VIDEO Leap: Rise of the Beast

Oct 21, 2012

In the near future, the world leaders have given up their power to Vatican City. While most rejoice at the thought of world peace and religious tolerance, Shane Turner and his Leap Crew aren’t buying into it. It’s not long before they identify the papal power as the Beast of Revelation and speak out against it. In response, the Vatican sets out to hunt down the Leap Crew. The end has begun.

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A Joyful Heart

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Psalm 100:1

My granddaughter’s favorite tune is one of John Philip Sousa’s marches. Sousa, known as “The March King,” was a US composer in the late nineteenth century. Moriah isn’t in a marching band; she’s only twenty months old. She just loves the tune and can even hum a few notes. She associates it with joyful times. When our family gets together, we often hum this song along with claps and other boisterous noises, and the grandchildren dance or parade in circles to the beat. It always ends in dizzy children and lots of laughter.

Our joyful noise reminds me of the psalm that implores us to “worship the Lord with gladness” (Ps. 100:2). When King Solomon dedicated the temple, the Israelites celebrated with praises (2 Chron. 7:5–6). Psalm 100 may have been one of the songs they sang. The psalm declares: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. . . . Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (vv. 1-2, 4). Why? “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever”! (v. 5).

Praise is the overflow of a joyful heart.

Our good God loves us! In grateful response, let’s “shout for joy to the Lord”! (Ps. 100:1).

Dear Lord, give us thankful hearts to praise You, because You are good and all that You do is good. Your love endures forever!

Praise is the overflow of a joyful heart.

By Alyson Kieda

God’s Presence in Times of Trouble

Psalm 32:1-7

Some of the most precious verses in the Bible were penned when the writer was experiencing strife, grief, turmoil, or heartache. From an earthly perspective, we can’t always distinguish between what’s trouble and what’s a blessing—at times trouble results in some of God’s most wonderful blessings in our life. And yet there’s a tendency to think that if we live just right in this ungodly world, we won’t have to face any struggles.

David was able to write Psalm 32, not because he’d calmly sat on a hilltop somewhere, watching sheep and playing his harp. Rather, he could express those profound truths after undergoing great difficulty and heartache as well as God’s forgiveness and deliverance. The joy David found in the Lord was sweeter because he had tasted bitterness.

The heavenly Father will not always rescue you swiftly from trouble. He may watch you float downstream, right toward the waterfall, while you call out, “Lord, don’t You see where I am headed?” He does see you. He knows when you’re at your wits’ end, when you’re hurt and broken, when you feel resentful and bitter. So why does He sometimes seem so far away in those situations?

The Lord doesn’t necessarily intervene as we would like Him to, but He’s always present in our times of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 46:7). What’s more, He meets our needs in a way that benefits us in the long term instead of merely providing a quick fix. The question we should ask ourselves is, Am I willing to learn what God wants to teach me through this situation?

Faithful Smyrna

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; . . . I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) . . . . Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:8-10)

The Lord Jesus recognized this struggling church, which is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, as one of only two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation that did not receive any warning or condemnation.

He saw them very differently than our “church growth” movement might today. Many tend to envy the churches with big auditoriums or grand building programs. Most of the world praises those churches that are “emerging” from the restraints of godliness and churches that are “driven” to attract and please the ungodly.

Smyrna was poor, troubled by those who hated God’s message, and suffered tribulation for their works. Some were thrown into prison for their willingness to be identified with the truth. Generations have passed since anything like that has happened to churches in the Western world. Those countries that persecute Christians today seem only like scattered incidents that have little bearing on the day-to-day life of “civilized” nations. May God protect us from such attitudes.

But the One who walks among the “candlestick” churches of Revelation (His churches) saw Smyrna as rich and worthy of a crown of life. He praised this little church and encouraged them to remain “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). When the King gives out His rewards from the great judgment seat, these faithful, poor, persecuted, troubled, and imprisoned souls will enter eternity with great riches and joyful liberty in the “general assembly and church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23). HMM III

“Shew me a token for good.”

Judges 7:9-25

Judges 7:9-10

See how gently the Lord deals with his servant. He assures him that there is no room for fear, but lest a fear should remain, he removes it.

Judges 7:11

To certain sincere characters, God deigns to give signs and assurances which it might be sinful for others to desire. Because Gideon had so many tokens, we are by no means to expect them, but rather to remember that blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.

