a notorious extremist leader of a far-right Polish party who admires Hitler and denies his involvement in the Holocaust. But the author changes tack, as follows…

After the week’s reports of challenges to Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party, it is noteworthy that Dan writes, “This week a voice was raised against anti-Semitism. It was that of Ed Milibrand…on his Facebook page (he said) ‘We need a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the UK and reaffirm our revulsion to it in all its forms’…”

Not so laudable as it seems, because its belies his 3-line whip preventing Labour MPs’ free vote in the motion favouring a Palestinian state (see MPs ignore Koranic scholar’s warning). Miliband’s ardent support for Palestinian goals seems mutually exclusive to any concerns over anti-Semitism and, by inference over anti-Israel sentiment.

Dan exposes the hypocrisy of Milband’s insistence upon a ‘zero-approach’:

A clear and principled statement. Except, it wasn’t a clear and principled statement, but a statement born of political calculation.

A week earlier, Miliband had received a high-profile rebuke from Labour supporter Maureen Lipman. “Just when the anti-Semitism in France, Denmark, Norway, Hungary is mounting savagely, just when our cemeteries and synagogues and shops are once again under threat”, she wrote in Standpoint magazine, “in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine”.

Lipman’s comments, in particular her concern about the Labour leader’s silence over anti-Semitic attacks, were quickly echoed by other senior members of the Jewish community.

So 24 hours later that silence was suddenly broken. Reporters at the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News were phoned with quotes condemning a recent attack on Luciana Berger, the Jewish Labour MP. And a couple of days later, Miliband’s Facebook article appeared.

H O L D  O N – wot woz zat?

Suddenly, I sense an invisible jigsaw again taking shape…

Puzzle in sky - Idea goA corrective trend?

I’d closed my previous post by quoting Apostle Paul on the futility of our mocking God’s ways and precepts, as in the earliest document of the New Testament. Also, I related it to the acceleration in applying that law as recently taught by Neville Johnson.

So now I’m suddenly struck, not by the Labour’s leader’s expedient about-turn, but by the fact of his leadership being challenged that week – see How Labour rebels turned on their leader. This isn’t at all surprising as a consequence of the party’s deep decline in Scotland.

But there may be another dimension to all this…a provocative notion springs to mind: I’m struck by the possibility he may be reaping what he’s sown against Israel.

Now, where did I note a similar party political upheaval before?  Answer: Alex Salmond and his failed personal ambition to persuade Scotland to vote for leaving the UK!  As a result, he stood down from leadership of the Scottish Nationalist Party.

Moreover, in blogging on Salmond’s possible Islamist stance, I noted he’s vociferously  anti-Israel.  Perhaps the Lord ensured he reaped his reward for what he’d sown against His people? And perhaps the most appropriate time was an election/referendum?

After the ground was shaken from under the Scottish First Minister, the notion popped into mind that this may the reason it’s starting to shake under Ed Miliband’s feet too?

Obama-NetanyahuAnd it’s happened in the very same week for POTUS and the Democrats! Obama mocked the Lord God throughout his tenure, has been against Israel and displays personal animosity towards its Prime Minister (click image to read why). As the renowned investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield now blogs at ‘Sultan Knish’, The Democratic Party’s Civil War is Here.

Also, lest we forget, two Christian leaders prophesied about Benjamin Netanyahu being elected into office for more than a single term, one as far back as 1980 (as told here). Therefore, he is the Lord’s man for this time in Israel’s history.

To summarise:

  • the above political leaders have made declarations and decisions in varying measure inimical to the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and have then come a cropper. It’s quite possible the Lord is now taking them to task for that.

That this Galatians 6:7-8 action has started in the UK before the USA, where the sowing of defective seed has been extensive, may be related to the fulfilment of prophecies for the British Isles and what the Lord is already doing here.

That is, it’s necessary to correct UK’s ungodly situation first – or because the spiritual atmosphere is opening – in order for the harvest to ripen as people awaken to the Lord.

