Friday, December 20, 2019

The Master Craftsman

What has the Spirit of the Lord been impressing on this brother lately?  This:

The Parable of the "Talents"

14“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsc and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents,d to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.e You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The talent was a unit of money way back when but I dont think we have to dig too far to understand our Lord was talking about more than just money here.  He was talking about something He gave us, deposited in us that He expects a profit from.  How interesting that in the English language talents are exactly our gifts and abilities that many times do translate directly into cash because its what we are good at but thats not the real message either.  The real message is He gave us gifts and abilities to be used in His service.

He is the master craftsman and we are the tools in His tool box.  One of us is a hammer, another a saw, another a screwdriver.  What would happen if you were a craftsman and one day you had a job you wanted to do so you went out to your garage to grab a hammer and that hammer was no longer useful to hammer anymore?  It would be useless to you, time to throw it away right?  Now we are getting somewhere....

When we read the parable of the talents we can see the punishment for the useless servant who did not develop the talent given to him.  Fairly harsh punishment wouldnt you agree?

But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

In the case of the brother who writes to you today, some unique talents have been given that have no apparent, current use so it has been a struggle to find the motivation to develop them because the question "why" keeps coming up where there is no current use in sight.  Thankfully in His love, patience and mercy the Lord has not left His servants without answers.  Here is some of the answer that has been given to the question "why develop talent(s) that have no apparent current use?"

1.  Back to the hammer.  If the hammer had a brain and was sitting in the tool box watching the saw, the screwdriver and the tape measure being used but itself not being (currently) used it might wonder to itself why remain a hammer?  But we know why the hammer should remain a perfectly useful and functional hammer right?  When the craftsman decides He needs a hammer that hammer better be ready to act out its hammer skills

2.  The parable of the talents-we were given gifts for a reason.  The reason was Divine, we do not have to understand "why" we just have to recognize the "talent" and develop it in faith that He who deposited that talent knows how and when to use it when He decides to in the future.  Maybe its not today, so what.  The hammer was given its ability to hammer so on the occasion (maybe only once!) that it was needed it could be employed.

3.  Living in and with the talents we were given is our "happy place."  It is our zone, our calibrated setting, our edge, our purpose.  A horse rejoices in running because they are really good at running.  So we too rejoice in acting out our divine purpose in and through the talents we have been given.  Working with and developing the talent is its own reward.

4.  We do not have to know or understand how we are going to be used.  Stop trying to figure it out, just be ready when the call comes.  We are the tools who must be fit for use when our God comes calling on our talents.  He could do everything Himself if He wanted to but He decided not to do that.  He takes pleasure in working through His servants (that's us) so we need to be ready when He decides to act.

I think by this point you get the picture.  The Lord has been leaning on this message for some time now.  His work is obviously not finished on this earth.  If His work is not finished our work is not finished.  Sit down and take a hard look at yourself, what are you good at?  What weird or seemingly irrelevant talents do you have?  What has the Lord God deposited within you that He might call on some day in His service?  Develop those things, do not neglect them.  You do not have to understand how, why or when you will be used that's not your job.  Your job is to be ready and able to employ your gifting, talent when the Lord comes calling on them.

What a wonderful God we serve.  Oh yes, and this emphasis on "talents" is another loving way the Lord is preparing us for His unexpected arrival.  How?  When we are all judged, whenever we leave this earth the entire counsel of God-the Word, the Bible is what we will be judged by.  If we have read the parable of the talents we understand it and are responsible for it.  Our loving God does not want us to be ashamed on the day we stand before Him so He is mercifully preparing us now to do those things that maybe we have not done that would cause us to fall short in some way of His best for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for us on an unexpected day and hour, of that we can be sure.  Those who say it cannot happen have a serious problem.  We do not want to be one of those people who was caught not watching and ready when our Lord shows up.  This talent thing is part of our readiness to meet our maker.  Glory to God.

grace and peace

Friday, December 13, 2019

Patient Endurance

This mornings post is a reminder that the Lord God Jesus Christ our Savior is coming back at an unknown day and hour and we are to be watching and ready for Him:

10Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 

Luke 21:36But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Mark 13:32“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert e ! You do not know when that time will come. 34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

He told us over and over again to watch for His unexpected coming.  So, while things go from bad to worse on this God rejecting world, we are not to fret like them.  We have a hope that they do not have.  We believe something they do not believe.  We are waiting patiently for the arrival of our Lord God and King.  While this is exciting stuff for us, it throws them into apoplectic rage.  They tell us "who are you to think you will escape anything?"  They taunt, rant and hurl insults with an otherworldly anger for our patient optimism.  Where is their anger coming from?  If we are out of our minds and the lunatic fringe why not just write us off instead of writing book long essays trying to dislodge us from our hope.

