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“Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed

on the altar of conformity and popularity.”

Charles Spurgeon


John 12:42 ( NKJV ) Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 

In the above scripture we see that many rulers believed in Yeshua/Jesus but because of their fear of being put out of the synagogue, they did not confess that they believed in Him.  Their fear of man and man’s reaction to their choice kept them from being open about the faith.  They were conforming to the expected norms of their society instead of being open about their beliefs.

What is conformity?

Conformity – behavior or thought that is socially acceptable or expected; agreement, correspondence, or similarity in structure, manner, or character.

In the Spurgeon quote, we see what happens when we sacrifice our ideals for acceptance.  We lose our character and integrity.

Psalms 29:5 tells us that fearing people is a dangerous trap.  In the KJV and the NKJV the word for a trap is “snare” which is a hook or a noose.  Generally, it means something that is elevated off of the ground so that once the target is hooked it cannot get any footing to escape.  So, when we give into the fear of man, of what people think about us we lose our footing and cannot get away.  We cannot take a stand for the things we should.  We become powerless.

One of the best examples of this other then the above scripture and the story of Nicodemus coming to speak to Yeshua/Jesus at night so that no one could see him is the Apostle Peter after the Lord has been arrested in Luke 22:54-62.

We see in this part of scripture that as the Lord is being led to the house of the high priest Peter follows at a distance (verse 54).  He wanted to be with the Lord but his fear kept him in the courtyard with the crowds that had gathered.  In verse 56 we read where a servant girl recognized him as a follower of Yeshua/Jesus.  Because of fear he has lost his integrity and commitment to the Lord and denies he knows Him (verse 57).  He tried to fit in with them but once you know the Lord you cannot fit in no matter how hard you try. I wonder what was going on inside of Peter at that moment.  In a split second, he denied he even knew Him.  Did he duck his head and try to hide?  Probably.  But when the enemy sees you compromise he smells blood, your blood, and the demonic sharks begin to circle you.

In verse 58 another person notices him and says “You also are one of them.”  Instead of proudly saying “Yes I am!”  he says “Man, I am not!”  It most likely got easier the second time.  Compromise always does.  For an hour no one said anything to him except his guilty conscience speaking inside his heart and the voice of condemnation in his ear.  By now Peter is probably bound up by fear.  Fear for the Lord’s well being, fear about what would happen to them and fear that he would be found in the courtyard and punished as well.  I will bet it was the longest hour of his life and just like the enemy to back off just enough to catch you off guard.  And then comes the final slip of the knot.  The final wrap of the snare around Peter’s ankle.

Luke 22:59-62 ( NKJV ) Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 
So Peter went out and wept bitterly. 

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.

In a split second, Peter’s heart was broken because he knew that not only had he let the Lord down but he knew the Lord saw it.  When their eyes met no words needed to be spoken.  What did he see when he looked into the Lord’s eyes.  Sadness?  Sorrow?  Disappointment?  It’s not like the Lord didn’t know he was going to do it.  He had told Peter so only hours before.

Luke 22:31-34 ( NKJV ) And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

By these words we know He knew Peter would fail the test –  and when you have returned to Me.

Verse 62 tells us so much more then our English language can say.  In the original Greek that was translated into the KJV in 1611, it says that Peter didn’t just weep.  The words used for “wept bitterly” means he sobbed and wailed violently.    You know what that is.  Gut wrenching, violent chest heaving sobs.  The kind of sobbing where you cannot catch your breath and it hurts so bad that death would be pleasant.  Peter had looked into the eyes of the Man who for three years had not only been his Master and Teacher but also his best friend and knew he had let him down.  How would you feel if you knew He was watching you at your moment of conformity?

Adding to that pain was the knowledge that John was inside with Yeshua/Jesus.  In John Chapter 18 we read that John had gone in with the Lord while Peter waited fearfully outside.  He was supposed to be the leader and the strong one and he was outdone by the youngest of the disciples.  This would be a sad ending if we didn’t already know that when the Lord rose from the dead an angel told the women who had come to dress the Lord’s body in Mark 16:7 to tell the disciples and Peter (bold letters mine) to meet the Lord in Galilee.  How cool is that?  The Lord wanted to make sure Peter knew he was welcome.

You see the Lord knows your failures.  He’s seen the end from the beginning and He knows where and when you will fail Him but He’s already making a way for you to return to Him.  He didn’t stay to Peter “if you return to Me” He said, “when you have returned to Me.” He’s already made a way for you when you fail that test.  An angel is waiting to be dispatched to remind you where to meet Him.

No matter what you’ve done He’s letting you know you are welcome to come back.

If you understand what happened to Peter, you can understand why he never backed down again.  He was bold for the Lord and set his heart to never let the Lord down again.  We see that in his answers every time he was arrested and told to stop preaching about the Messiah.  We see it in his boldness after the Upper Room.  He stood up in a public square filled with thousands of people, maybe millions of people, and preached the first sermon of the New Church.  That boldness was born from brokenness and sealed by love.

Where are you right now in your walk with the Lord?  If push came to shove would you stand up for Him and His Word or would the fear of man ensnare you?  How easily do you compromise or confirm when the risk is your livelihood or acceptance from people who you want to impress?  Is there anything in this World that can keep you from boldly and publicly saying ‘YES!” when they ask “are you one of them”?  Or, will you drop your head, hide your eyes and deny Him by your words or your actions?  Just sitting in a pew isn’t enough.  We are called to live it for everyone to see.

Matthew 5:14-16 ( NKJV ) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

You might be saying “I want to be like this, but I don’t know how!”  What is your fear?  What could it cost you to take a stance for the Lord?  Is that cost worth what it does to you inside?  Is it worth giving up your character for?  Is it worth losing your footing and being ensnared by that fear?  Only you can answer that question.  Personally, I don’t know any other way to live.  I have to live with that Light shining no matter what the cost.  I love Him so much for what He’s done for me and how much He has loved me that I believe I would have been like John.  I would have marched into Caiaphas’ house with Him and been standing at the foot of the Cross too.  He died for me.  Can I do any less than live for Him?!  But, even if I were like Peter I know that He will be waiting for me to return and embrace me with open arms as He did Peter in John Chapter 21.