Whereas in the States, an enormous spiritual schism had opened up across the nation (as seen by Chuck Pierce in 2008) which will need extensive repair with repentance, or face an increase of the judgement that’s already come upon it.  Comparatively, the USA may therefore be further down the line for revival than the UK yet be blessed by what he Lord will do here.

Hence, the mid-term elections and the possible consequential actions could be a vital corrective action for the sake of America’s spiritual well-being. Perhaps that trend has already started here in the UK and will come to affect the USA too?

That concept was voiced in March by Charles Shamp about the British Isles,

“Whether we are discussing the First and Second Great Awakenings…God has always seemed to release the fresh movement of the Holy Spirit on these Islands that has gone on to affect the entire earth.

“My love for Church history and the moves of the Spirit caused me to recognize that what took place within these nations directly affected America and the move of the Spirit in my nation.

“Although we are an ocean away, we are connected in the realm of the Spirit, and as the song of Heaven would arise over the UK, it would carry all the way to the shores of America and revival would begin to come forth in these United States….”  (read full word here)

[Hand Pressing News Icon by Watcharakun and Puzzle in Sky by Idea Go are courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net]

Christian History
Obama as Stuart
A History Lesson: Colonel Isaac Barre
On 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta–or should it be 1,400th?
‘Biblical’ floods in UK, unbiblical laws, and Acts of God
A Vision of Britain and the United States
D-Day, 2017:  British and American Christianity
The British Are Coming!

Enoch: The Seventh from Adam   4 comments

10 enoch1

Genesis 5: 21-24:  “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:  And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:  And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:  And Enoch walked with God:  and he was not, for God took him.”

Hebrews 11: 5:  “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:  for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

Jude 14 & 15:  “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

How did Enoch walk with God?  How can someone be spiritually intimate with the Lord before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Very little is written about Enoch.  According to the Bible, Enoch lived 365 years; the last 300 years of his life Enoch walked with God.  The number 365 is significant.  There are 365 days in a complete year.  Enoch living 365 years is a foreshadowing of the complete man of God (man of faith or man of obedience).

Recently I have heard of a pastor who preached that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, not because they sinned against God, but because they did not repent of their sin.  Scripture never tells us that Adam repented of his sin or that Adam walked with God after he and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.  So why was Enoch different?  Enoch was born with Adamic Sin.  How did Enoch walk with God?

Enoch, no doubt, offered the required blood sacrifices unto the Lord for his sins and the sins of his family.  This was before the Law, the Prophets and the New Testament.  Not only did Enoch, by faith, offer an excellent sacrifice unto the Lord, but I believe, that Enoch truly repented of his sin and believed on the finished work of the cross before the fact.

Faith in God transcends time and space.  The Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13: 8):  somehow Enoch knew this truth from oral tradition or from revealed knowledge.  He put his faith in the coming Messiah, died to self-will and was able to walk with God.

Enoch, by faith, was translated and did not experience death.  Before he was translated, his testimony was that he had pleased God.  It is only by faith (obedience) that we are able to please God.

Enoch 1:9:  “And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Time, Timelessness and Jesus Christ

enoch

Enoch

Posted April 28, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Revival in Ireland?   6 comments

ireland-map

Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
9 April 2015

Last night I had two dreams.  In the first dream, it looked like I was in Ireland.  I met these people while I was walking down this country road.  I talked to them about the Gospel.  One of these was a Catholic priest.  The priest then had a profound salvation experience and was filled with joy.  He started running down the road and told everybody he could about Jesus Christ.

In the second dream, I met these two guys.  They were very evil.  It looked like they wanted to do me harm.  I then walked up to the older guy and said, “I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ!”  I kept saying this until this surprised, confused look came over his face.  He started acting very strange, walked away from me, knelt down and vomited.  He then had this big smile on his face.  He had been delivered of a demon or demons.  The same thing happened to his friend.

The first dream:  I believe it means that there could be a revival in Ireland in the near future.

