Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Late Great United States*

The title of this message comes from Dr. Stevenson's yet to-be-published book, "The Late Great United States". That book grew out of a message titled, "America's Last Hurrah", given to the Church upon the election of William Clinton as President. Dr. Stevenson then sent an open letter to newly elected Pres. Clinton, based upon what the Holy Spirit was saying in that moment. Since then, Dr. Stevenson has sent open letters to each successive president. When the results of this recent election are certified, Dr. Stevenson will send a letter again to the president. Much of what will be said in that new letter will be a reprise of the letter sent to Pres. Clinton, because America has not changed its course spiritually since that time. Because America has continued down the road that turns away from God, rather than towards Him, the same truths of the Word of God apply now as they did then. To this nation and its president, and to all of the people of God, the Word of the LORD came to the prophet Micah saying, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic. 6:8). Pres. Clinton, like many of the presidential candidates, spoke in churches, quoted scriptures, and claimed faith in God, and in Jesus Christ. This word from Micah requires something from those who claim to know God in this manner. Yet recent politics especially have been an arena of hostility, rather than humility. Racial animus has grown in this country, rather than justice and mercy. Pestilence has come to this country. In the era of Pres. Clinton, there was an A.I.D.S. epidemic that took the lives of many. Yet neither then nor now, none of those who stand in leadership of this nation have called America to the repentance and humility that scripture tells us in 2 Chron. 7:14 will cause God to hear our prayers, and heal our land. The LORD clearly told His people when it was time to repent. He said, "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:13-14). When we go against the Word of God, it brings consequences. Moses said that if the people of God rebel aginst God, they will be judged. It is obvious now as it was when President Clinton was elected, that we were choosing to go down the road to approve and legitimize sin. Consider the condition of men in the last days as written by Paul to Timothy: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth...these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate cncerning the faith." (2 Tim. 3:1-8, excerpt). Do we not see these very conditions and attitudes now in our nation? Some may say that a president is not the one to call America to repentance, that political positions are to be separate from spiritual principles. However, two of our greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln directed the nation to prayer and repentance. President George Bush, upon entering the Persian Gulf War, called the American people to prayer. In that war, American troops experienced what many would call a miraculous and overwhelming victory. As we sought God as a nation, we had a reprieve from our headlong rush into God's judgment. The Apostle James wrote, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up...to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:8-17, excerpt). According to the Word of God, healing won't come through any government program, or by taking hands and singing "God Bless America". Healing will only come when we get on our knees. We have forbidden our children to pray in schools. We have banned the mention of Jesus, or prayer in His name, in public. At the same time, we have allowed churches to be invaded and services to be disrupted by those groups who wish to express their contempt for God's commandments. America is on the verge of judgment. The prophet Jeremiah was given this word of the LORD to His people who enter into His gates to worship: "...Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place....if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings...if you thoroughly execute judgment...If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever." (Jer. 7:1-7). This was the condemnation that the LORD had for His own people as told to Jeremiah: "...ye trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Ba'al, and walk after other gods...; and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?...they hearkened not nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward...This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth....they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet...to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart." (Jer. 7:8-31, excerpt). The LORD commanded Jeremiah, "...pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee." (v. 16). Having ignored the LORD's many corrections and warnings up to this point, the LORD would no longer receive any of the prophet's prayers and intercessions for the people of God. Jeremiah laments, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20). Have God's people in our nation also failed to heed the many warnings of the LORD? Will the time soon come when the LORD directs spiritul leaders not to pray for this people any longer? We hope never to hear that command. At the time of the original letter, President Clinton had claimed that with his election, we as a nation were entering a "new covenant". There is only one new covenant. That is the new covenant established by the blood of Christ. No one has the liberty to change the Word of God. As is our habit, we will continue to pray not only for the president of this nation, but all of those who are in government leadership. We will continue to pray for pastors and spiritual leaders as well, that the Word of truth and righteousness be delivered to the people. Especially during this week of Thanksgiving, our prayer will be that God's people humble themselves, repent and return to Him. I pray in thanks that God hears our prayers, and that our land would be healed. I want to see an end to this pandemic. Don't you? I want to see a return to righteousness. Don't you? *The above is based on Dr. Stevenson's 11/22/20 message to the church. To contact: P.O. Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705; or Everlastingcovennt@ymail.com

