Reconciling Prophecy

Note: this post was originally written in response to a harsh prophecy of judgment against America. The post has been generalized since then, but some of that original focus remains.

I wrote a post called “Reconciling Scripture” in which I discussed that God’s will for us is to wrestle and struggle to reconcile seemingly contradictory verses in the Bible until they all flow smoothly as one. The post was widely read and got some people thinking. During the past week, I’ve had a desire to take the reconcile topic one more step. I want to talk about reconciling prophecy.

When hearing a prophecy, several questions need to come up:

  1. What about other prophecies that declare the opposite?
  2. Do I understand the terminology God is using?
  3. Is this for certain or can we doing something for this word to change?
  4. When is this word for?
  5. Who does this effect?

These are all things that have to be reconciled. So let’s talk about them one by one.

What about other prophecies that declare the opposite?

My friend and I were talking last night about people who are extreme, people who are black and white to a fault. These are people who hear one thing and don’t wait to hear the balancing of the issue. They hear God saying “I hate homosexuality”. They then take what they heard  and judge, curse and show hate towards the homosexual community. If they would have prayed into that word they heard from God, they would have heard God say the balancing point of “I desire for them all to be saved”. That balancing word refocuses the people hearing. Instead of becoming arrogant towards the homosexual community for “angering God”, they become broken before the homosexual community because these Christians heard how much God desires them but how sin (the spirit of homosexuality) is keeping them away from God’s loving ways and plans for them.

Like this example, there have been prophecies that God will revive America. That America will be re-awakened to its former glory (like Azusa Street and such) and the wells of revival will be re-dug.

Is God not sure about what He is going to do?

Not at all.

We must reconcile our thoughts regarding the words we hear. We can hear a judgment prophecy and think God will never pour His Spirit out on this nation again. That is not what God is saying at all.

Do I understand the “terminology” God is using?

In the homosexuality example, it is important to understand that God said “I hate homosexuality”, not the homosexual. In that example, we know that God hates the spirit and the sin that is keeping the people He longs for away from Him. He burns with jealousy against it, completely out of love!

Just as terminology was a key to understanding the homosexuality example, understanding keywords in prophecy is a must. One of the greatest setbacks in prophecy is when people assume they know what God is talking about but find out later that God was talking about something else altogether.

Is this for certain or can we do something for this word to change?

In 1 Kings 21 we read about King Ahab, the most wicked king in Israel up to that time. The Lord send Elijah the prophet to give him a word of judgment, but then Ahab, the most wicked king, humbled himself. This is what God told Elijah:

And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

God didn’t cancel judgment, but because of humility, brokenness and repentance, God showed mercy to him! He held judgment back for a time (a season, a generation). In regards to judgment against America, it cannot be cancelled but it can be postponed and it can be shortened. When there is no hope for a nation, the call of Joel 2 goes out: national fasting and weeping. I believe that we are currently living when judgment was originally scheduled to hit but because of groups like the Promise Keepers, TheCall and prayer centers across America, God has granted us mercy for a time. There will be a day though when it can no longer be pushed back.

When is the word for?

I think this question and the terminology question are the two top questions that have to be asked. We must understand that God is abundantly patient and long-suffering. When He declares something, He gives people a long time to repent. Jeremiah prophesied against Israel his whole life (as did other prophets) and it wasn’t for decades later that the prophecies came true. We must get on God’s timeline when it comes to prophecy.

When it comes to the prophecies regarding America’s pending judgment, maybe there are two seasons and the prophecy is talking about the latter one. This is all just speculation but maybe God wants to revive pockets of this nation through signs and wonders, favor and blessings but one day He will awaken the nation through suffering. That thought (whether it is right or wrong) does reconcile both sides of the prophecies about America. Getting clarity and revelation of the fullness of what God is speaking about America comes with much time and much prayer. It is God’s job to explain what exactly will happen. It is our job to make sure we hear the balanced word of God by being patient until He shows us the whole picture.

Remember, many of the prophets died without seeing what they spoke come to pass (James 5:10)

Who will this word effect?

This is another important question we must ask when we hear a prophecy regarding anything whether person, business, church, city, nation, world. God declares that He “will do nothing without first telling His prophets” (Amos 3:7). Therefore prophets can hear things that doesn’t involve them individually, but will involve another people group. So it is important to ask “who is God speaking to regarding this prophecy?” Many times in the Old Testament, God would speak a word against Israel, but not against the remnant of Israel and vice-versa. Sometimes He would speak of blessing the remnant but that did not mean He was going to bless the entire backslidden nation. God is really good at focused blessing/judgment.