Obedience to the Promptings of the Spirit (1904 Welsh Revival)
William Edmundson, The Irish Hammer
The Revival Hymn
Athy, County Kildare, Ireland
Patrick of Ireland
Dream of God’s grace over all Ireland

Posted April 9, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

The Three Hermits   7 comments

french-lessons-535x266

“The Three Hermits”
By Leo Tolstoy

“And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” (Matthew 6: 7-8)

A BISHOP was sailing from Archangel to the Solovétsk Monastery; and on the same vessel were a number of pilgrims on their way to visit the shrines at that place. The voyage was a smooth one. The wind favourable, and the weather fair. The pilgrims lay on deck, eating, or sat in groups talking to one another. The Bishop, too, came on deck, and as he was pacing up and down, he noticed a group of men standing near the prow and listening to a fisherman who was pointing to the sea and telling them something. The Bishop stopped, and looked in the direction in which the man was pointing. He could see nothing however, but the sea glistening in the sunshine. He drew nearer to listen, but when the man saw him, he took off his cap and was silent. The rest of the people also took off their caps, and bowed.

‘Do not let me disturb you, friends,’ said the Bishop. ‘I came to hear what this good man was saying.’

‘The fisherman was telling us about the hermits,’ replied one, a tradesman, rather bolder than the rest.

‘What hermits?’ asked the Bishop, going to the side of the vessel and seating himself on a box. ‘Tell me about them. I should like to hear. What were you pointing at?’

‘Why, that little island you can just see over there,’ answered the man, pointing to a spot ahead and a little to the right. ‘That is the island where the hermits live for the salvation of their souls.’

‘Where is the island?’ asked the Bishop. ‘I see nothing.’

‘There, in the distance, if you will please look along my hand. Do you see that little cloud? Below it and a bit to the left, there is just a faint streak. That is the island.’

The Bishop looked carefully, but his unaccustomed eyes could make out nothing but the water shimmering in the sun.

‘I cannot see it,’ he said. ‘But who are the hermits that live there?’

‘They are holy men,’ answered the fisherman. ‘I had long heard tell of them, but never chanced to see them myself till the year before last.’

And the fisherman related how once, when he was out fishing, he had been stranded at night upon that island, not knowing where he was. In the morning, as he wandered about the island, he came across an earth hut, and met an old man standing near it. Presently two others came out, and after having fed him, and dried his things, they helped him mend his boat.

‘And what are they like?’ asked the Bishop.

‘One is a small man and his back is bent. He wears a priest’s cassock and is very old; he must be more than a hundred, I should say. He is so old that the white of his beard is taking a greenish tinge, but he is always smiling, and his face is as bright as an angel’s from heaven. The second is taller, but he also is very old. He wears tattered, peasant coat. His beard is broad, and of a yellowish grey colour. He is a strong man. Before I had time to help him, he turned my boat over as if it were only a pail. He too, is kindly and cheerful. The third is tall, and has a beard as white as snow and reaching to his knees. He is stern, with over-hanging eyebrows; and he wears nothing but a mat tied round his waist.’

‘And did they speak to you?’ asked the Bishop.

‘For the most part they did everything in silence and spoke but little even to one another. One of them would just give a glance, and the others would understand him. I asked the tallest whether they had lived there long. He frowned, and muttered something as if he were angry; but the oldest one took his hand and smiled, and then the tall one was quiet. The oldest one only said: “Have mercy upon us,” and smiled.’

While the fisherman was talking, the ship had drawn nearer to the island.

‘There, now you can see it plainly, if your Grace will please to look,’ said the tradesman, pointing with his hand.

The Bishop looked, and now he really saw a dark streak—which was the island. Having looked at it a while, he left the prow of the vessel, and going to the stern, asked the helmsman:

‘What island is that?’

‘That one,’ replied the man, ‘has no name. There are many such in this sea.’

‘Is it true that there are hermits who live there for the salvation of their souls?’