Find out where your thoughts and decisions have led you to conform.  Ask the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit to change the way you think.  That’s what the Apostle Paul, who knew all too well the cost of following the Lord, meant in Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2 ( NKJV ) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

Romans 12:2 ( NLT ) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

When you do you will feel that rope slip off of your ankle and you will be set free from the snare of this World and what people think about you.

You will never be the same!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund




Putting Your Head in the Lion’s Mouth

In the days of the traveling circus there would usually be a lion tamer who had trained lions and other large dangerous animals.  We still see them today in the remaining circus attractions and even in Las Vegas shows.  A standard trick would be for the trainer to have one lion open his mouth and he or she would actually put their head into the lion’s mouth to show how well-trained the animal was.  Since then, “putting your head in the lion’s mouth” means knowingly and willfully doing something dangerous.

Recently I received a text message from someone attending a Youth Service where the worship leader was leading the group in a song stating that “Satan was vanquished and powerless”.

My immediate thought was as to how dangerous a mindset that was.

For years in traditional church I can remember the songs about Satan being “under my feet” and watching people stomp & jump up and down as if they were crushing a bug.  Not only was it a silly sight to behold it was an endangering error being perpetrated on the masses.

Yes, Satan and the other fallen angels were defeated on Calvary.  A bloodied wooden Cross was their undoing.  However, even though they are defeated they have not submitted.  Until the Lord Returns for the final showdown they are roaring lions roaming about looking to devour someone.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8, New King James Version)

The words “roaring” and “devour” clearly indicate action and threat.

The warning to be sober and vigilant clearly indicates that this threat is prevalent and ongoing.  And, this was written AFTER the Crucifixion and Resurrection from someone with experiential knowledge.

Oh, I can hear it already from the naysayers and critics – “I’ve not been given a spirit of fear….blah blah blah….”  Yeah, I get that and I believe that.  But you haven’t been given a spirit of carelessness and recklessness either!  If you are carelessly reckless it’s by your own doing or by the bad teaching you’ve heard over the years.

It’s my belief that the reason “teachers” take the position that Satan, his angels and their demons are no threat to you is because they do not want to be responsible for the warfare that comes from taking a stand against them.  They are hirelings who run away or ignore the threat at the sign of the wolves and not shepherds who run toward the wolves to protect the flock.  (Just my opinion from 22-years of watching people play church)

Satan, his angels, the other fallen Watchers and their demonic offspring are supernatural beings looking to destroy anything made in the image of the One who created them and defeated them.

They are the ultimate terrorists although formally defeated still inflicting casualties and destruction as long as they exist.

Do not foolishly put your head in the lion’s mouth in a spiritual arrogance that sets you and your loved ones up for disaster.  If you attend a church where they teach and embrace this philosophy you may want to stop eating their regurgitated Word and start feeding on it for yourself.

The key to victory isn’t arrogance and it’s definitely not ignorance.

It’s vigilance.

Understand that you are in a 24/7 war with the adversaries of Heaven.

 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:12-18, New King James Version)

And that Victory starts at the Cross, takes you to an Empty Tomb and empowers you from and Upper Room.

It then comes from personally knowing the One you serve and what is expected of you in His service.

 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

      “ God resists the proud,
      But gives grace to the humble.”

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:4-10, New King James Version)

Humility, submission and commitment to Him and Him alone is what empowers you in this fallen world.  The enemy knows that someone who does that is hidden under His wings and under His covering.

Remember this and the next time you hear someone leading you in a song about stomping the devil listen closely.  You will hear the rumble from this throat as he waits patiently in the bushes for the weakest or the oldest of the flock to get separated from the rest in their dangerous carelessness to “devour” them.

By the way, the word devour means to literally tear to pieces.

Do you think Peter was trying to tell us something?

Or, you can keep doing what you are doing.

Let me know how that works our for you!

In the Power of His Name,
Richard J Grund
Director, Solomon’s Porch

Business As Usual…the blind leading the blind.

Lately myself and a couple of fellow warriors for the Kingdom are taking some heat & criticism for trying to warn the church of what is coming down the road spiritually that is a danger to them.

It would seem that the head in the sand mentality is in full effect in the church today.

It reminds me of a dog we once had. My mother in law, who passed away in 1984 had a poodle that we adopted. His name was Beau. Beau lived a long life but at the end of his life he went blind. it didn’t slow him down a beat. Of course, he would riccochet off of the walls as he hustled down the hallway to follow the other dogs outsidbe but he was unaffected by it. It was amusing to watch and I would somtimes add the sound effect of a bullet richochet as he did it.

Beau had a bad habit of stealing the cat food from the cat dish. Yes, we had dogs (3) and cats (2) in the same house. Everyone got along fine. But, Beau was addicted to the cat food and no matter how many times we moved it he would find it and eat it all.

One evening, as we ate dinner, I heard a noise coming from the kitchen. I slowly and quitely entered the kitchen to find Beau doing his best attempt to quietly creep toward the cat dish. He would walk a few steps, tilt his head and listen to discern if anyone was coming. A few steps. Stop and listen. This went on for a few minutes. He was working hard to get to the cat food. I quietly stood over the top of him as he crept toward his cat food fix. Just as he put his face into the dish I leaned over the top of him and screamed “BEAU!”

To say that he jumped would be an understatement. He went airborne and his feet were pawing the air to run away as he tried to escape even before he hit the ground from what was sure punishment for his efforts. I was laughing to hard to consider punishing him and he curtailed his cat food habit for a while. He was a great dog who lived a long full life…and ate a lot of stolen cat food.  🙂

It appeared that Beau believed that if he couldn’t see us then we must not be able to see him. His blindness had fooled him into a false sense of security that had a shockingly abrupt ending.

The church at large is the same way. Their spiritual blindness will have a shocking abrupt ending. The foolish idea that if they ignore the enemy’s efforts and do not talk about or listen to reports of the increase in demonic & supernatural activity that it won’t effect them.

In Matthew 15:14 the Lord spoke about “blind leaders of the blind” leading both into a ditch. The thing about falling into a ditch is that it leaves you as a sitting duck to any predator who might be pursuing you. The blind church is setting itself up for a shocking and aburpt ending when the roaring lion seeking to devour them pounces upon them.

Remember this saying when you accuse me or my other brothers like me of being “fear mongerers” for warning of what is coming – it’s better to be prepared for something that doesn’t happen then to be unprepared for something that does. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Or, you can just continue with business as usual and keep those spiritual eyes closed.