It all makes perfect sense.  We are in a war, a spiritual war.  The enemy and those who serve him work in direct opposition to the Spirit of the Lord, the Word of the Lord and those who put their hope in trust in the Spirit and the Word.  So while we rejoice in patient expectation, they howl with rage.  The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for us on a day and hour we do not expect.  His Word makes that very clear and anyone, anywhere that has a problem with that has a problem with the Lord God who promised this would happen.  We do not have to get creative, we just have to put our eyes on the promises and believe the Lord God will do what He said He will do.  Its that simple.  Oh, it vexes them to no end to think a group of quietly confident believers will escape the hell on earth they created.  They want everyone to suffer with them in the mess they have made.

Lets be very clear about where we are and where this is going.  The true believer in Jesus Christ today did not ask for this wicked, anti-Christ, God hating world.  We, the body of Christ did not ask for or endorse the removing of God Almighty from our schools, our courthouses and every other square inch of public space.  No, quite the contrary we want the opposite.  What we want is the Lord our God involved in EVERYTHING.  That's pretty much the direct opposite of what this world wants and is working toward.  So, back to hell on earth-they created it.  They made this bed, they get to lie down in it.

If the problems in this world stem directly from removing the God of Peace from it, and we never asked for that or wanted it, is it true justice that the believer should wade neck deep into it with the people of this world.  That is not what I read in the Word of the Almighty:

Isaiah 3:8For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.d
9For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
10Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

There it is ^^, very simple.  We reap what we sow do we not?  Indeed we do.  A God hating world has sown wickedness, lies, deceit, cowardice, faithlessness, pride, arrogance, Godlessness and they wonder why things appear to be falling apart.  They are perplexed that the closer they get to their earthly "nirvana" (a world without the Creator in it), the worse things actually get for them.  Make no mistake, the Lord God has no plans of allowing these people a moments respite as they create their new world satanic order.  He has made Himself very clear:

Is 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

In case we had any doubts we could flip back to the last chapter of our Bibles for more clarity on what the days will be like during this "new world order" with their "dear leader"-the King of Babylon in charge.  All the green grass will be burnt up a third of the water will be poisoned, the sea will turn to blood with a third of the ships ruined, burning mountains will fall from the sky, day will be turned to night and all kinds of other "fun" stuff will be the daily routine for the inhabitants of this world during their beloved new world order.  Problem is, it does not sound like nirvana to me.  No, they rejected the God of peace so they will have war.  They rejected the God of love so they will have hatred and death.  And we, the believer did not ask for any of this.

This  ^^ is NOT what we wanted.  No, we pray our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  May thy kingdom come and thy will be done here on earth just as it is in heaven."  That is what we are asking for.  That is what we want.  We want our God to come down from heaven and straighten out the absolute calamity being created on this earth by a God hating world.  Rejecting the Creator is the problem this world has, not economic or political or social troubles.  It is all, 100% spiritual and it has been from the very beginning.  Spiritual problems are not solved through political solutions.  Spiritual problems are solved with spiritual solutions.  Perhaps this is why Babylon (the west) hates Russia so much.  While Russian spetznaz troops march through Red Square with crosses and bibles, in the west we see LGBTQABCDEFG parades instead.  The results of each are predictable.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for His people and we are to be watching and ready for Him each and every day.  Yes, it will be a "secret" coming.  When Jesus Himself doesn't know when that day is, yes you can call it a secret.  Those who mock this unexpected coming of the Lord mock only their own foolishness and ignorance.  The Lord God is not mocked, a man reaps what he sows.  Be watching, be ready.  You do not have to convince anyone else what you believe you only have to convince yourself.  Read the Word for yourself, how do you read it?  What does it say to you?  The answers to those questions will determine your destiny.

grace and peace

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

All Things Work Together

Recently this writer had another experience that was not wanted, liked, desired etc.  What do we do with that?  Back to the Word.  We dont have to like it or understand it, we just have to be patient and faithful.  Why.  What does the Word say?

Rom 8:28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,h for those who are called according to his purpose.

Prov 3:5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Isa 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When things we do not want or like or specifically prayed would not happen, happen anyway-we need to remember the above.  Our God is loving and faithful.  He knows what He is doing and this nobody who writes to you today can testify that in time, with patience we will see the "why" behind  "what" the Lord allowed or did.