‘So it is said, your Grace, but I don’t know if it’s true. Fishermen say they have seen them; but of course they may only be spinning yarns.’

‘I should like to land on the island and see these men,’ said the Bishop. ‘How could I manage it?’

‘The ship cannot get close to the island,’ replied the helmsman, ‘but you might be rowed there in a boat. You had better speak to the captain.’

The captain was sent for and came.

‘I should like to see these hermits,’ said the Bishop. ‘Could I not be rowed ashore?’

The captain tried to dissuade him.

‘Of course it could be done,’ said he, ‘but we should lose much time. And if I might venture to say so to your Grace, the old men are not worth your pains. I have heard say that they are foolish old fellows, who understand nothing, and never speak a word, any more than the fish in the sea.’

‘I wish to see them,’ said the Bishop, ‘and I will pay you for your trouble and loss of time. Please let me have a boat.’

There was no help for it; so the order was given. The sailors trimmed the sails, the steersman put up the helm, and the ship’s course was set for the island. A chair was placed at the prow for the Bishop, and he sat there, looking ahead. The passengers all collected at the prow, and gazed at the island. Those who had the sharpest eyes could presently make out the rocks on it, and then a mud hut was seen. At last one man saw the hermits themselves. The captain brought a telescope and, after looking through it, handed it to the Bishop.

‘It’s right enough. There are three men standing on the shore. There, a little to the right of that big rock.’

The Bishop took the telescope, got it into position, and he saw the three men: a tall one, a shorter one, and one very small and bent, standing on the shore and holding each other by the hand.

The captain turned to the Bishop.

‘The vessel can get no nearer in than this, your Grace. If you wish to go ashore, we must ask you to go in the boat, while we anchor here.’

The cable was quickly let out, the anchor cast, and the sails furled. There was a jerk, and the vessel shook. Then a boat having been lowered, the oarsmen jumped in, and the Bishop descended the ladder and took his seat. The men pulled at their oars, and the boat moved rapidly towards the island. When they came within a stone’s throw they saw three old men: a tall one with only a mat tied round his waist: a shorter one in a tattered peasant coat, and a very old one bent with age and wearing an old cassock—all three standing hand in hand.

The oarsmen pulled in to the shore, and held on with the boathook while the Bishop got out.

The old men bowed to him, and he gave them his benediction, at which they bowed still lower. Then the Bishop began to speak to them.

‘I have heard,’ he said, ‘that you, godly men, live here saving your own souls, and praying to our Lord Christ for your fellow men. I, an unworthy servant of Christ, am called, by God’s mercy, to keep and teach His flock. I wished to see you, servants of God, and to do what I can to teach you, also.’

The old men looked at each other smiling, but remained silent.

‘Tell me,’ said the Bishop, ‘what you are doing to save your souls, and how you serve God on this island.’

The second hermit sighed, and looked at the oldest, the very ancient one. The latter smiled, and said:

‘We do not know how to serve God. We only serve and support ourselves, servant of God.’

‘But how do you pray to God?’ asked the Bishop.

‘We pray in this way,’ replied the hermit. ‘Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us.’

And when the old man said this, all three raised their eyes to heaven, and repeated:

‘Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us!’

The Bishop smiled.

‘You have evidently heard something about the Holy Trinity,’ said he. ‘But you do not pray aright. You have won my affection, godly men. I see you wish to please the Lord, but you do not know how to serve Him. That is not the way to pray; but listen to me, and I will teach you. I will teach you, not a way of my own, but the way in which God in the Holy Scriptures has commanded all men to pray to Him.’

And the Bishop began explaining to the hermits how God had revealed Himself to men; telling them of God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

‘God the Son came down on earth,’ said he, ‘to save men, and this is how He taught us all to pray. Listen and repeat after me: “Our Father.”‘

And the first old man repeated after him, ‘Our Father,’ and the second said, ‘Our Father,’ and the third said, ‘Our Father.’

‘Which art in heaven,’ continued the Bishop.