Richard J Grund

On My Supernatural Soapbox

On My Supernatural Soapbox ©

By Richard J Grund

Save Them All; Let God Sort Them Out!

There is a military quote and motto used by the Marines and Special Forces “Kill Them All, Let God Sort Them Out”.  It came from a Cistercian Monk name Arnaud Amalrci.  When the Crusaders of The Roman Catholic Church invaded Béziers in 1209, when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish the Cathars from the Catholics, Arnaul Amalric answered:  Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius (Kill them all. For the Lord knoweth them that are His.).

This is the origin of the modern phrase, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

And, that is just what they did.  20,000 people were slaughtered that day because they were deemed heretics.

As the “discussions” regarding the possibility of Nephilim hybrids being present in the World today reaches a crescendo another controversy has been added to it.  Among those who adhere to a belief that this is indeed possible in this current day & age there is the disagreement as to whether these individuals are capable of salvation.   Some believe since they are soulless beings they are beyond redemption.  Others believe that since they are many generations away from the progenitors they may have become more human and therefore capable of salvation.  While I see the argument on both sides I don’t see enough evidence either way to take a side so I say, “Save Them All, And Let God Sort Them Out!”.  Our mandate from the Lord is to: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”. (Mark 16:15)  What does that say?  Preach the Gospel to every creature/creation.  There are no parameters or specifics.  If they believe with their heart and confess with their mouth they will be saved.

Romans 10:9-13(NKJV) 9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

That pretty much covers it don’t you think?  We were never told to pick and choose.  Even if the tares get in with the wheat He will separate it all at the Harvest.  It’s not our job!

Putting the CON in controversy

The word controversy means a disagreement in which a lot of people have strong feelings about a policy or an issue.  Other words that could be used are disagreement, debate, storm or hullabaloo.

Well, we have all of the above regarding the existence of fallen angels in this day as well as the possibility they might be trying to recreate things they way they were Pre-Great Flood.   There are two sides to this argument and for some bizarre reason those on the side of disagreement that this is impossible and is not happening have taken an unbending, “we are right you are wrong” position.  Not only that, they have taken a position that anyone who disagrees with them are heretics.  A heretic is a holder or adherent of an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching.  While that may be the dictionary definition of the word who gets to establish what is the proper religious teaching.  When the books of the Bible were established as canon at the Council of Laodecia in 364 AD one book in particular that covered this topic, The Book of Enoch, was banned.  It didn’t matter to these men that the book and its teachings had been a part of the church for the previous 300-years nor did it matter to them that Enoch was referred to or directly quoted close to 100 times in the writings of the Old Testament, Gospels, and the letters of the Apostles.  It did not matter that Daniel, Jude, Peter and even the Lord Himself made direct references to Enoch.  What mattered to them is what they wanted no matter the cost.  Again, men took an unbending position reeking of their way or the highway.  Many of the early church fathers and teachers were branded as heretics because they fought to keep it as a part of church teachings if not a part of canon.  And, I have to believe that Origen was right when he stated that this was to keep believers from knowing anything about the fallen angels and what they did.  I will take that position one step further – I believe this belief is inspired by the fallen angels themselves as they are the only ones who benefit from such a belief.

So, the first “con” comes from the first con artist himself, satan.

The second “con” comes from a new breed of con artist in the body.  These con artist are more than wolves in sheep’s clothing they are sheep who because of their selfish desires and divisive natures have become predators of the flock.  They prey on weaker Christians who are new believers and sweet talk them into believing that their position is the only right and Godly position.  They prey on baby believers who are kept on scriptural milk so that they are dependent upon these “teachers” and never grow mature in the faith.  A dependency is created so that these “teachers” have a following that support them and stand up for their misguided beliefs.  They then push these baby believers to become teachers and preachers of their words so that it appears they are profitable in the faith.  However, they put these baby sheep at risk and will be held responsible by the Great Shepherd if any harm comes to these lambs of His.

These “teachers” are the new snake oil sellers and con artists of the faith.   Absalom, one of King David’s sons, was such a person.  He sat at the gates of the city and slowly, through guile and deception, misled the people of Israel away from his father’s leadership.  His desire for his own seat of power and leadership outweighed what was right and moral.  In the end, his vanity led to his destruction.  People like this build on the efforts of others and have no success or fruit of their own.  The Lord told us in Matthew 7:15 that we would know them by their fruit and we do.  If their fruit is dissension, arguments and deceit it’s pretty clear the tree they feed you from.  Their fruit will always be bitter and lacking in any spiritual nutrients.  They will always speak from two sides of their mouth and behind your back because they cannot withstand being pulled out into the open.  In your free will you can choose to eat whatever fruit you want just as Adam & Eve did.  Remember how their exercise of free will worked out and who was behind the deception that led to their fall and The Fall.

Watering Down the Antidote Kills the Patient

Another bone of contention that has arisen is the character assassination of anyone who gives a warning to the Body of Christ.  Those of us, like me, that point to and expose what the powers of darkness are doing in the world are being labeled as fear mongers.  The critics claim we offer no hope and only fear that makes us the enemy of the Kingdom.  Although this attack has been toward many others I can only speak for me.

I got saved in 1988 out of a lifelong bondage to the occult.  When I was set free from the darkness and translated into the Kingdom of His Son I swore to live out Luke 4:18 in helping others like myself.  To do that means, at times, I must expose in detail the works of the enemy so that they can be destroyed.  Even the Lord Himself and the Apostles gave us, in detail, the works of the enemy so that we would not be deceived or victimized.  People that live in the jungle are ever conscious of the predators and indigenous threats.  The first thing they teach their children is what is dangerous and what will harm them.  As we raise a child we teach them not to touch fire or play with matches and in doing so tell them what the outcome would be.  Is that fear mongering or good parenting?  Any believer that adheres to the Beatles Gospel of “All You Need Is Love” has never read The Bible.  If they have, they have picked and chosen what they wish to tell others.  I say teach it all or not at all.  Yes, I will tell what the Lord shows me in and by the Spirit of the enemy’s activities in the world.  I will line it up with scripture and then when I’ve exposed you to the threat I will ALWAYS tell you what the antidote, protection or solution is.  I will never lie to you, water it down or leave anything out.  For too long the Gospel has been watered down to make it more acceptable and easier to live at the expense of the flock.  More of the church today is bondage, going through divorces, committing fornication and adultery, living in sin, and committing outright rebellion against a Living, Loving and Holy God.  This feel good, everyone goes to Heaven false gospel is another “con” from the fallen ones.