We need to stay in a place of thanks, praise, and rejoicing.  Yes, we do that in spite of the things we do not want happening all around us.  We get to choose what we focus on.  All of us have something, somewhere at sometime that we can focus on to give thanks for.  Most of us have alot of things to be thankful for.  As for those things we do not like, we can pray the Lord's own Words over it-we know that even this thing we do not want and do not like will somehow some way work out for our good if we remain patient and faithful.

glory to God.

grace and peace

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Talents
14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Lord has been impressing upon this writer that it is time for us (if we have not already) to begin or continue developing the talents/gifts/abilities that have been deposited within each of us.  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to look around at the world and see it has some serious problems.  A God rejecting world has no peace, and they cannot figure out why.

I have asked the Lord "why" to get a better answer for developing our talents now (other than the obvious answer that He told us to in His Word).  This writer supposes it has everything to do with the previous post that said we are here for a reason.  We were put here in this season of world history with a purpose and according to His divine wisdom.  He is the general we are the soldiers.  The foot soldier does not have to know the grand plan, he or she just has to do their part in it.  There has never been a military tactician in world history better than the Lord our God, so we can rest assured we will be employed for maximum effectiveness in whatever capacity He sees fit to use us.

The purpose of writing this post is to prod you as this writer has been prodded.  Wipe the sleep from your eyes and engage.  Begin, dig, develop, baby crawl if you have to in the direction of your talents and abilities.  Your General in heaven has a plan for you and is going to put you to use.  When He calls, be ready.  Glory to God.

grace and peace

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

You Were Created For This

I have some encouragement for you today regarding this world in chaos that we find ourselves in.  The world is in chaos because it has rejected the living God, our God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  That said, be encouraged in this world because it was no accident you find yourself right here, right now.  God Almighty, all knowing and all powerful in His infinite wisdom put us here on this earth with our talents and abilities in this season of the earth's history.  You may not know what you are doing.  You may feel like your head is spinning while you watch this world spin out of control but do not despair.  We are the foot soldiers who carry out the orders of the most brilliant General in world history.  Our Commander in Chief knows how this story began and how it ends.  He also knows every detail or what will happen and what needs to happen in between.

You and I both were created for this.  Trust the Lord to work out His will through you.  You and I only have the ability to see whats directly in front of our face.  We do not see the long term strategy being worked out by the Almighty.   Each one of us has certain strengths and abilities/talents that were put on this earth to be used at the pleasure of the Almighty.  Our job is to develop and maintain whatever our talents are so at just the right time we can be effectively employed by God Almighty for His glory and according to His purposes.

Be encouraged.  Dive deep into the faith and be rooted in it.  Hold onto the spiritual treasure that has been entrusted to you.  Do you part by knowing the Lord God and walking with Him in close communion each and every day.  Do your job by knowing and loving the Lord our God.

These are the thoughts ^^ that have been impressed upon this writer's heart over the past 30 days or so.  Glory to God.

grace and peace

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Rosh Hashanah 2019

Welcome to the days of remembrance, the Lord's feast Rosh Hashanah 2019.  Each and every one of the feast days has prophetic significance.  Each and every one of the feast's was to be observed at its appointed time:

Lev 23:4 ‘These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.

What was the purpose of observing these same days years after year, generation after generation?  Pounding in a message.  What message?  A message of what the Lord has done (the observed feasts of already fulfilled prophesy) and a message of what the Lord will do (prophesy yet to be fulfilled).  These days in their seasons are days of remembering.  We are to observe and remember what 1. the Lord has done and 2. what He promised to do.  That brings us to Rosh Hashanah 2019.

Rosh Hashanah is the day and hour no man knows because the moon has to declare the beginning of the new year.  This is also a direct reference to the unannounced, secret coming of the Lord.  Is it really a secret?  You tell me:

Mark 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Uhhh, the Son of God does not even know this day or hour so...…….I think yes its safe to call it a secret.  On that day and hour our Lord will come back for us in the blink of an eye, looking for faith on earth and those who belong to Him who are looking and longing for His coming:

Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

We were commanded, over and over again in multiple different parts of the scripture to be watching for the imminent, any time, secret, unannounced return of the Lord Jesus Christ for us, His Church.  This particular secret return of the Lord for us was to be a comfort for us in this ungodly, sick, wicked, twisted world we live in:

1 Thess 4:13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

And guess what?  Leaving this world to be with the Lord was the cornerstone of both of these ^^ above scriptural promises intended to comfort us.  To their own discredit and shame, many are those who argue today that it is "escapist" to preach or teach such ideas as if this were some kind of shameful idea.  Guess what?  Yea, it is very escapist and we were told to be continually praying, hoping and rejoicing in that escape that is most certainly, 100% guaranteed coming:

