God is Aware

God is awareNow the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” — Ezekiel 38:1-9, NKJV

Men, the Lord has promised to restore Israel and return the people to their land and to protect them from their enemies. Here in the next chapters God forecasts an upcoming season of hostility toward His people in “latter days” (v8).

In Genesis 10 we read a genealogy of the sons of Noah who would become the rulers of lands as they spread out and multiplied. The modern lands represented by the historic tribes of Noah will form a coalition, which the Lord God is against. This coalition of modern nations which will surround Israel include eastern Europe, Russia, China, the Arab states, Turkey, and the northern regions of Africa. When the nation of Israel is regathered, resettled, and finally lives in a measure of prosperity, security and peace, the Lord will lead this coalition out (v4) to come against Israel.

Brothers, a loose teaching of the end war has led us to conclude that the enemy, Satan, stirs this plan to motion. Read v4 again. The Lord God is in control. The enemy will seem to hijack the Lord’s plan (v10), but from the beginning of the prophetic word Ezekiel shares about Israel’s future enemies, we see clearly, the Lord God is not caught by surprise, but rather, working His plan to demonstrate His final authority. A strict reading of v4 tells us that Israel’s enemies will have no choice in the matter. They will come against Israel when the Lord God says so.

What troubles surround you today? What may the enemy be using today to convince you of God’s distance and your impending destruction? What God has spoken roughly 3500 years ago we can begin to see forming today. Are we really in any danger of finding ourselves outside of God’s expertise?

Move forward men, acknowledging God’s sovereignty, His awareness, His authority over all matters past, now and future. The Lord initiates what seems like distress, has a plan for victory and allows His people to share in that victory. Will we see His glory or only see dread and overwhelming opposition?

Vance Durrance

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Kingdom Authority

Kingdom Authority

Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. — Matthew 14:19 NKJV

Men, Jesus tells the disciples “bring them to me” (the fish and loaves). Then He tells all the multitude to “sit down on the grass”. Then He took the five loaves and two fish in His hands, looked up to heaven, and blessed them. He broke them up, gave them to the disciples to distribute to the multitude.

Who did Jesus bless the loaves by? Jesus could turn stones into bread if He wanted to, but He was following a Kingdom protocol. The earthly body is unable to break the general rules of physics. But the Spirit can. Jesus is showing us how to access the riches of heaven. Healing, signs and wonders are often thought of in terms of magic, or some hocus pocus. For Jesus, this was no sleight of hand; He was generating a legitimate increase in physical resources, but not by some incantation and wave of a wand. From earth, Jesus accessed the literal Kingdom of heaven and by blessing it appropriately, the stores of Heaven were opened up to Him.

We’d all like to know the words Jesus used so we could follow a 5 step plan to fill our kitchens. Again, this is not about reciting an incantation, “bippity boppity boo”, so to speak. It’s not about the words Jesus used. His ability to break the rules we live by on earth are because of His focus on His own authority, Kingdom’s riches and freedoms.

Jesus was not limited to the rules here because His authority was secured in a higher order. Looking up to heaven, He acknowledged the authority He had in His Father’s Kingdom and opened the resources. To Him, it was as simple as opening a cupboard door. Is this authority available to others? 2 Kings 4 tells us about Elisha stretching a widow’s resources. The disciples called on healing power by Jesus name in Heaven. Is it available to us?

I dare anyone to move forward. It’s not a parlor trick for amusing our friends but Jesus said we would do even greater. How does it happen? It doesn’t without first looking up to heaven and acknowledging His Name’s authority, our sonship and His Kingdom.

Vance Durrance

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Promise of Authority

Crown Jewels
“To [him who conquers] I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” –Revelation 2:26b-27
The awesome authority that has been promised to the Son of God (Psa 2:6-9), is promised to be shared with the sons of God (Luke 22:29-30; Gal 3:26; Rom 8:19). Does this not echo earlier promises by Jesus:
“I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” –Matthew 19:28
I have so many questions on this… but what I do know is that Christ said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), and those before us who held assumptions to the conquering of earthly empires were called by Christ, “foolish” and “slow of heart” (Luk 24:25). I know that this authority is not taken by the sword (Mat 26:52) or won by bowing to wrong (Mat 4:8-10). In fact, every time the church has grasped at the world’s power, she has been disciplined by it.

Make all allowance that you like for the vesture of symbolism, the reality that lies beneath is that Jesus Christ, the truth, has pledged Himself to this, that His servants shall be associated with Him in the activity of His royalty,… which we only spoil when we try to tear apart the petals which remain closed until the sun shall open them,” (McLaren’s Exposition).

In the mystery of this pronouncement to the future position of faithful followers of Christ, know this: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1Co 2:9).
“No matter how we are suffering, no matter how we are persecuted, no matter how we are marginalized, our identity is not in whatever is happening to us right now. Our identity is seated at the Right Hand of God,” (Russell Moore).
How might knowing our future position change the way we manage mistreatment and persecution?
Billy Neal
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