On November 18, 1978 a man named Jim Jones got 907 people to drink a deadly poison by mixing it with Kool-Aid.  Out of this horrendous event came the expression of “drinking the Kool-Aid” when someone is being deceived by another individual.  What these feel good teachers, con artists and snake oil salesmen are doing is getting you to drink the devil’s Kool-Aid when they water down the Gospel into a powerless empty gospel with no power and no freedom.  Instead they poison you so that you are weak and easy prey to the demonic wolves they serve.

I am all for “hope” as it was the hope I saw in the Lord that lead me to that altar the day I got saved.  What propelled my legs was the knowledge that I needed a savior and without Him I was destined for hell.  Jesus of Nazareth was the antidote to the poison in my soul but first had to recognize and admit I was poisoned.  Denial only leads to destruction.  And, even today over 22-years later, I live with the knowledge that I am a sinner saved by Grace that if left to my own desires and to my flesh will fail and fall in my everyday walk.  There is no fear in me because His Perfect Love has cast out that fear but there is also the underlying knowledge that my flesh and my spirit are always at war with one another.  Without recognizing that as a warning we are doomed to live a rollercoaster walk where we are up one day and down the next.  If your walk has been filled with the rollercoaster ride I just mentioned you are out of balance somewhere.  Find what it is and correct it.

When In Doubt Deny, Deny, Deny

The final soap box topic for today is this current trend of denial in the church.  The self-proclaimed heresy hunters and critics have an answer for every point raised and evidence presented regarding the supernatural events in question.  Their answer is to deny that it is even happening.

“Fallen angels?  What fallen angels?”

“UFOs are not real.  It’s all a delusional deception”

“Cattle mutilations are being done by wild animals or subjects of military testing”

“There were no Nephilim AFTER the Flood.  Goliath and his brothers had a hormonal disease.”

“There was no gunman on the grassy knoll” (Threw that one in to see if you were paying attention)

The cries of “myth” have been going on for a very long time by those who have little to no knowledge (experiential or otherwise) on the topic of the supernatural.  They excuse away what they cannot understand and deny what forces them into accepting the possibility that they are wrong.  Whether it is demonic possession, UFOs or paranormal events these head-in-the-sand believers don’t want anything to upset their belief structures.  Fear of the unknown outweighs confidence in a Living God and Savior to help them overcome ANY threat natural or supernatural.

Denial is a self-defense mechanism for those who have no answers and are too afraid to seek them out.  It’s also a protective mechanism for those who are still wounded and have not seen complete healing.  It’s easier for them to deny what happened to them then to face it.  However, sooner or later the scars and internal pain will rear its ugly head and the healing process of facing the event must occur.

Lately, the newest effort for those who have experienced being abducted by some alien life force is to deny that it ever happened, that the event was an illusion and reject all efforts to face it head on.  The tangible evidence of wounds, scars, implants of unknown origin or element and the vivid memories are discounted completely.  I have a theory as to why this position is being propagated and accepted – it makes things easier for all involved.

If you’ve been a victim of a possible alien abduction by, what we believe to be, fallen angels or high ranking demonic powers it is much easier to accept it as imaginary then to face the possibility that what was done was real.  This type of denial is common in anyone who suffers a traumatic event.

For someone who tries to help or minister to such victims it’s easier to get them to believe it’s all an illusion or in their mind then to have to deal with the layers of psychic and spiritual trauma such an event causes.  Dealing with that kind of pain, bondage and possible demonic pain takes a special person who moves in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and is appointed & anointed for such a task.  It takes a tremendous amount of compassion and commitment to that individual for as long as it takes to see them through their healing and deliverance.  Someone who claims that “unless they admit it’s all a delusion I cannot help them” is telling the truth.  THEY cannot help them because they are neither called to or are equipped to help them.

So, for both parties the position of “denial” is a self-serving one and one that will not end well.  Both will find themselves in a position of claiming peace, peace and sudden destruction will come upon them because they were not willing to submit to the fullness of the Word, both Living and Written.  Take it from someone with experiential knowledge over the last 22-years do not bury it or deny it or it will come back to haunt you later on.  And, it will be a button the enemy will push at just the right moment in an attempt to steal your peace and joy.

It’s also much easier to deny any of this is happening because to accept it means that the threat is ever present and active.  However, we are told in 1 Peter 5:8 that there is a “roaring lion” out there looking to devour (tear apart) believers.  The threat is always there and we must recognize it and resist it.  We cannot deny it.  That will only lead us directly into the gaping jaws of the enemy.

So, for me, if I admit the possibility of these UFOs, abductions, mutilations or other supernatural events it doesn’t make me weaker or fill me with fear.  I know Whom I serve and that greater is He who is with me then he who is against me.  I know that greater is He who is in me then he who is in the world.  Bring on the UFOs, Fallen Angels posing as Aliens, et al for the same Spirit that raised Yeshua/Jesus from the dead is in me and that same Spirit created ALL things.  So, I have the Power of the Creator over the creation inside of me.  Like young David I will have the strength and courage to run toward that enemy in full confidence of victory because HE is with ME.  No fear because I have nothing to fear.


Okay, time to get off of the supernatural soap box.

Too much work to do for and in the Kingdom.

Thanks for listening.

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund

The Porch & SRT the Supernatural Response Team.

All Rights Reserved.
No duplication, copying or sharing without expressed permission!

A New Year; A New You?

2011 A New Year  A New You?

By Richard J Grund

Every year we make a New Year’s Resolution (decree, decision, declaration or promise ) to do something and it never happens.

A new fitness regime, diet, hobby, behavior modification, etc. make January a busy month.

Health Clubs and fitness centers count on three things.  1 – They count on you over indulging for the holidays.  2- They count on you making getting into shape a New Year’s Resolution.  3 – They count on you plunking down your money, committing to a contract and then never coming.  The attrition rate for health club memberships is 80%.  If everyone who had a membership showed up at any given time every health, safety and fire code would be violated.

The fact is many people will make a declaration but never follow through.

Your Christian walk is the same.  And, the enemy is just like the health club owners, he hopes you don’t follow through.

