Note from moderator: This is an article that Jerry Olson submitted to me back in June 2007 that unfortunately, got lost, and was never published on Sharing the Way. I just received Part 2 from him, so I asked Jerry to please re-submit Part 1 so that I could send both parts out to Sharing the Way subscribers. This is Part 1.
Watch (June 2007) – by Jerry Olson
On Thursday 6-14-07 in an issue of the Rocky Mountain News, I read an article entitled: “Vatican Sized-Up Denver Girl’s Cure”. The article explains how Father Jumpero Serra (1713-1784) was said to be the one the family prayed to and a little girl, Kayla Rebecca Kellog, was delivered from a severe birth defect before she was born. Now the Vatican is looking into the possibility that this Father Serra may become a Saint because of this miracle.
On June 8, 2007, I received a letter from Rod Parsley Ministry. It starts off with the following quote: “This is your moment to Win Your War!!! You and I, as believers in Jesus Christ, are in the midst of the most important war in our history – a war of the worlds – a war of worldviews. Our families along with our beloved America are rapidly becoming casualties of war. God has given me a prophetic battle plan, a banner under which all true Christians can rally, and learn to effectively oppose the godless worldviews vying for the souls of this generation and the future America. The battle plan is contained in the pages of my new book, Culturally Incorrect. It is a Christian manifesto – your marching orders to win your war against the demonic worldviews that are bent on destroying you and your family. I have enclosed more information about the book, and the special DVDs, I also want to send you, when you sow a seed of faith $50 or more into Breakthrough today.”
I was given a book, entitled, Draw Close to Jehovah, written by the Jehovah Witnesses. In reading this book, I found on page 43, these words: “Although now is not the time for performing miracles, Jehovah has not changed since Elijah’s day.”
In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “Hitchen’s Book Debunking the Deity a Surprise Hit”, dated Friday, June 22, 2007, it mentions that even though the book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, is a blazing attack on God and religion, it nonetheless, is still flying off the bookshelves, even in the Bible Belt! The initial printing of the book was 40,000 copies. But today, only seven weeks after the book first went on sale, there are now over 296,000 copies in print. The article mentions that consumer demand has been so strong that booksellers and wholesalers were even unable to get copies a short time after it hit stores.
The Bible tells us that we should be watchful and looking for the signs of the times in which we are living. Mat 25:13, Jesus speaking, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man is coming” – speaking of Himself.
Like 21:25-28 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
I Cor 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
I Thess 5:6 “Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”
Rev. 3:3 “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
These blasphemous articles and teachings cited above are clear signs of the times. I believe these and other things going on around the world should cause us to stop and consider the times in which we live. The continuing decline of teaching truth, individual morals and family values in our society are signs of the continuing decline of this world.
I think it is even more important now than at any time in human history to study the Word of God. Our very lives are in the balance. We need to drink in daily the wisdom that comes from the Scriptures. Our faith must be strong if we are to stand strong against the enemy. Mat 4:4, Jesus speaking, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
I Peter 5:6-10 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
What is a true Christian? What is the real Gospel? Was it ok even in Jesus time for ministers to sell things under cover of the Church for money? Can any of us truly save America? Could Lot save Sodom and Gomorrah? Doesn’t the Bible speak of teaching God’s Word? Doesn’t the Word say, “Freely you have been given, freely give”? Doesn’t the Bible state that God does the calling? The “called” are chosen by God, and yes will be saints in the family of God. Man is not able to call, only God can determine the invitation and acceptance for each individual at the Wedding Supper. The Father chooses the bride.
Mat 24:2 “And Jesus said to them ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’”
Mat 24:21-22 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s (chosen) sake those days will be shortened.”
First of all let me say that America and this earthly society are in big trouble. Man can not live apart from God. Peace, joy and happiness are a result of living with God, trusting in His wisdom and humbling ourselves, allowing God’s will for us to be manifested. The trust in God we had at our outset as a people and nation has disappeared. Today we trust in our military power, our influence in the world and the stock market.
Satan’s world has become a world without morals, values, and spiritual discernment. Our national faith in our Creator Father God and Lord Jesus Christ is all but gone. We only give lip service to being a Christian nation. Mark 7:6 “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
Believing in God only, is not sufficient – more is required! Sadly, our confidence is in our beautiful homes, money in the bank, SUV’s, next vacation, and which private school to send our children too. I’m reminded of how people lived just before the great calamity in Noah’s day. Even with this testimony written in the Bible, we have allowed a repeat stage to be set. Even though 9/11/01 was just seven years ago, we have forgot that all the church buildings in New York city were filled to capacity for many days after the attack, and the massive loss of life and disruption at that time. Why, I ask, have the same buildings been emptied today? We are much closer to even greater loss of life, disruption and sadness than at any time in America’s short history. Howeve,r just as in Noah’s and Lot’s day, people are more interested in other pursuits, than making themselves ready.
John 8:12 “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”.
I have yet to find a Christian organization, (denomination) that teaches the whole and true Word of God. Most of these ministers and pastors are far more interested in lining their pockets than shepherding, as was taught and demonstrated by our Lord Jesus, our true and wonderful Shepherd.
I Peter 5:4 “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
It’s no wonder we are where we are and in this condition. Our Father and Lord Jesus saw how it would be before the world as we know it began. Jesus was sacrificed before the foundations of the world. Let us read, I Peter 1:18-20: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world.”