The first hermit repeated, ‘Which art in heaven,’ but the second blundered over the words, and the tall hermit could not say them properly. His hair had grown over his mouth so that he could not speak plainly. The very old hermit, having no teeth, also mumbled indistinctly.

The Bishop repeated the words again, and the old men repeated them after him. The Bishop sat down on a stone, and the old men stood before him, watching his mouth, and repeating the words as he uttered them. And all day long the Bishop laboured, saying a word twenty, thirty, a hundred times over, and the old men repeated it after him. They blundered, and he corrected them, and made them begin again.

The Bishop did not leave off till he had taught them the whole of the Lord’s prayer so that they could not only repeat it after him, but could say it by themselves. The middle one was the first to know it, and to repeat the whole of it alone. The Bishop made him say it again and again, and at last the others could say it too.

It was getting dark, and the moon was appearing over the water, before the Bishop rose to return to the vessel. When he took leave of the old men, they all bowed down to the ground before him. He raised them, and kissed each of them, telling them to pray as he had taught them. Then he got into the boat and returned to the ship.

And as he sat in the boat and was rowed to the ship he could hear the three voices of the hermits loudly repeating the Lord’s prayer. As the boat drew near the vessel their voices could no longer be heard, but they could still be seen in the moonlight, standing as he had left them on the shore, the shortest in the middle, the tallest on the right, the middle one on the left. As soon as the Bishop had reached the vessel and got on board, the anchor was weighed and the sails unfurled. The wind filled them, and the ship sailed away, and the Bishop took a seat in the stern and watched the island they had left. For a time he could still see the hermits, but presently they disappeared from sight, though the island was still visible. At last it too vanished, and only the sea was to be seen, rippling in the moonlight.

The pilgrims lay down to sleep, and all was quiet on deck. The Bishop did not wish to sleep, but sat alone at the stern, gazing at the sea where the island was no longer visible, and thinking of the good old men. He thought how pleased they had been to learn the Lord’s prayer; and he thanked God for having sent him to teach and help such godly men.

So the Bishop sat, thinking, and gazing at the sea where the island had disappeared. And the moonlight flickered before his eyes, sparkling, now here, now there, upon the waves. Suddenly he saw something white and shining, on the bright path which the moon cast across the sea. Was it a seagull, or the little gleaming sail of some small boat? The Bishop fixed his eyes on it, wondering.

‘It must be a boat sailing after us,’ thought he ‘but it is overtaking us very rapidly. It was far, far away a minute ago, but now it is much nearer. It cannot be a boat, for I can see no sail; but whatever it may be, it is following us, and catching us up.’

And he could not make out what it was. Not a boat, nor a bird, nor a fish! It was too large for a man, and besides a man could not be out there in the midst of the sea. The Bishop rose, and said to the helmsman:

‘Look there, what is that, my friend? What is it?’ the Bishop repeated, though he could now see plainly what it was—the three hermits running upon the water, all gleaming white, their grey beards shining, and approaching the ship as quickly as though it were not morning.

The steersman looked and let go the helm in terror.

‘Oh Lord! The hermits are running after us on the water as though it were dry land!’

The passengers hearing him, jumped up, and crowded to the stern. They saw the hermits coming along hand in hand, and the two outer ones beckoning the ship to stop. All three were gliding along upon the water without moving their feet. Before the ship could be stopped, the hermits had reached it, and raising their heads, all three as with one voice, began to say:

‘We have forgotten your teaching, servant of God. As long as we kept repeating it we remembered, but when we stopped saying it for a time, a word dropped out, and now it has all gone to pieces. We can remember nothing of it. Teach us again.’

The Bishop crossed himself, and leaning over the ship’s side, said:

‘Your own prayer will reach the Lord, men of God. It is not for me to teach you. Pray for us sinners.

And the Bishop bowed low before the old men; and they turned and went back across the sea. And a light shone until daybreak on the spot where they were lost to sight.