2 Corinthians 5:17(NKJV) 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

It wasn’t so long ago that I asked the Lord if I was a new creation why was there still much of the “old me” around. I made the declaration, said the prayer but still seemed a lot like the “old me” in many ways.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  There was a dramatic change.  You couldn’t be as demonically bound, even possessed, and not show a change once Yeshua/Jesus became Lord of my life.  Many who were present that day at church mentioned the immediate change in my appearance and even the increase in light around me.  What no one explained, and I learned the hard way, was that salvation was instantaneous and sanctification was a process.

Maybe I needed a different interpretation of the scripture from 2 Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 5:17(NLT) 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

There it is – a new LIFE had begun.  And, with any new life we must learn how to walk and do the things necessary to survive.  I needed, and received, guidance from a mentor who showed me by example and direction into The Word how to live this new life of mine.  Luckily for me both he and my passion for the Lord made me hunger the meat of the Word.  Yeshua/Jesus is the Bread of Life and I was partaking of that bread.  I hungered and thirsted for Him.

John 6:32-35(NKJV) 32Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

The process of sanctification – consecrating and dedicating our life to the Lord – is just that…a process.  It takes time to develop and has to be allowed to grow.  It must be nurtured and cultivated.  It doesn’t just happen.  You must “go” to Him (v. 35) and receive from Him what you need.

Jeremiah 29:11-13(NKJV) 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11:6(NKJV) 6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When you seek Him with all of your heart; holding nothing back, you will find Him.  That is a promise written in Blood.

What is the reward for those who diligently seek Him?

Revelation 3:20-21(NKJV) 20Behold, 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.
21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

That permanent intimacy you seek can only come when YOU seek HIM.  You cannot and will not be changed until you find Him.

The first step in the process of living this new life is to seek Him with all of your heart.  I do not care how long you’ve been saved or how long you think you’ve been saved.  If the old zombie you is still hanging around I suggest you seek Him with all of your heart and jump-start that sanctification process.

Psalms 42:1-2(NRSVA) 1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and behold  the face of God?

There may be some who haven’t even begun the salvation process let alone the sanctification process.

May I suggest a New Year’s Resolution from The Bible for you?

Isaiah 55:6(NKJV) 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,      Call upon Him while He is near.

Twice in Revelation 22 ( verses 7 & 12) He says, “Behold, I am coming quickly!”

Soon and very soon He will return and if you haven’t sought Him and found Him it will be too late.

Richard J Grund

The Porch on Solomon’s Porch
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

As it was in the Days of Noah….there is still hope.

By Richard J Grund,

Director, Solomon’s Porch ministry; Director & Team Leader, SRT the Supernatural Response Team

Matthew 24:37 ( NKJV ) 37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Luke 17:26-30 ( NKJV ) 26And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

We are inundated with theological analysis these days of the coming “Days of Noah; as well we should be.  Learned respected authors and teachers recount for us what it was like in the Days of Noah.  Sin, debauchery and demonic manifestations were commonplace amongst a people given over to their base sinful desires.  We add to that the understanding that in those “Days” the Earth was filled with the presence of the fallen angels and their demonic hybrid offspring known as the Nephilim.  And, yet in the midst of all of that there was still hope.  Mankind was given hope by a Loving Heavenly Father through a man untouched and untainted by the sins of that day.  In Noah’s pure blood floating on the Divinely inspired  Ark we were given another chance.

When judgment fell on Sodom & Gomorrah the favor of Almighty God’s relationship with Abraham allowed Lot and his family to escape the falling fire and brimstone.  Angels were sent to guide them to safety and, in the literal fulfillment of Psalms 91:8, they only saw with their eyes the reward of the wicked because it did not come near them.

Noah’s pure blood and Lot’s favor are shadows of the protection and favor of our personal relationship with Yeshua/Jesus.  Through our being Born Again of the Holy Spirit by the Blood of the Lamb shed on a wooden Cross and the favor given to us through our names being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life we will not see the rain of fire that will befall Satan’s seed.  So, no matter how bad it seems we have hope.

We also have hope in that we are not victims but victors in the war between Light and darkness.  I am not one that subscribes to the perspective that we Believers are cannon fodder in a war between Heaven and their fallen angels.  When our Heavenly Father fulfilled the Promise by sending us the Ruach Hakodesh/Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost were given a way to take a stand against the serpent and crush his head (his authority).  that Promise is still being fulfilled and in effect today.  The weapons of our warfare are not through our flesh but mighty through God’s Holy Spirit to pull down strongholds and destroying ALL the works of the devil.

So, as darkness covers the Earth and a deeper darkness the people, do not despair.  Arise and shine in full confidence that greater is He who is in you then he who is against you.  Hold on to the hope that before He takes us out of this world we can be more then conquerors through He who loves us and died for us.

As it was in the Days of Noah…we have hope!


If you want to learn more about the Book of Acts Church and get back to basics join us every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm EST at The Porch for an online Bible Study.  And, on Sunday night’s at 7:30 pm we peer into the shadows of the supernatural on Reflections In The Dark. Registered & Protected

Meat, meat, all you can eat!

Meat, meat, all you can eat!

May 24, 2010

Richard J Grund

Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)

Spiritual Immaturity
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

This section of Hebrews 5 is entitled Spiritual Immaturity and that is what I want to rant about..I mean talk about.

Over the past few months I’ve been doing a Back to Basics Bible Study built around the Book of Acts.  As we’ve been dissecting each scripture and thought the undeniable pattern of Divine Instruction has revealed itself.

Isaiah 28:9-10 (NKJV)

9 “ Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
just weaned from milk?
just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

That pattern that has revealed itself in the New Testament is that you must bridge the Gospels and the Letters of the Apostles with the Book of Acts.  The Gospels underscore and explain the Book of Acts and the Letters of the Apostles to the church at large reveals the teaching of the Gospels in those events.  All three are intertwined in such a way that they cannot be taken out of context without diffusing its meaning and causing confusion in the reader.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 ( NKJV )
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.     And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

And, without a knowledge and understanding of the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament) we have limited insight into what the Lord was saying and what the NT Teachers were using as their framework for understanding.

The Bible is ONE BOOK of 66 Books acting as individual strands interwoven with the scarlet threat of salvation and redemption.  To not understand it in its entirety cheats the reader of the meat of the word.  To not know the events and historicity of the Book of Acts cheats you from the “who, what, where and why” of their writings.

