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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Thought For The Day – Eyes & Ears Checkup

Matthew 13

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘ Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Eyes to see and ears to hear; what an awesome concept!

Recently I was discussion on some topic with a close brother in the Lord who I pray with and seek the Lord in prayer with.  While we were discussing a recent revelation it dawned on me that I see everything, no matter what it is, through a spiritual filter.  I am always looking for the “God part” of the situation.  I know that frustrates people sometimes but it’s the way I am “wired”.  I don’t know how to live any other way and wouldn’t have it any other way.  Even in business dealings I always add the “God factor”, as I call it, to my decision making process to see where He fits in it and how does it benefit the Kingdom of God.

If we are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) and are supposed to have transformed, renewed minds (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23-24) shouldn’t our eyes see Him in everything and shouldn’t our ears seek to hear His voice (John 10:23) in all situations? If I am truly His won’t I only hear His voice and not follow any other one? Life would so much less stressful if we would that.

My prayer partner & brother, Larry, so astutely pointed out that since we are seated with Him in the Heavenly places (Eph. 1:20; 2:6) we are looking down from the spirit to the natural at all times or should be.  I find this such basic stuff it always surprised me when people miss the obvious element of God in something that happens to them.  Even when bad things happen I try to see why He would allow it to happen, what am I supposed to learn from it and how does it edify me (build me up).  If all things work for the good for those who love Him and called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28) how does what is happening in my life, the mysterious ongoing parable of living in a fallen world, do me good.  What is it in the tribulation is a part of my “calling”? What kind of lives would we lead if we saw with spiritual eyes first and fleshly eyes second?  It would seem to me that if we could tweak our internal emotional and mental wiring in that direction living lives of victory would be easy.

Believe me I am not perfect and strive to live up to this revelation but fail sometimes.  If I allow my emotions to cause me to see with the flesh instead of the spirit it usually takes me to a place of stress and eventual torment.  Why allow that?  One of the things I will pray for people sometimes is for them to have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Lord is saying or showing them.  More often then not, it won’t be what they want to hear.  It’s always sad to hear someone who doesn’t want to see what He’s showing or hear what He’s saying because it means they do not want His best for them.  Usually the problem they have brought to me is a direct result of poor vision.  It makes me wonder how many times I’ve done that and made Him feel sad.

So, let’s make a resolution together to try to have eyes to see and ears to hear.  We have what the prophets didn’t have (Matt. 13:16-17).  We have a resurrected Savior and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit/Ruach Hakodesh to help us.  The prophets of old had momentary glimpses of spiritual things when the Spirit would come upon them but then it would be gone.  We have been given the gift of being able to boldly approach the Throne of Grace and Mercy with immediate access to our Heavenly Father because of the Spirit of Adoption (Heb. 4:16; Rom. 8:15-16) .  Even when we can’t see or hear correctly we can always go directly to Him for help because we are His children.  Children know the voice of the parents and aren’t fooled by another voice.  If I call one of my boys all they have to do is hear my voice and they know it’s “Dad” even before they see the caller ID.

We’ve been discussing the growing darkness in the land and what we can or should do about it.  There aren’t too many “armies” that will allow someone with bad sight or bad hearing to join let alone send to the front lines.  It takes being able to see and hear clearly in a battle zone to survive.  Is it any wonder so many aren’t winning their battles!

As you read this today I pray for you to have eyes to see and ears to hear so that you can live He wants for you.  A life filled with His blessings and His best for you no matter what the circumstances.

Amen?  Amen!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard Grund

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord
in Solomon’s Porch.  (Acts 5:12 NKJV)

onsolomonsporch.org/theporch
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

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Throught For The Day – Hypocrisy

 

The world is glad of an excuse not to listen to the gospel message, and the inconsistencies of Christians is the excuse. Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

As for conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that. Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

None of us are perfect.  We are all works in progress.  We know that His Grace (unmerited favor) is always available to us.

However, that does not mean you have a license to do wrong.  Your freedom was not bought for you to fulfill your personal desires without fear of consequences.

You have been given free choice but that was not meant for your freedom to be an excuse to make the wrong decisions.

When you tell someone you are a follower of the Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus, and act like everyone else in the World you deny Him by your actions.  No words can change their perception of you because your actions speak louder then your words.  Quite simply that makes you a hypocrite and a tool of the enemy to lead others astray.

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.

Is it any wonder the World makes fun of us?  We give them an already written script with material of our own making!

 

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.

Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.

These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear:

sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,

idolatry, sorcery, hostility,

quarreling,  jealousy, outbursts of anger,

selfish ambition, dissension, division,

envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

love, joy, peace,

patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control.