[“The Three Hermits” was first published in 1886 by Niva magazine]

Tolstoy’s Three Hermits
Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky
Vintage Footage of Leo Tostoy
Russian Orthodox Chant “Let My Prayer Arise”

three-hermits-2

Tolstoy on the road from Moscow to Yasnaya Polyana

Posted March 26, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Miracles Follow the Plow   2 comments

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This is from the blog DUSTTOGLORY:

“Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12)

Here are two kinds of ground: fallow ground and ground that has been broken up by the plow.

The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow. Such a field, as it lies year after year, becomes a familiar landmark to the crow and the blue jay. Had it intelligence, it might take a lot of satisfaction in its reputation: it has stability; nature has adopted it; it can be counted upon to remain always the same, while the fields around it change from brown to green and back to brown again. Safe and undisturbed, it sprawls lazily in the sunshine, the picture of sleepy contentment.

But it is paying a terrible price for its tranquility; never does it feel the motions of mounting life, nor see the wonders of bursting seed, nor the beauty of ripening grain. Fruit it can never know, because it is afraid of the plow and the harrow.

In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken.

But its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it. All over the field, the hand of God is at work in the age-old and ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow, mature, and consumate the grand prophecy latent in the seed when it entered the ground. Nature’s wonders follow the plow.

There are two kinds of lives also: the fallow and the plowed. For example of the fallow life, we need not go far. They are all too plentiful among us.

The man of fallow life is contented with himself and the fruit he once bore. He does not want to be disturbed. He smiles in tolerant superiority at revivals, fastings, self- searching, and all the travail of fruit bearing and the anguish of advance. The spirit of adventure is dead within him. He is steady, “faithful,” always in his accustomed place (like the old field), conservative, and something of a landmark in the little church. But he is fruitless.

The curse of such a life is that it is fixed, both in size and in content. “To be” has taken the place of “to become.” The worst that can be said of such a man is that he is what he will be. He has fenced himself in, and by the same act he has fenced out God and the miracle.

Broken To Bring Forth Fruit

The plowed life is the life that has, in the act of repentance, thrown down the protecting fences and sent the plow of confession into the soul. The urge of the Spirit, the pressure of circumstances and the distress of fruitless living have combined thoroughly to humble the heart. Such a life has put away defense, and has forsaken the safety of death for the peril of life.

Discontent, yearning, contrition, courageous obedience to the will of God: these have bruised and broken the soil till it is ready again for the seed. And, as always, fruit follows the plow. Life and growth begin as God “rains down righteousness.” Such a one can testify, “And the hand of the Lord was upon me there.” (Ezek. 3:22).

Corresponding to these two kinds of life, religious history shows two phases, the dynamic and the static. The dynamic periods were those heroic times when God’s people stirred themselves to do the Lord’s bidding and went out fearlessly to carry His witness to the world. They exchanged the safe of inaction for the hazards of God- inspired progress. Invariably, the power of God followed such action. The miracle of God went when and where his people went. It stayed when His people stopped.

The static periods were those times when the people of God tired of the struggle and sought a life of peace and security. They busied themselves, trying to conserve the gains made in those more-daring times when the power of God moved among them.

Bible history is replete with examples. Abraham “went out” on his great adventure of faith, and God went with him. Revelations, theophanies, the gift of Palestine, covenants and the promises of rich blessings to come were the result. Then Israel went down into Egypt, and the wonders ceased for four hundred years. At the end of that time, Moses heard the call of God and stepped forth to challenge the oppressor. A whirlwind of power accompanied that challenge, and Israel soon began to march. As long as she dared to march, God sent out His miracles to clear a way for her. Whenever she lay down like a fallow field, God turned off His blessing and waited for her to rise again and command his power.

This is a brief but fair outline of the history of Israel and the Church as well. As long as they “went forth and preached everywhere”, the Lord worked “with them…confirming the Word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). But when they retreated to monasteries or played at building pretty cathedrals, the help of God was withdrawn ’till a Luther or a Wesley arose to challenge hell again. Then, invariably, God poured out His power as before.