I hope that this has helped some of you who hear conflicting prophecies and you know that both of them are from God, but you don’t get how they complement each other.

I say again, God longs for us to wrestle with this and pray for Him to show us how these things reconcile themselves together. Remember, “God is not a man that He would lie”. We can trust that when we hear a prophecy (that lines up to His Word) that He will faithfully do it.  I also believe David had it right when he said:

“One thing You have spoken, but two things I have heard: that You oh Lord are loving and that You are just.” (Psalm 62:11-12)

God spoke once to David, but he heard two contrasting things. David reconciled what he heard. I pray that we would do the same.

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My Challenge To Replacement Theologians

In my last post, “Reconciling Scripture”, I talked about how people are living lives and believing things based on half-truths. This causes a  problem because it causes  mass deception and strikes a blow against the kingdom of God. It also sets the person up to be sifted (or taken out) by the enemy.

I talked about how God wants us to reconcile scripture: to simply believe all what the Bible has to say about a certain issue. He desires us to wrestle with the issue until all that the Bible says about it the issue is joined in one cohesive belief. There wouldn’t be arguments regarding the Word of God if we let the Bible state our theology instead of making the Bible conform to what we want (or was raised up) to believe.

In saying that, here is my challenge.

I am asking all people who believe in replacement theology (the belief that the church has totally and permanently replaced Israel in ALL aspects) and all those who believe that Israel has nothing to do with God’s plans anymore to simply reconcile some scripture. I have heard most of your verses and I can reconcile those (for those writers who don’t delete my comments after “moderation”). Yet I haven’t had anyone try to reconcile mine. So here they are:

In response to “God has broken His covenant with Israel”:

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. (Genesis 17:7) [There are many other references. Just know that God didn’t say this once.]

I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)

For behold, in those days and at that time, [the end] when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it. (Joel 3:1-3)

For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:39)

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! (Romans 11:1)

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. (Romans 11:11)

I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins. (Romans 11:25-27)

There are some of my scriptures. I ask you to leave all questions, replies and scriptures you have for me as comments in this post. Please check back later because I will reply as soon as possible. If you are going to post some of your scriptures that back what you believe, I ask that you reconcile it to the ones I already posted. This is not a mud pie fight. Let’s not just throw scriptures at each other but together reconcile what God’s heart is for Israel.

Reconciling Scripture

After reading some blogs I realized something:

People don’t believe in the Bible.

That may sound harsh but I think many people don’t believe in the Bible. They believe in parts of the Bible but they don’t believe in the whole thing. I find this to be the case with myself as well. I know I have had verses that I like and hold dear to my heart. Then there are verses that I don’t care to read and I file away under “that was good for them to hear back then”.

I had to write about this because I will be issuing a challenge tomorrow about this issue. This issue is so prevalent in the Christian culture, especially among end-time and Israel theologians.

Here is the issue.

The Bible, as unified and perfect as it is as a whole, seems to have many contrary or paradoxical verses/thoughts in it. There are places that seem to directly conflict with other portions of scripture. It’s not just between the Old and New Testament. Some of Jesus’ words seem paradoxical to other things He said. .

For example:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

But then later He says:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

How can something so hard to find and make it to the end be so easy? How can God tell us to run after Him with all we got yet “be still”?

Here is where the problem and answer comes. Many people decide to give up and just forget the scripture is there.  God desires us to reconcile scripture and let it form our theology. That’s the problem with many people (and something I have to be careful of) is that they try to make scripture match their theology instead of reconciling everything that is seemingly paradoxical. We need to reconcile it until it flows naturally together. Many people leave out pieces of what God’s Word says about issues. Therefore they build wrong theologies about things that seem scriptural at first. Yet there are some contradictory scriptures that they can’t give an answer to because in reality their theology is based on half-truths. God calls these half-truths lies.

I encourage you to take the time to wrestle with what the Bible actually says. It may go against what you grew up believing but reconcile it till you can prove it by scripture.

Remember:

“All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. So “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Wisdom, Commitment & Fantasy Football

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like it? if you can’t tell, this is my league’s fantasy football stats. my team are called the “distant closers” (i couldn’t think of anything else at the time…lol). and you can see that i am #1 in my division and (though you can’t see) i am #1 in the whole league. so why am i talking and “bragging” about this?