It’s my belief that there are many who sit like little birds in a nest called a local church and eat the regurgitated Word chewed on by someone else.  They would rather sit there with their mouths agape and be fed then to feed themselves on the solid food of the Word.  Babies need pabulum and soft food.  That’s fine when you are a spiritual babe but after a while you should move on to solid food.  If your preachers and teachers are not encouraging you to chew on solid food of your own then they are deliberately making you dependent upon them.  They encourage your lack of spiritual maturity so that you will keep coming to them for “food”.

The Lord did not do that.  He challenged the thinking of His disciples and He pushed them out without Him almost immediately so that they could obtain experiential knowledge.  In today’s church you are told that you have to sit in a pew for years or a theological cemetery…I mean seminary…until all your thoughts are the thoughts they want you to have.  I am a strong  proponent of learning to be a leader by being a follower/doer but I also know that the model of the Lord and the Book of Acts was a church dependent upon the Holy Spirit to be their teacher and that by their ACTIONS they were confirmed into ministry.

1 Thessalonians 2:4-9 (NKJV)

4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.

By the way, before anyone gets too upset with the seminary comment, do you know the origin of the Christian Seminary concept?  It was born out of the effort to shut down the home churches and free move of the Spirit in 313 A.D. by the church leaders under Constantine.  Its intent was to control what was taught and who taught it.  Funny isn’t it how the church of the Lord exploded and expanded just fine without those controls in place.  There would seem to be a correlation with this man-made restraints and the subsequent replacement of the Book of Acts model with the Edict of Milan Model of large basilicas and cathedrals.  Not too long after this the influence of the church diminished and the Dark Ages began.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NKJV)

19 Do not quench the Spirit.

So, what is my point?  My point is that you have in front of you or on some dusty shelf or lamp stand a smorgasbord of the best that your Heavenly Father has for you to feed on.  There is a veritable Heavenly Banquet that will sustain you, strengthen you and mature you into effect, productive children being about your Father’s Business.

Feed on it.  Chew it.  Digest it.  Don’t rely on someone else to feed you but learn to feed yourself.  As I said bfore, if your preachers or teachers aren’t encouraging or inspiring that in you I suggest that you consider looking elsewhere.  We were not called to be dependent upon anyone but the One who is the Living Word of God.  The Holy Spirit was sent to remind you of the Lord’s words not the words of other men.

2 Timothy 2:15 ( NKJV )
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

However, if you are one of those people who are blissfully happy in your spiritual ignorance and would rather have different flavors of pabulum rather than real food continue on as you have.  That is totally your choice.  Just don’t complain when the time comes, and now is, when you are deceived and destroyed by the false teachers & teaching Peter warned us about in 2 Peter.

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

The Truth Shall Make You Free
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

If you want to live in Shacks sipping Chicken Soup for your soul coked by someone else and seeking out Secrets when the Truth has been given to you already that is again your choice.  I’d rather live in my Father’s House in His many mansions feasting on His “food” while having been set free by the Truth given to me by the One who wrote it!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund

Saved a Butterfly Today

Saved a Butterfly Today

May 10, 2010 by Richard J Grund

I use a part of the outside pool deck, under the awning, as my workout area.  This morning while working out I noticed that a beautiful butterfly was floating in the pool on top of the tubing for our pool cleaner.  It upset me to see this.  Since last June 2008 when I brought the butterfly from home from the Blanchard Park celebration for Caylee our backyard has become a butterfly sanctuary.  That particular butterfly lasted very long and, as I’ve already written, would fly by and buzz me whenever I was in either my front or back yards.  This has been witnessed by others.  Of course, I knew that it would not last long and with the type of winter we had this year I didn’t expect to see them anymore.  However as the weather got warmer they began to appear and now they dot our yards front and back.  I always smile when I see them and think of Caylee’s Butterfly and of course think of Caylee.

So, the sight of this butterfly floating in our pool was an unhappy sight.  I said out loud, “Lord, I wish I had been here to rescue it when it fell into the water”.  Yes I know it’s silly to be sad about a butterfly but if we cannot have compassion and care for the little ones and the least of them how can we have compassion at all.  This butterfly had somehow flown into our pool enclosure while the screen door was open and the reflection off of the water must have made it think it was a pond or new area to explore.  Once the screen door closed the enclosure became its jail cell and the inability to escape had cost it its life.

I went back to training and as I turned to look out across the pool as I sometimes do I noticed the butterfly’s wings flailing wildly as it sank into the water.  Obviously it had landed on the pool cleaner tubing, gotten its wings wet and only been stranded there.  I quickly grabbed the pool net, scooped it out of the water and held it up to my face to examine it.  Its antennae were moving back and forth so I knew it was alive.  However, its wings were soaked and would need to dry off if it were to fly again.  Holding the net close to my face I gently blew on its wings attempting to speed up the drying process but from the look of its wings this effort might take a while. The butterfly pushed up on its legs to allow the gentle breeze underneath to get under the wings as well.  It was working with me to get its wings dried out.  That was a good sign.  So, I placed it in a sunny area nearby to let them dry out naturally and walked away.  Then, the thought entered my mind, “what if it dries off and tries to get out when I not here to help it.  It will be stuck again and all of that was for nothing.”

Grabbing the handle of the pool net I took it outside and tried to find an area where it could finish drying off its wings.  There was a sunny area right near the door where I set down the pool net.  However that area is also teeming with Florida Lizards and without the ability to fly it would have been helpless and endangered.  Thoughts of finishing my workout were set aside and I began to search for a safe area to leave it.  I took a large leaf off of a nearby wild bush and slid it under the butterfly.  It stepped up onto the leaf and off of the net as if it knew what I was doing.

Now, I had to find someplace safe to place the leaf and just as I thought I did the butterfly slipped off of the leaf and floated to the ground.  Well, that was it I thought, I’ve killed it now but the flutter of its wings as it attempted to continue to dry them out was a signal he or she was alright.  I know you are wondering how to tell if a butterfly is male or female.  I did say I looked underneath it didn’t I?  Yes I did but that’s doesn’t tell you anything :-).  There is a spot however on the wings of males but with the wings being as wet as they were I could not tell if that spot was there or not.