Thursday, November 19, 2020

End Time School*

As the signs around us point to the fact that we are in the end times, our focus in these last few years has been to prepare the Body of Christ. Our church website is called "endtimeschool.com", because we feel it is imperative to prepare the Body of Christ for the days ahead. We also plan to begin teaching an online course based upon my book, "NAZAH: White Linen and the Blood of Sprinkling", in order to reach not only new believers, but also the lost sheep of Israel. We will also be reading and teaching from the Apocrypha in the future. You can buy the Apocrypha in book form, and you can also obtain free versions of the KJVA (King James Version with the Apocrypha) in app stores. You can find free versions of the Books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha, free online at websites, such as "earlyjewishwritings.com". In all cases, it is not only about what we teach, but it is what you learn about the Bible that changes your life. We know that you will find these upcoming courses and teachings a blessing to you. We begin today to look at end time knowledge. David wrote about a difference between how the world views the thngs of God, and how David, himself viewed them. In Psalm 42, David described his longing for the LORD this way: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thristeth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" (v. 1-2). David thirsts after God, and desires the day when he can appear before Him. Do we thirst for God in this way, or have the cares of life, and the business of the day, interfered with the intensity of our relationship with God? David is troubled in this Psalm. While all he wants is more of the LORD, the world around him asks, "Where is thy God?" Today, more and more people have fallen into unbelief. Agnostics and atheists mock the presence of God, and even many who call themselves Chritians seek solutions to problems from men, from politicians, rather than from God. In the midst of the the bad things that happen, it is God's people, if we will come to Him in repentance, who can change things. David goes on to say that while many go up to the House of the LORD, he goes with them with a voice of joy and praise (v. 4). Do we go to church on Sunday out of habit and custom, or do we go to worship and praise the Lord? In these end times especially, we need to take stock of the attitudes of our hearts: what are we thirsty for? What do we feel in the presence of the LORD? Do we desire with all of our heart to appear before Him, or have we grown cold, like the attitude of the world? Daniel the prophet was given revelation and visions about the end times. He was specifically instructed that the things he recorded were to be sealed up until the time of the end (Dan. 11:35, Dan. 12:4). However, because these visions of Daniel are no longer sealed to us, we can know that we are indeed in the times of the end. In chapeters 11 and 12, Daniel describes the rise of a "king". This king does not worship a god with whom whom we are familiar, including the God of Israel, Whom this king will blaspheme. He worships a god of forces. He will end sacrifices to God, and commit an abomination in the holy place, or temple of God. Since Christ prophetically referred to this ooming act of abomination that makes desolate from Daniel, we know that this is an act subsequent to the Assyrian act of abomination. We can draw the conclusion then that there is to be a third temple built, as is also mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. In fact, people in Israel have been making preparations for the rebuilding the temple for years. Back to Daniel: This king is deceptive, bringing a false agenda of peace, but he himself will break the peace. He will even divide the land for gain. It will be a time of great persecution against the people of God. Many will lose their lives. It will be a time of trouble such as has never been seen before. The only ones who will be delivered from it are God's people, whose names are written in the book (Dan. 12:2). From the Book of Revelation, we know that Daniel is referring to the Lamb's Book of Life. Are you written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Have you given yourself to the Lord Jesus, Who can raise you into everlasting life? It will happen that many of the dead will be raised, Daniel wrote: some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (12:2). However, Daniel describes what the attitudes and actions of the people of God will be in those days. They will teach righteousness to many. Daniel wrote, "...but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Dan. 11:32). He wrote, "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever...Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (12:3, 10). In the end times that Daniel described, there will be a great difference shown between those who truly serve God, and those who serve the world. Are we preparing ourselves for these times? In Isaiah 55, the word of the LORD to the prophet is of the same nature. What do we hold to be importnt, and in what are we investing ourselves? Are we investing in spiritul bread, which is life, or a different kind of bread that leaves one unsatisfied? The eternal things of God that lead to life cannot be bought as the world buys and sells. The LORD says, "...hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David...Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." (Isa. 55:2, 3, 6). The LORD calls the wicked and the unrighteous to repent and to return to the LORD (He is talking to His own people!), for He will abundantly pardon (v. 7). It is not through his own ways that man can be restored to God. It is not by his own ideas that man can attain those things that are eternal. God said that neither our ways, nor our thoughts are like His. His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours (v.8-9). The thoughts, ways and words of the LORD accomplish what He sets them out to do (v. 11). The word of the LORD, which always reflects His thoughts and ways, is transforming. His word that goes forth to accomplissh that which pleases Him, produces joy, peace, singing, and rejoicing. Instead of painful and fruitless thorns and briers, fir and myrtle trees are produced (v. 12-13). God's will and His Word will be produced in the earth. He will triumph over the plans of the wicked. His people who know Him, who are prepared in Him, will make an impact in the end times, and triumph with Him. *The above is based upon Dr. Stevenson's 11/15/20 message to the Church. To contact: PO Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705, or Everlastingcovenant@ymail.com If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, and become one of those who knows their God in these end times, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the following: Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead to bring me into eternal life. I ask you to become Lord of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit, Who will teach me and lead me in the truth, and the ways and knowledge of God. Fill me with the thirst for Your righteousness, and thirst for the presence of God above all other things. I believe that Your Word and work in me will not return to You void, but will accomplish Your will and pleasure in me. You are transforming me. I come to You in Your holy name, Jesus, with joy, peace, and praise, because You have forgiven my sins, and You have reconciled me with the Father in heaven. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Learn to Discern*

Like last week's message, "Be Not Deceived", this message is important in these times in which we live. The prophet Malachi wrote regarding the need to properly discern: "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Mal. 3:18). In the New Testament, there were those in Berea who would search out the scriptures to confirm what was being taught to them. Before we accept anything from anyone who "comes down the pike", we need to compare it to scripture and decide whether it lines up or not. God raises up prophets, putting His word in their mouths, and He expects us to heed what the prophet of God is telling us, or it will be required of us (Deut. 18:15-19). The LORD also spoke of the judgment that would come against any prophet who claimed that he spoke in the name of the LORD, but spoke words that the LORD had not commanded him, or if the prophet spoke in the name of others gods, that prophet shall die (v. 20). This is how important God considers the truth and integrity of the prophetic word to His people. The LORD told His people how to determine a prophet who is not speaking the word given to him by the LORD: "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (v. 22). The test of a prophet is if the word they prophesy comes to pass. Many of those who have called themselves prophets have said that we are not to fear the Corona virus, yet some of them have sickened and died. The LORD warned of prophets who speak out of their own hearts and spirits, seeing vanity and lying divinatios, saying the LORD had said it, when He had not. These lying prophets seduced God's people saying "Peace" when there was no peace. The LORD compared them to bulders of a wall who use faulty mortar. The wall can't help but fall. The LORD would bring down these walls built upon vanity and divination, and the prophets would be consumed in the midst of the destruction (Ezek. 13:1-9). Ezekiel again warned the people to discern the prophets. In another example, the LORD dealt with the elders whose hearts were filled with idols, yet they sought out the prophet of God for the word of the LORD. To those who do this, the LORD said, "...Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations." (Ezek. 14:2-6). The LORD speaks of pouring out His fury and sending famine, beasts, sword, and pestilence upon the land of His people who refuse to hearken to Him, having been told to turn away from their abominations. God's word tells us that if we obey His commandments and statutes, He will bless us. If we disobey, the curse comes. For a long time now, America has been experiencing the curse of disobedience to the Word of God, and to the warnings of His prophets. Racism, armed violence against the those who are unarmed, and child murder have become the daily events and the wickedness imbedded in our society. It has become systemic, rather than isolated events. In scripture, the prophets of God called His people to repentance, but the people would not listen to the word of the LORD. The anger of the LORD came upon them: "And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets...but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt." (Jer. 25:4-7). Ignoring the prophets who speak the word of the LORD, and relying instead on false gods and our own strength and efforts, leads to our own hurt. False gods today include Mammon, the corrupt and worldly system of money and wealth. The sacrificing of our own children in abortion is like the worship of the god Molech, or Ba'al. The Word of the LORD to His people today, through the mouths of His servants, is again a call to repentance. The 2 Chron. 7:14 repeated message to God's people is very similar to the message that the prophet Jeremiah brought to the people of God long ago. Will we heed that message, or turn instead to the gods we have made with our own hands? Again, through Jeremiah the prophet, the LORD asks His people, "...Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD...Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend his doings, and go not after other gods to serve them...but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me." (Jer. 35:12-15). The prayer of the porphet Daniel, for God's people in the midst of their captivity in Babylon, applies very much to the confusion that we are surrounded by today. He prayed, "O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." (Dan. 9:8-11). The prophet Amos wrote that God does nothing without first revealing it to His servants the prophets, who sound the alarm of warning to God's people (Amos 3:6-8). Paul's letter to Timothy includes the warning that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." However, Paul wrote that Timothy should continue in the things of the scriptures tht he had been learning since childhood. It is scripture, which is inspired, that corrects us and instructs us in righteousness so that "the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:13-17). He also warns Timothy of the time when people will not endure sound doctrine, but accumulate teachers who appeal to their lusts..."And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:1-4). As the scriptures close in the Book of Revelation, John is assured that the things that he has been told are true. The LORD God of the holy prophets sent His angel to reveal these things to come to His servants. concluding, "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." (Rev. 22:6-7). There is a blessing in heeding and keeping the words of the prophets of God. God expects His people to rightly discern His true prophets, and listen and obey the Word of the LORD. If you would like to heed the prophetic warning of God's servants, and join in repentance, turning away from sin, and turning back to God, join us in prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to learn to discern Your voice. Forgive me for refusing to hear Your prophetic word, and for disobeeying the scriptures. As Daniel said, there are mercies and forgiveness in You for a people who will turn and repent. I want to abide in Your Word so that You will abide in me. I believe that You died for me, and that You were raised from the dead. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to lead me in truth and obedience to Your voice and Word. I ask this in Your name, Amen. *Based upon Dr. Stevenson's 11/8/20 message to the church. To contact: PO Box 154221, Waco, TX, 76705 or Everlastingcovenant@ymail.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Except Those Days*

Jesus' disciples presented Him with some questions after He prophesied the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (meaning "age")?(Mt. 24:1-3). The first thing that Jesus gave as an answer was the warning, "Take heed that no man deceive you." The times and conditions surrounding the events addressed by Jesus with His disciples would be be surrounded by deception. This deception will include those who claim to be Christ, and the rise of false prophets. We have seen examples of this in recent history. However, those who follow Christ are expected to know the truth, and be aware of the signs. Jesus continued to describe the events that lead up to the great tribulation, and His return. They include: wars, ethnic violence, famines, pestilences, earthquakes (we have seen the increase in the number and severity of earthquakes, and we are in the middle of a worldwide pestilence, the pandemic). Hatred and persecution to death and betrayal involving all nations would be directed towards those who believe in Christ, because of His name's sake. Iniquity will abound, and many will turn away from faith because of it. Atheism and agnosticism, even among those who used to believe, have increased in our time. In the face of all of these signs and events, Jesus told His disciples, and us, to endure unto the end, and be saved. Even during these calamitous events, the Gospel of the kingdom of God will be preached in all the world as a witness, Jesus said, and then the end comes. One of the defining signs of the imminent approach of the end will be the abomination that causes desolation, which will stand in the holy place, spoken about by Daniel the prophet (v.15). It is then mentioned: "Whoso readeth, let him understand." When they see this happen, those in Jerusalem should flee: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (v. 21-22). Can repentance change prophecy? The Book of Jonah tells us that repentance can play a piivotal role in the judgment of God. Jonah delivered the prophetic Word of the LORD to Nineveh that they were about to be destroyed in God's judgment. The whole city, from the king, down, repented sincerely, and God turned the judgment away from them. This made Jonah angry but God taught him that it is better that the people who are to die in judgment repent and many lives be saved. Peter wrote the same. God is patient and longsuffering regarding His judgment, because He would rather provide people every opportunity to repent. In the case above, the days of the Great Tribulation are shortened, saving many. The prophetic model tells us that repentance could play a major role in this mercy in the midst of judgment. Jesus referred to the event in Daniel that He called the abomination that makes desolate (Daniel 12:11). Up to the fulfillment of this desolating event, according to Daniel's prophecy, the people of God will have been busy in wisdom, spreading and teaching the delivering truth of God to many: "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Dan. 12:3). Daniel also described this time in the same manner as Jesus: "...and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." (v. 1). In the last verse in Daniel, the LORD told the prophet, "But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (v. 13). As Jesus told His disciples, these events are associated with "the end of days", or at the end of an age, not the end of the world. Daniel was to "...shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." (v. 4). We know that the time of the end refers to our time, because the words of Daniel are no longer sealed and shut up, but are understandable to us. They are now revealed to us, and we are those who can understand the words of Daniel, as Jesus said. The New Testament continues to give clarity to Daniel's and Jesus' words. Paul writes that "...of the times and the seasons, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Thess. 