In every denomination, missionary society, local church or individual Christian, this law operates. God works as long as His people live daringly: He ceases when they no longer need His aid. As soon as we seek protection out of God, we find it to our own undoing. Let us build a safety- wall of endowments, by-laws, prestige, multiplied agencies for the delegation of our duties, and creeping paralysis sets in at once, a paralysis which can only end in death.

Miracles Follow The Plow

The power of God comes only where it is called out by the plow. It is released into the Church only when she is doing something that demands it. By the word “doing”, I do not mean mere activity. The Church has plenty of “hustle” as it is, but in all her activities, she is very careful to leave her fallow ground mostly untouched. She is careful to confine her hustling within the fear-marked boundaries of complete safety. That is why she is fruitless; she is safe, but fallow.

The only way to power for such a church is to come out of hiding and once more take the danger-encircled path of obedience. Its security is its deadliest foe. The church that fears the plow writes its own epitaph. The church that uses the plow walks in the way of revival.

The Common Life of All Christians   3 comments

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William Law (1686-1761)

A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
By William Law

Chapter I

Concerning the nature and extent of Christian devotion.

“It is very observable, that there is not one command in all the Gospel for public worship; and perhaps it is a duty that is least insisted upon in Scripture of any other. The frequent attendance at it is never so much as mentioned in all the New Testament. Whereas that religion or devotion which is to govern the ordinary actions of our life is to be found in almost every verse of Scripture. Our blessed Saviour and His Apostles are wholly taken up in doctrines that relate to common life. They call us to renounce the world, and differ in every temper and way of life, from the spirit and the way of the world: to renounce all its goods, to fear none of its evils, to reject its joys, and have no value for its happiness: to be as new-born babes, that are born into a new state of things: to live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life: to take up our daily cross, to deny ourselves, to profess the blessedness of mourning, to seek the blessedness of poverty of spirit: to forsake the pride and vanity of riches, to take no thought for the morrow, to live in the profoundest state of humility, to rejoice in worldly sufferings: to reject the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life: to bear injuries, to forgive and bless our enemies, and to love mankind as God loveth them: to give up our whole hearts and affections to God, and strive to enter through the strait gate into a life of eternal glory.

“This is the common devotion which our blessed Saviour taught, in order to make it the common life of all Christians. Is it not therefore exceeding strange that people should place so much piety in the attendance upon public worship, concerning which there is not one precept of our Lord’s to be found, and yet neglect these common duties of our ordinary life, which are commanded in every page of the Gospel? I call these duties the devotion of our common life, because if they are to be practised, they must be made parts of our common life; they can have no place anywhere else.”

Wikipedia
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Apostle:  A Possible Postulate

From the Treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus   2 comments

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This is from the blog Into Stillness:

From the Treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice, bishop [Diadochos of Photiki]
The mind has a spiritual sense which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil
The light of true knowledge makes it possible to discern without error the difference between good and evil. Then the path of justice, which leads to the Sun of Justice, brings the mind into the limitless light of knowledge, since it never fails to seek the love of God with all confidence.
Therefore, we must maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles. We shall then be able to distinguish between the different types of thoughts that come to us: those that are good, those sent by God, we will treasure in our memory; those that are evil and inspired by the devil we will reject. A comparison with the sea may help us. A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths. No fish can hide there and escape his sight. The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds. The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides. The skills of the fisherman are useless.
Only the Holy Spirit can purify the mind: unless the strong man enters and robs the thief, the booty will not be recovered. So by every means, but especially by peace of soul, we must try to provide the Holy Spirit with a resting place. Then we shall have the light of knowledge shining within us at all times, and it will show up for what they are all the dark and hateful temptations that come from demons, and not only will it show them up: exposure to this holy and glorious light will also greatly diminish their power.
This is why the Apostle says: Do not stifle the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of goodness: do not grieve him by your evil actions and thoughts, and so deprive yourself of the defense his light affords you. In his own being, which is eternal and life-giving, he is not stifled, but when he is grieved he turns away and leaves the mind in darkness, deprived of the light of knowledge.
The mind is capable of tasting and distinguishing accurately whatever is presented to it. Just as when our health is good we can tell the difference between good and bad food by our bodily sense of taste and reach for what is wholesome, so when our mind is strong and free from all anxiety, it is able to taste the riches of divine consolation and to preserve, through love, the memory of this taste. This teaches us what is best with absolute certainty. As Saint Paul says: My prayer is that your love may increase more and more in knowledge and insight, and so enable you to choose what is best.