Luke 21:34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Yep, pray for escape.  That is exactly what it says.  Man made doctrine be damned.  What does the Word of the Most High God say?  That is the one and only thing that matters.  How do you read it?  What does your faith say?  What does the Spirit of the Lord say to your spirit?  You, and we do not have to "prove" anything to anybody except ourselves.  It is what we believe that will enable us to escape while what "they" do not believe will keep them here.  When people are screaming at you with red faces, and veins popping out of their necks that there is no escape, do not be troubled.  They are right!  But only insofar as they are preaching to and for themselves.  I suppose they never suspected that they are preaching themselves directly into the tribulation.  Do not be deceived, what we believe matters:

Matt 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

We do not have to predict on which day or hour the Lord Jesus will come back for us.  However during this season of remembrance, established by the feast of the Lord-Rosh Hashanah-we would be wise to remember what the Lord has already done prophetically. Which is a guarantee (in addition to His eternal Word which is its own guarantee) that the prophetic significance of these days in this season will be fulfilled to the letter as well as what has already been fulfilled.

We should remember in this season of remembrance that the perfect command given to us by the Spirit of the Lord continually prepares us in readiness for the unexpected, unannounced arrival of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Though faith and obedience, we who tremble at the Word of the Lord are watching continually, always, perpetually for the arrival of our Lord.  We were told to watch (always) and that is what we are doing, every day.  In this way, it is impossible for us to miss the unexpected arrival of our Lord through disobedience and unbelief (those who teach and preach not to bother watching for the Lord's return right now for whatever reason their man made doctrine purports.)  

There are wise and foolish virgins.  Yes, the Lord God called them fools.  They were not ready when He arrived.  You do not have to be a rocket scientst to figure this stuff out.  If we just do exactly what He told us to do we would not have problems, but there will be many with serious problems when they are found not watching themselves, but worse, teaching others not to watch as well.  Big problems.  Doing what we were told to do matters.  Obedience matters.  Our faith and belief matters.  Just ask Noah.  What if Noah decided "nah, its "escapist to build an ark.  Who is going to preach to all these wicked heathen if me and my family "escape" into an ark?"  Noah built the ark, and yes, Noah escaped 100% of the flood.  Or you can ask Lot.  What if Lot decided that he could not leave Sodom because "its escapist, and all of these perverts need me to stay here and preach to them."  Lot left Sodom just like Noah and he escaped 100% of the fiery destruction on that city.

This is not radical stuff.  This is not hard to understand.  Do what we were told to do.  You cannot miss the unexpected return of the Lord if you are watching and ready for it each and every day.  Its an iron clad guarantee.  Those who tell us not to bother watching today will more likely than not be taught the error of doctrine in tears and great sorrow.

We who believe what the Lord told us, and are doing exactly what He told us to do (watching and praying for His unexpected return) should comfort each other with the Words we were given.  Those Words teach us of a coming escape from this sick and twisted world.  We are in this world but we are not of this world, therefore we do not preach a message from the viewpoint of this world.

1 John 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Those who are of this world want to stay in this world.  They speak from the viewpoint of this world and the world listens to them.  Those of us who are not of this world, want to leave this world (when our Lord is good and ready for us to) and do not speak from the viewpoint of this world and only those who are not of this world listen to us.

We are of and from our Father's kingdom which is now in heaven but is coming to this earth to rule with a rod of iron.  Our enemy knows it, and those who belong to him know it which is why they hate us.  We know who they are and where they are from by the anger and hatred that is evident in them.  We also know them by their fruit and by the viewpoint they espouse (ie get more involved in the world, this world is their beginning and their end).

Let us end this note on a positive.  Do what we were told to do in simple language and be comforted and encouraged.  The Lord our God is coming for us.  The world and those who belong to this world are not watching for Him, nor are they ready for Him.  When He comes for them there will be no comfort, only dread.  They hated Him first which is why they hate us now.  This is what is in store for them:

Rev 6:12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

As this world goes from bad to worse, do not let your heart be troubled!

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We have a place prepared for us, not on this earth but in heaven (where we are from-our Father's kingdom, our home).  We will be taken to that place soon enough.  In the meantime we watch for our Lord's appearance with joy and gladness, with patience and perseverance until the time we are transformed into His likeness with a body like His at which time our hearts will explode with rejoicing and gladness.  Do what we were told to do.  Be faithful.  Be obedient.  Trust in the Word, it is your life and your future.  Glory to God, our Savior comes.

grace and peace