“I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)  To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.  For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, He has a demon. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!  Yet wisdom is justified by all her children. ” (luke 7:28-35)

Jesus spoke this after talking about john the baptist and how the kingdom of God has been advancing. it is after talking about that when He says “to what then shall i compare”. He starts talking about that no matter what was happening or how the kingdom was “wrapped”…no one wanted to accept the present. in pride they looked and judged the move of God and therefore also judged the “children” of the move of God. but Jesus was clear that in the end, wisdom will be justified.

now back to fantasy football. i was asked to join the league this season. i kinda like football (especially the dolphins…who are having their worst year ever) and don’t mind watching it, but i was a little apprehensive about building a team and having to check stats and stuff to make sure i win. so instead, i signed up and forgot about it. the computer auto-drafted all my players! i spent all the football nights praying and seeking God. (that’s what He told me to do instead) so the season starts and a couple weeks later i keep hearing my name pop up in groups. come to find out, though i know very little about stats and football, i was leading the team in every which way. they thought it was luck…but after 6 weeks, that feeling has kinda changed. why?…

cause i have made a commitment with God that i will not modify my team whatsoever. i have not changed my lineup. i have not traded players at all. i’ve had several players not playing during a week and i have still won. in return to my commitment to God, i have asked for Him to say something to people through this. i have asked Him to talk to people about focusing their time better.

now there is nothing wrong with fantasy football, but there CAN come a point when it becomes an idol (like my friend patt said tonight). what are some signs of it?

  • when you can memorize all the stats for the nfl, but find it extremely difficult to memorize scripture.

  • when you spend hours developing your team, not no time in the Word or prayer.

  • when you catch every play of the game, but forget if you saw your kids that day.

there are others. the point is that those who truly have a kingdom mind will invest in that which is eternal the most. fantasy football is great, but the passion for it should not burn brighter than the passion for the work of God in our lives. the kingdom has so many facets (like a dance or dirge…different forms of music) that we can latch onto, but sadly people don’t dance or mourn or react whatsoever to what God wants to do. why? cause we are too entangled with other things…other gods. it’s time to start committing more to God and His kingdom.

i mean, how important and challenging is fantasy football if a know-nothing-about-football man can have a perfect record? i pray that in my life (and hopefully in yours), i will be one of the children that justifies wisdom.

what are things that strive to replace God’s place in your life? what do you think of this post? what are some of the “wisdom” things God is trying to teach you right now?

Serving God & Two Steps Away

I started off my day a little different today. Normally I go to work in the morning but this morning I got to help play for our church’s sectional pastor’s meeting. It was great! I had a blast playing. But in the middle of it, I heard what my co-workers would say later on that day:

“Why are you always at church? Why do you take off to do church stuff? We need you here.”

You see, I don’t get paid for playing, even on a non-church day. I technically don’t have to agree to help. Our new worship leader plays keyboard. He just asks me to play with him cause it makes him feel a little more comfortable and it frees him up to worship a little bit more. So why do I serve so much at church? Why do I pour my life SO MUCH into something when I seem to get nothing out of it?

I realized one of the big reasons (the main one is “cause I love Jesus”) that I do all I can to serve my church and leadership is that I am two steps away from being homeless or in serious trouble in my life. Why you ask? It would seem when people look at me, they think that I have my life mostly in order. The truth of the matter though is that if my parents were dead and if I didn’t have the job I have now, I would be on the street or down and out in my life. Could I push past those things and remain successful? Yes, but there is a significant chance for failure in life due to those two things being removed in my life.

So why does this make me serve my heart out in church? Because God promises that if I take care of His ministry, He will take care of my life. He promises that I’ll never be begging for bread. He promises that He will supply my needs. He promises that He will not be a debtor to man. These promises are conditional on me “seeking first the kingdom of God”. Also, when you are into the end times and you really believe that you’ll go through it all yourself, having those promises is a really good thing.

I have realized that my trust can’t be in my job or my family or anything else. My trust has to be in the Lord. I have met too many people that stuff happened in their lives and it ruined everything. If I really want to be wise and invest in my future then I’m going to sow in to the Kingdom with everything I got because there is a promise of return there!