There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:16-23 ( NLT )

 

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
(Acts 5:12 NKJV)
www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

Dancing In The Dark – The Church in 2009

DANCING IN THE DARK

THE CHURCH IN 2009

With apologies to Bruce Springsteen and his 1984 hit, this teaching is entitled “Dancing in the Dark, the church in 2009”.

Luke 17:22-30 ( NKJV ) Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.  But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.  And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
They 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.   Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed
them all.  Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Isaiah 40:3-5 ( NKJV ) The voice of one crying in the wilderness:     “Prepare the way of the Lord;     Make straight in the desert     A highway for our God.   Every valley shall be exalted     And every mountain and hill brought low;     The crooked places shall be made straight     And the rough places smooth;  The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,     And all flesh shall see it together;     For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Two phrases appear in those scriptures that should be road signs for the church but how many of you know about them.  One is “the Days of Noah”.  The second is “Son of Man”.  Let me deal with the last one first because that would be Biblical ;-).

The Lord called Himself the “Son of Man” 77 times in the NT.  77 times!  Must have been important and since 7 is the number of perfection, His number, that means it is 7 x important.

Where does this title, Son of Man, come from?  It comes from the Book of Enoch.  It was a title that the Jews of His day understood and had heard while being taught by their fathers.  The 1st Century church would have knowledge of this book as evidenced by it’s presence in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This is not a teaching on The Book of Enoch.  There are other good teachings out there by Dr. Chuck Missler and others.  Do your own homework.  Know why you believe what you believe.  Don’t be baby birds seeking someone else to regurgitate the Word they’ve eaten into your bellies.  Chew your own food for a change.

So, if the Lord was using a title known from The Book of Enoch.  What as He implying to those listening to Him.  If we refer back to the text we see pretty clearly that He was telling them He was the One who sat next to the Ancient of Days, the One who rule over all spirits and who would judge the living and the dead.  He was telling them that He was the Righteous One who made all things righteous.  He was telling that all things, natural and supernatural, would bend their knee to the One who sat at the right hand of the Ancients of Days, known to the Jews of His day as El Elyon God Most High, the Great I Am.

In the next paragraph He refers to the Days of Noah.  Until a few years ago I had only known the Days of Noah to be taught as a time when sin and ungodliness covered the Earth and because of that a flood was sent to destroy everything that lived on the land (Genesis 6:7,13).

Genesis 6:1-8 ( NKJV ) Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,  that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 6:13 ( NKJV ) And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 6:11-13 ( NLT )Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.
God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt.
So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

His Divine creation had been “corrupted”.  The Hebrew word used means ruined, decayed, spoiled.  Descriptions when applied to living things means the life in them was not the life He designed them for.  They were rotten inside and out.  Until I understood that I could never understand so harsh a judgment to kill every living thing except for Noah and his family.  I now realize that He never intended for these people to exist.  In other words – HE DID NOT CREATE THEM.  THE FALLEN ANGELS DID.

So, getting back to the Lord’s use of the “Days of Noah”, if we measure His prophetic warning with the Biblical story what is He telling us?  He’s telling us that at the end of time the Earth and its inhabitants will be in for supernatural events most likely brought on by supernatural forces.  That’s the simplified answer.  If you hang in there with me over the coming weeks we will get into greater detail.

So, if we are headed toward a time of supernatural world shaking events why aren’t we taught more about the supernatural aspects of our walk?  Why has the majority of the Believing world ignored a third of the Lord’s earthly ministry and the work He mandated before He ascended into Heaven.

Reading from Peter’s eyewitness account written by Mark:
Mark 16:15-20 ( NKJV ) And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.  And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Mark 16:15-18 ( NLT ) And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.  These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.  They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

Demons/devils – daimonion dahee-mon’-ee-on; genderless daemonic being; by extension a deity:—devil, god.

Snakes/serpents – a snake, figuratively (as a type of sly cunning) an artful malicious person, especially Satan:—serpent.

If that is what we are CALLED TO DO and we are headed toward a time when the Earth will be covered in this kind of supernatural/demonic activity wouldn’t it be helpful to fulfill the Great Commission and to stay alive to be able to be supernatural ourselves?!

Let’s get real here – the World is changing.  The news is filled with stories of bizarre, grotesque evil that makes no sense.  If you listen to the secular world or dead religion it’s all in their minds.  And yet, no one can explain the rise in this kind of crime.  Is there a connection to the Lord’s warning and the current explosion of babies and children being murdered?  Entertainment is filled with the supernatural or the “paranormal” which simply means outside the realm of normal.  And, even though we follow the most Supernatural Paranormal person to ever walk the Earth those of us who understand this or move in the gifts of the Spirit are mocked or ignored.