Judges 7:14

It was a singular providence that one soldier should dream such a dream, that another should give it such an interpretation, and that Gideon should be listening during their conversation. The wonders of providence deserve the careful and adoring eye of the observer. The dream was just what Gideon wanted. He was as despised as a poor barley cake, and yet he should overturn the pavilions of Midian.

Judges 7:15

Note his worshipping under such circumstances. Devotion causes no delay.

Judges 7:19-21

Seeing so many torch-bearers, and hearing so many trumpeters, they reckoned that the army itself must be immense, and being smitten with sudden panic they fled.

Judges 7:23

Those who cannot go first, may do good service if they will come in later and aid the good cause.

Judges 7:24

A wise leader is anxious to reap all the fruit he can from a victory. When we have overcome evil of any kind we must labour to make the success a permanent one.

Judges 7:25

Thus faith wins the day against unnumbered foes. Let us but believe and we shall be established. The Lord is our Captain still, and we shall be more than conquerors.

 

They Shall Speak With New Tongues!

Mark 16:17

Regardless of the denomination to which you belong or what you have been taught to believe, it is an irrefutable fact that Jesus said believers would speak with new tongues. In fact, Jesus affirmed that speaking in new tongues would be one of the supernatural signs that would follow believers!

The first example of speaking in tongues is found in Acts 2:1-4, where the Bible says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Of all the instances where people spoke in tongues in the book of Acts, this is the most famous example—perhaps because it was the first time this phenomenon ever occurred and thus set the pattern for believers to be filled with the Spirit and to speak in tongues. But this instance is very unique from any other instance recorded in the book of Acts, for several miracles occurred that day when believers spoke in tongues for the first time.

There is so much we could write about speaking in tongues; after all, entire books have been written and devoted to this wonderful subject. But today let’s look at the specific events that occurred the first time people ever spoke in tongues.

On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:5, 6 tells us a “multitude” was gathered in Jerusalem from every nation under Heaven. The word “multitude” is the Greek word plethos, which is used no less than twenty-five times in the Gospels to denote a massive, huge crowd of people. This is very important, for it tells us that far more foreigners were in the crowd than were believers who had been filled with the Spirit. Acts 2:9-11 tells us that in the crowd that day were Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; dwellers of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and parts of Libya near Cyrene; strangers from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; and both Cretes and Arabians.

The believers who had just been filled with the Spirit were speaking in tongues so loudly as they exited the upper room and entered the streets that the entire crowd could hear them speaking. The crowd was amazed at what they were hearing. Acts 2:6 says they were “… confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”

The word “confounded” is the Greek word suncheo, which means to perplex; to stun; to bewilder; to baffle; to stupefy; to amaze; to confound; or to cause an astonishment that literally throws people into a state of confusion. The word “heard” is the Greek word akouo, which simply means to hear. The word “speak” is the word lalouton, which means to speak, but the Greek tense presents the picture of people continuously speaking in tongues. In fact, this Greek word for “speak” is the same word used to describe someone who speaks fluently in his own or in some other language. This clearly shows us that the believers were speaking nonstop in tongues as they entered the streets that day.

But notice the end of Acts 2:6, where it says every man heard them speak “in his own language.” The word “language” is the Greek word dialektos, which is where we get the word dialect. This means the believers were not heard speaking only in different languages, but with all the specific dialects, idioms, phrases, vernacular, and regional accents that were used in each geographical location from which the listeners came.

Consider this: There were only 120 believers speaking in tongues, and this was a massive crowd of people. So that means this small group of 120 believers must have been speaking in hundreds of different dialects! To know a language is one thing, but to know the different dialects of another language requires years of study and the highest skill. This would be amazing for a group of highly educated language specialists, but for a group of Galilaeans to speak so fluently in so many different dialects was simply unheard of—thus, the reason the listening crowd was so baffled and stunned.

Acts 2:7 lets us know that the majority of the believers who came out of the upper room speaking in tongues that day were Galilaeans, giving further cause for the international crowd to be so confounded. Galilaeans were simple people, not known for their education or wealth. Their labor, work, profession, and way of life were all primarily connected to the region of Galilee, so they had no reason to know many foreign languages. This is why the people reacted the way they did in Acts 2:7: “And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?”

In Acts 2:7, the word “amazed” is the Greek word existimi, which means to be beside oneself or to be out of one’s head. It is the picture of one who is so stunned and amazed that he stands speechless—nearly paralyzed with shock. The word “marvelled” is the Greek word thaumadzo, which means to wonder or to stand in awe of. In our day, we might define it as one who is bowled over by something he has heard, witnessed, or seen. There is no doubt that the crowd that day was perplexed as they listened to these Galilaeans speaking in so many different languages and specific dialects.

