The Prophet in Me

The time has come to teach a faith that sees suffering and death as a very real possibility…

THE PROPHET IN ME
And the Devil in the details…

Perhaps it is the prophetic temperament in me… I mean, I do not start my posts “Thus saith the Lord…” but I do seem to have some prophetic insight and I certainly understand Scripture in a very different manner from most of my peers, and I continue to find fault in what I would have considered wonderful sermons just a few years ago.

With COVID taking over the world, it seems that most Pastors are feeling compelled to preach on faith. They are designing their sermons so as to give the people hope in a dark time… That is good; we should build up the faithful and give them something to hold onto. We should speak of healing and we should read Scriptures that speak of the healing power of God. Yes, God heals and yes, God changes things. But what I keep hearing is that which they will not speak to… that for which they will not prepare the people.

I hear sermons on the Three Hebrew Boys and the fiery furnace… a great story of faith and deliverance. I am cheering the pastor on when he intentionally leaves out the phrase “But if not…” Simply reading the Scripture, he intentionally skips over that verse. Why would he do that? I ask. Simple, comes the answer, it does not fit his agenda and he cannot comprehend the admission that death is a real option as a statement of faith… Somehow, it seems contrary to faith… an admission that God may not do what you tell him to do… and that, in the Pastor’s mind, is a lack of faith.

I hear pastors speaking of COVID, the Pandemic and encouraging the people with stories of miraculous healings… but they never mention the people who have suffered and died after they prayed for them… Obviously, if the same Pastor prays the same prayer and quotes the same verses, everybody should be healed… Certainly, it was not God’s fault and it could not have been the Pastor’s fault… the person who suffered and died obviously did not have enough faith!!! We do not want to mention them, do we? The idea that God might actually decide to take them home never crosses their minds. The idea that “Heaven is gain” is totally foreign and anathema to their denominational dogma.

I hear Pastors, trying to build faith in their people, comparing COVID-19 to Y2K and reminding people that, for all the panic, Y2K came to nothing. The implication is that this, like that, will come to nothing and everything will return to normal. And, much more than they want Heaven or even God himself, the people want everything to return to normal… No matter how much they hated normal before the pandemic, they crave normal now.

I just keep seeing a level of faith that neither those pastors nor their people can seem to grasp… A faith that sees God going with you through the fire rather than putting the fire out. A faith that looks at reality… we believe in healing and that God will heal us, but the reality is that He might not… the option to heal us or take us is still ultimately in his hand. It does not depend entirely on our faith or how many Bible verses on healing we quote… It is God’s choice… He is sovereign and I am not. Not only that, Heaven is a far greater gain than being healed and returned to “normal” could ever be… The greater faith always says, “But if Not” and “Yea though He slay me, yet will I serve him!”

I do not see any similarities between COVID-19 and Y2K… I was never concerned with Y2K… They were talking about a computer glitch and we have brilliant computer programmers who can fix computer glitches… and they did just that. Even if everything had crashed on 01/01/2000, there was nothing that could not have been rapidly fixed… Even if all the cars had stopped, there would have been millions of U Fix It computer chips on the market inside a week. COVID-19 is killing people and it has placed the world in lockdown, providing cover for the transition to a one world government, or at least mandatory vaccinations and ID… That is different. The timing is different, the world order is different, the lineup of nations is different and the goals of the New World Order, carefully hidden in 1999 have been made very public by the conspirators… Nothing is the same…

But Satan is not the stupid cartoon character that the church has tried to make him… A thousand false alarms, including the book “88 Reasons the Rapture will be in 1988” and Y2K, have closed the minds and hearts of pastors and Christians everywhere… That and the almost universal belief in a PreTrib Rapture have stupefied the Church of Jesus Christ… No matter what the Watchman does or says, they are determined not to look or pay attention… “Fool me once…!” is the universal cry.

To preach on the Three Hebrew Boys and leave out “But if not…” is dishonest. Likewise, to discount COVID-19 by comparing it to Y2K is deceitful. To preach on life saving miracles without mentioning those who suffered and died is fraudulent. To speak of healings in the Bible but never mention those who suffered and died is about as fake and phony as anything ever could be…

The time has come to teach a faith that sees suffering and death as a very real possibility, trusts Jesus to go through it with you, and sees death and Heaven as great gain… Let us rise up and discover a greater faith…

If we continue with this phony half Gospel and fairy tale faith, millions are going to disown Jesus and end up on the road to Hell when the times get rough and their Christian family and friends all start suffering and dying…

And that is the Prophet in me speaking…

David…

Real Faith

If getting ill and dying of the disease would cause you to lose your faith and your testimony, you just might catch it…

But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18)

Reality would tell us that faith-filled, genuine, Spirit-filled Christians get sick, suffer and die. That is a fact that no Name-it-claim-it preacher can deny. However, they have not been shy about preaching and teaching a lie. That lie goes something like this: “Learn this verse, say it over and over, send me money and you will become invincible… no demon can touch you!” That, friends, is a lie, and the Evangelist, lounging with his girlfriend at the pool behind his mansion knows that it is a lie…

Paul wrote to Timothy: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

Perhaps Timothy didn’t have a magic verse, or maybe he forgot to send Paul a check… Who knows?

In John 5, when Jesus healed the man by the pool in Bethesda, we are told that there “lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” there… Jesus healed one man and left the rest lying there.

Acts 3:6 tells us, “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” That man had laid there for years. Hundreds of times he had watched as Jesus walked in and out of that gate… but Jesus had never healed him… It was on this day, after the ascension that God decided to use Peter to heal him… Perhaps he had memorized a magic verse of Scripture and sent his tithe to the Disciples?

It isn’t about a magic verse… it is about a real relationship with a living God!

Perhaps it takes faith to stand up, quote your favorite verse in church and testify as to how God is not going to let you get sick. But what if you, like so many others, get COVID-19? What happens to your testimony? What have you done to God’s reputation?

I like the faith of the Three Hebrew Boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their faith was genuine, not fake and it took death as a serious possible outcome… Even if you know the story well, take a minute to read it again…

Daniel 3: 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Emphasis mine)

“But if not”, I love that quote!!! They believed that God would save them, but there was a real possibility that He might have chosen them as Martyrs instead of survivors… Yes, there was and they knew it! With that reality in mind, they testified and showed that the strength of their faith included death!

I will insist that if your faith is not strong enough to handle death, it is not strong enough to bring healing. If you are not willing to die of COVID-19, maintaining your testimony to the very end, your faith is probably not strong enough to gain divine intervention and supernatural protection from the virus… and, that is a fact! If getting ill and dying of the disease would cause you to lose your faith and your testimony, you just might catch it…

Can we not offer a testimony of faith that takes reality into account? Paul and James lost their heads, Stephen was stoned, Peter crucified upside down and Spirit-filled Christians will die from COVID-19… No matter how often they have quoted those magic verses and irrespective of how much money they have sent to Benny Hinn. That is a fact!

Would it not be better to stand in front of the congregation, or post on Facebook a testimony that says: “My God is able to deliver me from COVID-19 and I believe that He will, But if not, even if He takes me home, I will serve him to the end and praise him forever in Heaven.”

That is the kind of real, strong and honest testimony I continue to look for, but never see…

Oh, for Christians who will demonstrate a real, honest and fearless faith… Please God, we need Christians who are not afraid to die…

David…