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. I Cor 3:19
Gal 1:9-10 “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Most preachers and pastors today are simply men pleasers.
Mark 9:17 “Then one from the multitude answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit,:18 And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to your disciples that they should cast him out, but they could not. :19 He answered him and said “ O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me”.”
Yet later, these same disciples, now with the Holy Spirit from God, were strengthened in their faith, and as we can read in Act 5:12-16, they were used mightily in God’s work, where it says that even the shadow of Peter passing by would heal the sick. This is the same Peter that began to sink when he got out of the boat, and the same Peter that denied Jesus three times.
Jesus, the most powerful human to walk the earth, and the most humble as well, only taught from the Word of God. He had no need, nor is there a need today, to publish all these so-called Christian teaching books. God’s Word does not need or require any modification or adjustment from man. The Bible, without alterations, should be the focus of our learning. Anything written by man will contain human error and/or have bias or be slanted by the writer because we all seem to have an agenda. Jesus had no reason to convene members of dioceses’ teams to do interviewing in order to examine people under oath, for the process steps to determine sainthood. Jesus could examine in the spirit, the condition of a man’s heart, even today. Besides, our Father God only determines who will be called. And as the Scripture says, “Many are called but even fewer are chosen.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have “overcome” the world.”
The reason we see few miracles today is that many denominations teach miracles from God were done away with, and are not for our time. I say, that is a very weak explanation. Has God lost His power? Has sickness been abated? Has God lost His love for His people? Why would God have inspired these words to be given in the scriptural passage? James 5:14-15 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Let us read about a man that was but a deacon, his name was Stephen. Act6:8 “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”
James 5:17 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. :18 And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
So do not think for a second that you could not also do the same thing, faith is the key.
As we read earlier, there was a time when even the apostles lacked the faith necessary for healings and other needs where the power of God can be manifested through faith. I can not find anything in the Scriptures that would have us believe God has shut off His power and desire to deliver His people at this time. The healings that I have witnessed in my own life, surely, these were not from Satan. Although, he could use his power as the present god of this earth, to deceive even the elect, if we stray from God.
Jesus speaking, John 14:12-14 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
James 2:5, “Listen, my beloved brethren, has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”
Mark 10:27 “But, looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’”
Jesus and His followers that received the Holy Spirit called for the power of God in faithful prayer for any worthwhile need. Through faithful prayer God provided deliverance, healings, food, people raised from the dead and other miracles. I ask you, brethren, why would the disciples be allowed to receive un-natural power from God? Would God allow this for their fame and or gain or favor? These were truly converted people by the Holy Spirit. They believed; they had great faith, eventually. Conversion is a process, it doesn’t happen to most of us overnight, (seemingly like Paul), some amount of time is necessary and required. We are talking about life altering events.
We must first believe that there is a God. God must call us into His service. When we receive the Holy Spirit from God the conversion process begins. We must believe the Word, (Bible), that these Words were inspired to be written. We must have faith, in order to be used of God for His purposes. Our requests must line up with the will of God. God may not give us that new sports car, even if we ask for it.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
We hear people erroneously say, “I am going to church” – when the Scriptures clearly teach that “the church” is the people called of God – that is, Christian individuals. The proper statement then would be something like, “I am going to fellowship, or worship, or to a Christian gathering. The building, any structure, is not important to God, only individual Christians. When we leave a building the Holy Spirit goes with us home. Preaching, teaching, worshiping and praising God can be done anywhere, even the city dump. In fact, some of these building are so beautiful, even gaudy, full of man’s traditions, that great distraction can occur, even limiting worship, as a result. How effective is worship when we think we need large orchestras, beautiful robes, large phylacteries, and the like. Must I be a great singer to worship God? Singing to God with the right heart is more important to God than the quality of my singing voice. Must I wait for the Sabbath to praise God?
When we step out in faith and exercise the power of God, we essentially do two things.
1) We give glory to God.
2) We advance the gospel, the good news.
We are the pinnacle of His creation! We are more important to Him than the other parts. We are the very offspring of His Son, we are the Bride of the Cornerstone of our faith, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He is our Mediator and Advocate to the Father.
The chosen of God will be in the family of God, spirit beings that will even judge angels. I Cor.6:3 “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?”
So as the world becomes more confused, darker, more perverse and lacking in natural affection, God has sprinkled light and power throughout the earth. They (the “called-out ones”), are not yet recognized by this world’s society and governing entities. However, as the world continues down the present alley way, their light will become the only real light of truth on earth. For a very short season, even greater power from God will come forth onto the world scene, springing forth suddenly, almost overnight; much calamity will occur. Conversions will occur. It will be a time of great harvest; many will be put to death because of their faith. The world will be even more confused; wonderment and unrest everywhere, throughout the earth. Good and evil converging at the same time. It will be like no other time.
Rev 19:11 “Then I saw heaven open up, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns.”
Then Jesus and His new government will descend with great power and authority. Love, peace and true happiness shall be ushered in. Jesus will finally be in His rightful place on this earth, as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Mark 13:32-37 “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed watch and pray; for you do not know when this time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, in the evening, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping.”
And what I say to you, I say to all; WATCH!!!
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