But were the disciples supernaturally speaking in known languages that day?

Some have tried to categorically state that those who came out from the upper room that day supernaturally spoke in known human languages. But Paul specifically wrote that speaking in tongues is not speaking in a known language. In First Corinthians 14:2, Paul said, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him….” That word unknown is italicized in the King James Version because it doesn’t appear in the Greek text; it was supplied by the translators to affirm that Paul was not referring to known human languages; he was writing about a supernatural prayer language that is known only to God.

According to Paul’s words in First Corinthians 14:13-15, speaking in tongues is a spiritual language—never a known language. It is so supernatural and unknown to man that it cannot be understood, not even by the speaker himself, unless he prays for the ability to interpret what he is saying. Since this is Paul’s very clear teaching about speaking in tongues, it emphatically asserts that on the Day of Pentecost, the believers did not speak in known human languages, but in a supernatural, unknown prayer language, just as believers speak in tongues today.

However, on the Day of Pentecost, a special miracle occurred. The believers spoke in tongues—but by the time that supernatural language reached the ears of the listeners, they “heard” a message in their own distinct dialects. This is why Acts 2:6 says that “… every man heard them speak in his own language.” Acts 2:8 says, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” And Acts 2:11 tells us that the listeners said, “… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

On the Day of Pentecost, the first great work of God was to fill the believers with the Holy Spirit. The second great work was to liberate their human spirits so they could pray in tongues and worship God in the Spirit. The third great work occurred when the believers spoke in other tongues and God supernaturally translated those tongues in the ears of the listeners so that each member of the audience “heard” them speaking in his or her own language.

It is amazing what happens when God’s people open up to let Him work through them! When the believers in the book of Acts were filled with the Spirit and began to regularly speak in tongues, a door to supernatural power was opened. The power unleashed through speaking in tongues is evident throughout the book of Acts and is still in operation today.

There are several instances in the book of Acts where believers prayed and worshiped God in tongues. This was the norm, not the exception—a common practice that was expected to occur in the life of any person who was filled with the Spirit. And just as the early believers freely and fluently prayed in the Spirit, God has enabled us to do the same, if we will but open our hearts, open our mouths, and let our spirits speak to God.

How long has it been since you prayed in other tongues and allowed God’s supernatural power to operate through you? Why don’t you take a few minutes today to pray and praise in the Spirit? It will bring a divine operation of the supernatural into your day!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for filling me with the Spirit and for giving me the ability to pray and to praise You in a supernatural language. My spirit longs to pray, to express itself, and to worship You. My own mind and intellect is so limited that I don’t always know what to say or how to express myself. But when I pray and praise in the Spirit, I am very aware that I am praying perfectly and praising You on the highest level. Thank You for this wonderful ability. I want to pray in the Spirit and to worship You with all of my inner man!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am filled with the Spirit of God and that I regularly pray in the Spirit. God liberated my inner man to speak to Him on the day I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. From that time until now, I have had the ability to speak in a supernatural spiritual language. I refuse to neglect or ignore this ability God has given me; therefore, I regularly pray in tongues. As a result, I am growing stronger and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and I have a continual operation of divine, supernatural activity in my life!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How often do you take the time to pray in the Spirit? When you do, how much time do you devote to praying in other tongues?
  2. What happens inside you when you pray in the Spirit? Do you see a greater manifestation of power, joy, victory, and personal revelation in your life? What other results do you see when you regularly pray in tongues?
  3. If you have never been filled with the Spirit or spoken in other tongues, what is stopping you from receiving this glorious experience today?

Note: Not all will speak in tongues:

1 Corinthians 12

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

Want To Have Peace And Liberty In Your Life?

Then consider this :

 

l. Strive to do another’s will rather than our own.

 

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43b-45)

 

2. Choose always to have less rather than more.

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

 

3. Seek the lower places in life, dying to the need to be recognized and important.

 

Do not be snobbish, high-minded, (or) exclusive, but give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceitsEverything (the Pharisees) do is done for men to see. They love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them Rabbi.” (Romans 12:16 Amplified; Matthew 23:5a-7)

 

4. Always and in everything desire that the will of God may be completely fulfilled in you.

 

Christ: “Fell with His face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup (the cross) be taken from Me. Yet not as 1 will, but as you will.‘” (Matthew 26:39b)

 

Paul: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” (Acts 20:24a)

 

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