Sitting on a twig on the ground in the sunlight was a great place to dry out but also a great place to be attacked.  I moved some brush, dirt and twigs around it to create a mound to give it some camouflage.  I was bound and determined to help this butterfly live so that it could fulfill the calling of its short life that had been short circuited by its misadventure into our pool enclosure.  This had become important to me and I could not let go of it.  I finished my workout in between trips outside to check on it.  I heard a barking from inside the house and recognized it as the Sara, the puppy, alerting me she needed to go out.  I got her and another of our dogs and brought them outside with me.  I tried to keep them away from the area where the butterfly was but when they got close I noticed something.  The butterfly pulled its wings together so that only the underside could be seen and they were a beige color that matched the foliage and twig it was on allowing it blend into its surroundings.  As long as it could hide like that it would have a chance.  I brought the dogs back inside and then I began to wonder why I had gone to all this trouble to save a butterfly today.

Since last June butterflies have to come to represent and remind me of Caylee when I see them.  Maybe in some way I was working out my own issues of not being able to save her or do anything for her in her time of need.  I believe that everyone who knew and loved her deals with those thoughts.  It’s natural to wonder “could I have done more” “should I have done more” “what if I had done more”.  At first I thought maybe that was it but the more I thought about it the more I realized that butterfly represented something else.

That butterfly represents all of those we see in this world who by bad choices are drowning and dying in the enclosure of this world and the pool of their own sin.  At first I saw it and wished I could have done more.  Then, I was given a chance to do more but as it sank into the pool I could have easily written off as being too late and walked away.  I could not do that and the process of saving its life began.  Saving someone is a process.  Sometimes it means not walking away even if natural reason says too.  I would not be here today with my family serving the Lord if certain people had given up on me.  Many said I was hopeless and beyond saving but that wasn’t the case.  Nothing is too hard or impossible for God!

Getting someone saved is not all you are supposed to do and then you walk away.  We weren’t told to give them a list of “do and don’ts” and let them go.  We were told to make “disciples” of all we led to the Lord. To make a disciple means walking with them, teaching them, caring about them and, in some instances, protecting them from things that would cause their demise.  My first attempt at releasing the butterfly seemed good by placing it in the sun inside my pool enclosure.  My quick realization that it was also still in danger of winding up back where I found it meant I had to do more.

How often do we lead someone to the Lord and then release them back into the same environment that got them in danger in the first place.  It takes doing more than just a prayer, a ride to church or giving them a Bible to set people on the road to living out their freedom.  When the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44) He did not just raised him from the dead He also commanded the removal of the grave clothes that wrapped him from head to toe.  Being alive meant nothing to Lazarus if he couldn’t walk free from the things that bound him.

My choice to get the butterfly outside the enclosure and into the sunlight meant that it also took it out of a safe environment and put them into harm’s way from natural predators.  For a Christian our natural predator is the devil , the other fallen angels and demons of the kingdom of darkness.  1 Peter 5:8 says that our adversary walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (tear apart).   It’s our job, and especially the job of leaders (Pastors, Elders, etc.) to protect the baby sheep who cannot yet protect themselves.

By getting it to a safe place and protecting it from being seen I was giving it a chance.  Isn’t that what we do with people?  We give them a chance.  Not everyone we plant a seed of the Word will grow and even in the ones that grow we will see some fall away and whither from the struggle.  In the example of the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:5-8 we see that maybe only a third of the seeds planted by the sower will make it.  There was nothing we could have done for the other two-thirds.  We must concentrate on the seeds that grow and will bear fruit.

Where I placed that butterfly, how I placed that butterfly and the continued attention I gave it was the “process” of saving its life.  I do not know if all of that will be enough to get it flying again or whether it will fulfill its destiny ordained by the Creator, Almighty God.  I just know that I asked for the chance to save it, I was given the chance and did all that I could do.  Now, I must let go and trust God to do the rest whether for that butterfly or for someone in my life.  Some of you out there need to know that you’ve done all that you could do and the rest was up to God.  If it did not turn out well it’s not your fault and let go.  I am speaking to myself here.  If we allow the accuser of the brethren to get into our ears and listen to his accusations against us we will be tormented and oppressed by those ungodly thoughts.

And, if you missed your opportunity to save your “butterfly” or gave up too soon you need to let that go as well.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning and He knew what you would do.  And, He loves you anyway.  Repent from a sincere heart and be ready for the next time.  Because there will be a next time.  He needs our help and until He comes back we are to tarry (occupy) and stay busy for the Kingdom.  Hebrews 12:2 says that Yeshua/Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  It doesn’t say He “was” but that He “is” which means He is still active in us and through us.  He’s not done with us.  He’s still writing on our hearts and souls so that we can His “writings” to a lost and dying world.

Whatever it is that you’ve done, He’s not done with you.  If you messed up, He will use you again.  For those who did their assignment well then it’s time for your next assignment.  He needs your help.  If we open our hearts to Him He will use them for His Kingdom.  If we cannot have compassion for the lost or wounded “butterflies” of the world drowning in their sin who will we have it for?!

By the way, it took the butterfly all day to dry out its wings but it is fine and just buzzed me outside to let know! 🙂

Matthew 25:40 ( NKJV ) And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Richard J Grund Registered & Protected

The Blessed Hope of His Return

Coming to a sky near you…The Second Coming of Christ!

We’ve been studying the Book of Acts in our online Bible study for the last 6-weeks.  The framework and ingredients for their success is right there.  Following the history of the Early Church from Acts Chapter 1 through the last letter of the Apostles we see that His Return was never far from their minds.

What is “the Blessed Hope”?

Titus 2:12-13 (NKJV) 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

The New Living Translation offers the same thought but gets right down to the nitty-gritty when it says in verse 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

“To turn from godless living and sinful pleasures” calls it like it is.

To do that we need to be IN the world but not OF the world by living with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God.

Peter warns us in 2nd Peter 3: 3-5 that those who deny His Return is imminent will willfully live according to their own lusts.  Is it any different in 2010 then it was in over 1900 years ago when Peter wrote these words to the Believers of his day?  It was slightly over 30-years since the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord and the church were already doubting His Return.  They willfully returned to their worldly ways.  No matter how many times the Lord warned us that His return would be like a thief in the night with no warning or announcement we ignore the admonition to be ready, diligent about using our “talents” for Him and fulfilling the Great Commission.