No Shame in Stillness
Wikipedia
A Calm Spirit
Jesus Prayer
Abram and Lot

Revival in Indiana   9 comments

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This is from the blog The White Man:

INDIANA REVIVAL REPORT:  DAY 11

On January 22, 2015, billboards started going up in Elkhart County, Indiana, proclaiming; REVIVAL IS HERE. The night before, hundreds of students from six local high schools gathered on the stage to be prayed for. The youth pastors who had brought them filled the center aisle. What was the reason for this gathering?

It had just been reported that the principals of two local high schools–one public, one private–had released their students to participate in the revival. And before the night was over, a text arrived from the board of another public school proclaiming the same thing.

One of the students on the stage was wearing a sweaty soccer uniform, because he’d skipped showering after the game in order not to miss another 10 minutes of the meeting. That morning, as soon as he’d heard that school was cancelled due to a heavy fog, he hurried in to join the dozens of groups going out to pray across the county. He’d prayed at three homes already before noon, and invited a young man at one of them to join the meetings for the rest of the day–who did. Then it was off the the soccer game and right back to the house of meeting.

We are now on the 11th straight sixteen-hour day of corporate worship, intense prayer, and scattering into the community to pray with anyone who wants it. WFRN-FM has been carrying the services every single night, and people are tuning in from 50, 60 miles away–and worldwide by internet. One woman who watched the online videos at reviveindiana.org wasn’t able to get out of her house until she prayed along with a healing prayer on the video, and 24 hours later her back pain and inflammation was totally gone–so of course she was present in person at the next meeting!

This is an unusual revival in two ways: first, there are no altar calls, and very little preaching on repentance. The assumption is that the church in Elkhart County already has the Holy Spirit, and all they have to do is go out into the community and spread Him around. The focus is on first praying for whatever felt need is expressed, then, with the discernment of the Holy Spirit, leading each contact through a five-verse plan of salvation, giving them a New Testament, and making a commitment to follow up within 24 hours.

Secondly, healing is a primary result of this revival. Not a focus; no one is ever prayed for unless he requests it. But many are requesting healing, and they are getting it. And it’s not happening up on stage–its happening in homes, parking lots, and sidewalks all over the community. No one claims to have a gift of healing, but when they pray, they’re seeing people healed–often to their own amazement. And it’s not just physical healing; bondages are being shattered.

Hundreds of people are testifying that the Holy Spirit is moving in and through them. Doors are opening. Walls are coming down. More and more churches, having had their premises visited by prayer teams the first week, are coming on board. The overflow room has overflowed. Last night, simultaneous Spanish translation was offered for the first time.  At the rate things are going, there soon won’t be a building in Elkhart County big enough to hold the crowds–they may just have to move to the arena at the County Fairgrounds, which never hosts an outdoor crowd this time of year.

This has the makings of the first nationwide revival in over 100 years. And there are still over 40 days to go.

Tomorrow I’ll write about the building that’s about to be outgrown.

The Revival Hymn
Obedience to the Promptings of the Spirit (1904 Welsh Revival)
Great Awakening Revival and Jonathan Edwards
A Providential Ride to Manhattan Kansas
Coming Revival
Revival Now–but what follows?
How God solved a marriage problem

Posted January 23, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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