Consensual Hugs & My Need For Personal Space

a while ago i started reading “the five love languages” (i stopped after chapter two…lol…didn’t like it ‘that’ much). in the book, the author discusses that every person expresses love and emotion primarily in one of five different ways. they were:

  1. words of affirmation
  2. quality time
  3. receiving gifts
  4. acts of service
  5. physical touch

now i am a words of affirmation kind of guy (though quality time is close). but most people do not realize that i am NOT a ‘physical touch’ person. i almost hate it. lol  weird huh? everyone sees me as a fairly loving kind of person and they automatically assume that i like physical contact. i almost punched out a female co-worker of mine today who jokingly slapped my hand today (in total ignorance of this issue). yes…it ticks me off that bad. (i’m still a little worked up and on edge…lol)

i was brewing about today’s incident on the way home today and i realized that i am only comfortable with physical touch from people who are like me. when it comes to public displays of affection…i call it consensual hugging. i have a lot of friends who are more forceful in their displays of affection. they’re those type of people who are going to hug you whether you want it or not, totally surprising you sometimes and squeezing you tight until THEY decide to let go. when it comes to those kind of people…i show a lot of mercy. i love them. i can’t hate them for showing their affections for me the way they do (many are definitely ‘physical touch’ people) but if they start “holding me down” or wrestling around with me when i have not “geared up for it”, then like my friend found out friday night…prepare to be hurt. i view this issue the same way as i view sex. when things are proper (meaning ‘marriage’ when it comes to sex) and consensual, it can be a beautiful thing…but when it’s taken without permission…it’s a rape (in this case..of emotion).

that’s why i like my more timid friends. we look at each other and then decide to hug…lol. we never take it for granted because sometimes we just don’t want to be touched. (many of “us” also deal with bodily pain) i know this all sounds really strange but i’m just typing some of what is going on in my head right now. even in more romantic situations, all touch that i desire to have and give comes more from a place of lust than a place of pure love. i like the tingles and butterflies….not the acual touching. when it comes to a real relationship, just saying what i feel in my heart and spending time together is how i can most freely and purely express my truest feelings.

does anyone relate? am i crazy or self-centered in this area (tell the truth)? is this “five love languages” thing legit? what is your “love language”?

p.s.   if you are one of my friends reading this…don’t worry. my love for you overrides my personal issues. don’t act any different around me…unless i tell you. 🙂

My Defense For Israel, My Response To Cathy (giannina)

i told you it was coming. lol  i stumbled onto this post while “tag surfing” and i chose to write my response to the blog here as well as a comment on the post. you can read the blog here. i also had to do it this way because obviously my previous comments were taken off after being “moderated”. i encourage anyone to say anything when it comes to commenting on my blog, cause if i disagree, either i’ll post a reply comment or i’ll write another post about it (if it is necessary). but deleting comments because they differ from your beliefs is wrong (that’s what i believe 🙂 )  so here we go:

in response to the article “who is abraham’s seed?”:

how can you talk about the promise by only quoting two old testament verses? but if you want to go new testament then…

romans 11 says much about this (in fact romans 8-11 says a lot about this).

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew…” (romans 11:1-2a)

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor,eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear,down to this very day.” (romans 11:6-8)

“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” (romans 11:11)

“Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.” (romans 11:19-20)

“For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (romans 11:24-25)

and then the clincher:

And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion,he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins. As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ” (romans 11:26-29)

so let’s recap. paul asks if God has rejected His people. he replies no. then paul asks if israel has stumbled to the point of falling (meaning never to recover). paul answers that as no. paul then states that BECAUSE God hardened israel’s heart, salvation was able to come to us (cause God wanted us too…not just israel) and we should live to make israel jealous. paul encourages the gentile church in rome not to be haughty in all of this because we can be cut off too. but then paul says how glorious will it be when God reconnects them to the vine, for “God has the power to graft them in again.”

paul goes on to say that one day “ALL OF ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED.” and why? because GOD’S GIFTS AND CALLINGS (also meaning covenants) ARE IRREVOCABLE. the things God promised abraham are still in play because He made an everlasting covenant with them (“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. ” – gen 17:7). if God were to break His covenant with israel, that would make God a liar and cause Him to contradict His character (which God cannot do according to 2 timothy 2:13 – “if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.“)

also God has made one other everlasting covenant…

“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (genesis 9:16)

that’s the covenant He made with noah saying that He would never flood the earth again. so next time you think that God can break a covenant (like israel’s), just remember the flood. if God could break a covenant, He would of flooded the earth already again (cause we as unbelieving nations are far more worthy of judgment). and if you desire God to break an everlasting covenant, doesn’t that mean your wishing death upon the world? cause if He breaks covenant with israel, he breaks all His covenants…including the flood.

i challenge you to research how important the word “covenant” is in scripture.

i hope this didn’t sound too harsh, but i did want to make it firm. 🙂