There may be some of you reading this who do not believe in the Rapture or Second Coming as presented here.  I’ve heard the theories, read the teachings and have to say that to make your beliefs work a lot of scripture must either be left out or manipulated.

My attitude is this – if the Lord spoke of it (Matthew 24 & 25), the Apostles taught it and the Early Church believed it – IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.  If it’s not good enough for you, I ask that you read the rest of this with a “what if” mentality; what if you are wrong?

It comes down to the question of what would you do differently if you knew that any moment, in the blink of an eye, He would split the sky and return for His Church?

How would you live your life?

Soberly?  Righteously?  Godly?

Would you risk being in bed with your lover (live in, committed or otherwise) engaged in what the Bible calls fornication or adultery (if you are married to someone else) when He appears?

Whatever your sin of choice is could be the very thing that causes your Blessed Hope to disappear.  No matter how good it feels you will feel worse if it costs you everything.

Risking the chance that you will have time to repent is playing spiritual Russian roulette with your soul and life.  That’s what you do every time you commit an “in your face God” presumptuous sin.

Any sin is sin and will keep you from going.  Those aren’t my words they are The Word.  The Apostle Paul constantly pointed out the things that would keep us from entering the Kingdom of God.  He was being critical or judgmental.  He was warning the church out of love and compassion.  He understood “grace” and taught it in Galatians but he also warned that it wasn’t a license to sin.  And, then he warned of the price for choosing to sin.  He loved them, and us, enough to sound the alarm of warning in his writings.

Would the unsaved, sinful state of your friends and loved ones motivate you to do more to lead them into the Kingdom?  Or, have you become so numbed by the world and the feel good message of a watered down Gospel that you would continue with business as usual?

Remember that people in Noah’s day watched him and his family build that Ark in preparation for the coming flood of judgment.  They probably mocked and ridiculed Noah as they continued their sinful, ungodly ways.  Is it any different now?  I cannot imagine what it felt like for Noah and his family to sit inside the ark for 7-days as the flood waters grew to cover the whole earth.  They must have heard the cries and screams of their friends and neighbors to let them in.  They had to hear the clawing on the gopher wood as the people drowned.

If you could see your friends and loved ones in the fires of Judgment would it motivate you to share the Gospel and tell them the Truth?

If you could see what your backsliding Christian friends and family will have to endure if they get left behind would it inspire you to do more?  It inspired the Early Church enough that they risked their lives to spread the Gospel.

It inspires Believers in Communist and Muslim countries all over the world RIGHT NOW to risk their lives.  Here in America we are spending our time fighting for the right to be Christians instead of living it.

Preach the Gospel.  Use words only if absolutely necessary!

The signs of His Return mentioned in Matthew 24 & 25 are blazing like a neon sign in Times Square.  Has it gotten your attention or are you distracted by the cares of this world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life?

How about you?  Does it inspire you?  Does it even matter?

It mattered enough to the Early Church that it was the central focus of their efforts.  It mattered enough to the Lord that it was a constant theme in His parables.

To help you as you meditate on this I have compiled a mix of 5 selections from a Dennis Jernigan CD for you to listen to. Take a short break from what ever you are doing and go to:

Listen to the lyrics and then think about it.  If you are moved and want to share the link with a friend or loved one please feel free to do so.  Follow the link offered to Dennis’ site and buy the songs in mp3 format and share them.

Who knows, you may have just given them a Blessed Hope!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund Registered & Protected


Butterflies in Heaven

Butterflies in Heaven

A Year Ago Today

December 11, 2009

By Richard J Grund

When President Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 a “date which will live in infamy” I had little personal experience with the reality of that statement.  He meant that the day would always have a bad name and be notorious in history.  And, he was correct.  It was and is.

December 11, 2008 (a Thursday) will hold that status in our lives.  It’s the day our worst fears were confirmed and the nightmare was no longer just a dream.  It was the day Caylee Marie Anthony was found.  Well, that’s actually not true.  Caylee was in Heaven.  It was the day the remains of her mortal body were found.  It was the day we knew that we would have to wait until Heaven to see her again.  Without the assurance of Heaven and her being there it would have been the day that all hope was lost.

Don’t get me wrong, we wanted it to be different.  There was hope the facts were wrong.  There was faith and love to help block out the reality being presented to us.  The hope of her being somewhere safe and hidden was lost that day.  The hope of seeing her in this earthly realm was lost that day.  And, the hope of a future for this bright shining star was lost that day.  The truth is, no one who has been to Heaven ever wanted to come back and I do not believe she would have been any different.  The ever present music for her to bop and dance to would have held her there.   The bright green fields, flowers, perfect butterflies and the ever present feeling of safety and love would make her forget all about here.  I cannot blame her.  Psalm 16:11 tell us, In Your presence is fullness of joy;  At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Once she grabbed His nail pierced hand when He greeted her we were a distant memory.  Would you want to leave that?  I wouldn’t.

Over this past year I’ve had past dreams, words and experiences brought to my remembrance.  I will not list or detail them except to say that God was not caught off guard by this.  He knew what would happen before she was born.  He knew THIS would happen.  And, in His infinite love and mercy for us, He gave her to us anyway.  God is never surprised by what happens.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).   He knew who, what, when and where.  He taught us that for everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3) and her season was a short one.  She was meant to teach us many lessons and, for whatever reason, her time here was short.

In many ways, she was too good for this world.  Most innocents like her are.  Before this world could taint her, ruin her and mold her into its image she was sent home.  Selfishly, I wish it were not so.  I wish we could all have her for a little while longer but He knows better than I what is right and to Him, this was allowed.  I know there are many people that will not understand that or His ways.  But, I can pray you come to that understanding.

Isaiah 55:8 (New King James Version) 8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

Does that mean we don’t wail and plead with Him to change the way things are?  No, our frail humanity does that.  Yet, in all things we have to trust that this Father does know best.

Although it may have actually happened 6-months earlier, on December 11, 2008 it was confirmed to us that we ran out of time with one of His butterflies.  Her wings would flutter to the breeze of this world no longer.  Her time was short but it was ever so colorful and memorable.

With all due respect to Eric Clapton, I know that there are no tears in Heaven.  There is only love, peace, joy and Caylee’s laughter.

And, I know there are butterflies in Heaven that live forever!

We will always love you Caylee.

We will always miss you.

We will see you again.

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