The Church is dancing in the dark in 2009.  It has no idea what is going on around them and prefers to stay in the dark rather than turn on the Light and see.  I have news for those who do – the other definition for the Greek word used for snakes/serpents has to do with the idea of sharpness of vision.  That means the things He asked us to deal with CAN SEE IN THE DARK.  But, do not fear, He gave us authority over them and through the in filling of the Ruach Hakodesh/Holy Spirit we have the power of the Creator over His fallen creation.  We were called to compliment the Signs of the Times with the Signs & Wonders He expected from us.

It’s your choice.  You can ask for eyes to see and ears to hear or you can keep dancing in the dark.  But, don’t be fooled by thinking if you can’t see it, that it can’t hurt you.  This is one time that what you can’t see can hurt you or those you love.

Shalom & Blessings,
Richard J Grund

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord
in Solomon’s Porch.
(Acts 5:12 NKJV)

www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

affiliate_link

There Is A Darkness In The Land

THERE IS A DARKNESS IN THE LAND

John 1:1-5 (NKJV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it.

There is darkness in the land.  It’s been there for a very long time.

It began when the angel known as Lucifer led a Heavenly rebellion against God which resulted in him and a third of the angels getting cast out of Heaven by the archangel Michael and the other angels that stayed obedient to the Father.  In Genesis Chapter 6 we get a brief glimpse into the eventual fall of man and the spread of evil when these fallen angels found the daughters of Adam desirable, mated with them and created a race of hybrids, giants, that became so perverse and evil that the only solution was for God to destroy every living thing on the Earth except for Noah and his family (Genesis 6:7).

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  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.  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.

The Bible doesn’t tell us much about this part of the story but I believe that is because there used to be another book that the writers of the Bible had at their disposal that we do not – The Book of Enoch.  There are some theologians who dispute the timing and validity of this book but we know from research that it is quoted from by the Lord and the writers of the New Testament over 70 times.  It was actually a part of the early canon of the Church.  Second century teachers and church fathers such as Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.), Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (115-185 A.D.), Clement of Alexandria (150-220), and Lactantius (260-330 A.D.) cite the Book of Enoch without question of its sacred character.  Tertullian, (160-230 A.D.), admonished believers to not reject it calling it “Holy Scripture” and Enoch a “sacred prophet”.  Another noted and accepted theologian, Origen (254 A.D.) put the Book of Enoch in the same authority as the Psalms.  Much of Origen’s teachings on the angels come directly from the Book of Enoch.  It was also added to the official canon of the Ethiopic Church.  The Book of Enoch was widely read and used during the first three centuries after the death of Christ.  I believe that because it was an accepted part of teaching for many Jews and the early Church it is casually referenced by the Lord and the writers of the New Testament as familiar knowledge.

So, if these great early teachers of the Church accepted it and the Lord and the New Testament writers quoted directly from it why do we not know anything about it today?

Tertullian claimed that it was rejected by Jewish scholars because it’s overt prophecies of the Messiah that pointed directly at Yeshua/Jesus.  Origen stated that he believed that it was rejected as canon because it taught too much information about the fallen angels, their perverse hybrid offspring and the origins of demons.  In other words, it was removed because it gave us too much information about the enemy.  It was eventually completely discredited and banned by The Council of Laodicia, 381 AD.

Segments of the Book of Enoch were discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is believed that it was around and taught from as early as 300 years before the Lord and for three hundred years afterward.

I believe that the removal of an integral part of the teachings on the supernatural for the Early Church and the subsequent banning of other teachings by the newly formed Roman Catholic church led directly to the Dark Ages beginning in 450 A.D. and lasting for almost 600-years.  The Dark Ages were known as a particularly evil, perverse and ungodly period of history.  Is it no wonder that evil and the darkness flourished when teachings that shed light on their existence and behavior were banned.

John 8:12 (NKJV)12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

That is why Yeshua/Jesus came into the World as The Light.  He came to bring Light so that we wouldn’t have to walk in darkness and darkness would have no control over us.

1 John 3:8 (NKJV) He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

There is darkness in the world that is satanic in origin.  We see it becoming more and more evident every day.  This will be the first in a series of articles on that darkness and all that it promotes in our society.  We will be touching on the explosion of interest in the paranormal, the increase in supernatural story lines in our television shows and movies and the deception that goes with it.  We will also begin to explain and teach on an aspect of my ministry that some find fascinating, others find objectionable and most don’t understand.

Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Some of you visiting this blog might have found your way here because of a recent article done about me and an aspect of my ministry in the National Enquirer.  Normally one would ignore the drivel they produce but this article creates more confusion and controversy that needs to be addressed.  Here is the link to that article for you to have a proper foundation to work from.

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/casy_anthony_muredr_weird_human_sacrifice_cult_police_theory/celebrity/67476

This is a link to an Orlando news station covering the story so that you can see how a secular news agency attempts to cover a story like this.  I have to admit they did better then I expected considering the content.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/anthony_case/101209_caylee_a_human_sacrifice

If you would like to see a video explanation of what is referenced in the National Enquirer attack…I mean article…please go to the SRT You Tube page http://www.youtube.com/supernaturalresponse for a three part teaching and video.
Part One – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAGOUYlBtL4

Part Two – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXggfLpc6A4

Part Three – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTA243UGffQ

I do not expect everyone to understand it or approve of it.  All I am asking is that you keep an open mind and be willing to listen.  For too long today’s church has become like the third century church and put its head in the sand when it comes to the supernatural.  We are in the midst of a new dark age of our own making.  Our youth and young adults are falling into the traps and snares of the popularity of the paranormal without any Biblical teaching on the subject.  We were created to be naturally supernatural and if the church doesn’t fill that void something else will.

Please leave comments and share your thoughts on this subject.  Let’s begin to “meet” as the early church did on Solomon’s Porch to share and care about one another.  Who knows, maybe we will see the explosive power and ministry the early church have become a reality for us.

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund

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NO COPYING WITHOUT PERMISSION

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No hiding. No fear!

Exodus 9:16 (NKJV) But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

If He raises you up it means YOU become His standard against the enemy to show His power.

Isaiah 59:19 (NKJV) So shall they fear     The name of the Lord from the west,     And His glory from the rising of the sun;     When the enemy comes in like a flood,     The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

In the OT a standard was, when used literally, a flag or banner usually used by the military to identify groups of soldiers or a central flag to rally all the soldiers at one time (Num. 1:52; 2:2; 10:14, 18). In this scripture from Isaiah its used figuratively.  The Hebrew word used for banner in Isaiah 59:19 means to dispel, to make that enemy run.  What if as in Exodus 9:16 YOU are the thing He wants to use to make the enemy run?  What if YOU are the banner He is raising up for a purpose or a time?

In the next chapter of Isaiah He shows us this.

Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV) Arise, shine;     For your light has come!     And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.     For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,     And deep darkness the people;     But the Lord will arise over you,     And His glory will be seen upon you.

It means He puts His spotlight on you. “Arise shine” means you will be seen by friend and foe alike. And the darker it is the more you will stand out.  How can you change anyone if you are hiding?  Is it no wonder the Word is in the shape it’s in when we have hidden our light out of fear?  No where in His Word can we find that He wanted us to hide or play it safe.

The Lord warned us that it wouldn’t be easy.
John 15:18-20 (NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.

Later on in John 17 the Lord gives us a clearer picture of the price for following Him.  Here in Chapter 17 verses 15 through 18 He is talking to the Father about the disciples but it’s also about us.
John 17:15-18 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Did you see that?  He said, I do not pray that You should take them out of the world. Can you find anywhere in there that gives you the idea that He wanted you to play it safe and be a covert operative?  No.  It’s just the opposite.  He sends us out to a lost and dying World.  By praying for protection from the “evil one” we can see He expected us to be attacked for following Him and telling the World about Him.  No instructions to hide behind walls or doors.  There are no descriptions of secret agent Believers in the Bible.  There are only examples of people who lived their faith out loud in the word and deed for everyone to see.  Expect exposure and expect attacks.  It goes with the territory!

In 2 Timothy the Apostle Paul is exhorting and encouraging young Timothy who is under severe attack, in this case, from other believers.  No matter who the attack is from we should heed Paul’s words to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NKJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT) This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Paul is telling Timothy – it’s tough, I know it is.  But don’t quit.  Don’t get timid.  Get fired up.  Stir it up inside of you.  It’s like a football player who gets fired up for a game or a fighter who uses motivation to get prepared for a fight.  We are in a fight and when it gets really bad we need to reach deep inside and get the Fire of the Holy Spirit roaring.  It’s a choice.  Fan those flames and remember who your Abba Father is – He is the Great God above all gods.  Remember that the One you believe in died on the Cross, rose from the grave and sits at the right hand of God far above ALL principality and power.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.  That same Holy Spirit He sent to help us walk this walk will also give us His Power, His Love and His Mind.

Press on.

No hiding.

NO FEAR!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.  (Acts 5:12 NKJV)
www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

Thought of the day – Conformity

“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.  Over the last month this has been a topic of study.

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 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 among 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 He 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 the 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 conform 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 then 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 to 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
MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

And through the hands of the apostles

many signs and wonders were done among the people.

And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.

(Acts 5:12 NKJV)

www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch

P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713