5:1-3). We are to know, understand, and be aware. Paul went on to write that God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvtion through Christ (v.9). Therefore, we should act like those who live in that light of understanding and salvtion, not like those who are still in darkness (v. 5-8). We are not to sleep, but to be awake, keep watch and be sober (v.6). We are to warn, comfort, uphold, and be patient (v. 14). We are to rejoice, pray without ceasing, give thanks in every thing, proving all things and keeping those things that are good, not quenching the Holy Spirit, but abstaining from even the appearance of evil. We should not despise the prophetic word (v.16-22). Paul prayed that God "...sanctify you wholly;...and... your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (v. 23). In Romans, Paul also wrote, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed...let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day...put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." (Rom. 13:11-14). In Mt. 25, Jesus told the parable of those who were prepared for His return, and those who were not. Though all slept, the wise woke up ready when the alarm went out. The foolish had not prepared, and were not ready. The event happened so quickly, that the foolish unprepared ones could not get ready in time, and the door was shut to them. They were not allowed to enter. Why had the foolish been unprepared? The Lord said to them "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." (v. 12). "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (v. 13, see also Lk. 21:34-36). We do not know the day nor the hour, but those who are wise and understand, those whom the Lord knows, see the signs as they have been prophesied in scripture, and are determined to be awake and watchful. *Based upon Dr. Stevenson's 11/25/20 message to the Church. To contact this ministry, or to obtain the new book "NAZAH: White Linen and the Blood of Sprinkling": PO Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705 Everlastingcovenant@ymail.com If you would like to know Jesus Christ, and receive His salvation, believe and confess that He died for your sins, and was raised from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10). Pray "Lord Jesus, I believe you died for me. I believe that You rose from the dead. I believe that You are coming again to rule and to reign. Forgive my sins. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to lead me, teach me, and enpower me to live righteously in You. I believe that You have cleansed me, saved me, and given me eternal life. I pray these things in Your great name, Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Crux of the Faith*

Last week, we discussed the Lord's command to Peter, based on the Peter's expressed love for Christ, to "Feed My sheep". In the condition in which the Church finds itself today, do we know how the feed the sheep? As in the natural, babies in the faith need to start out with the "milk" of the Word, the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith, and as they mature, they can be fed the "meat" of the Word, those things that take us deeper and higher in the knowledge of God. The first of the basics is found in Romans 3, "...for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. But now, the righteousness of God...is manifested... Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (v. 9-25). The use of the word, "propitiation" refers to the sprinkling of the blood, in this case Christ's own blood, upon the mercy seat of God for the remission of the sin that all of us have. We do not come to this gift of righteousness through any religious works or good deeds, but by faith, not even by our own faith, that we would take crdit for it, but we come by the faith of the Son of God. And we believe in the power of His blood to cleanse us of sin by that same faith, the faith of the Son. John the Baptist declared upon seeing Jesus, "Behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world." It is the lamb's blood, on Passover, applied to the doorposts and lintels of their houses, that delivered God's people from the angel of death in the last plague of Egypt. Having received this saving faith of the Son of God in order to accept the gift of righteousness given to us by the Father, having our sins wiped away by the blood of Christ, what is our continuing understanding to be and teach to others? Romans 6 says, "...Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?...like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we should also walk in newness of life...our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth, we should not serve sin...Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof...For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace...Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness...For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (v. 1-23). Having been delivered from our sins, and its consequence, death, we are not to continue in sin. We have died and been raised with Christ. The dead no longer are the servants of sin. Having received the gift of the righteousness of God in Christ, and the newness of His resurrection life, we are not to continue in unrighteousness. In Isaiah 52 and 53, the prophet writes to us of the severe suffering of the Servant of God, who did not suffer this rejection and torture because of His own sin, but for the sins of others. His blood would sprinkle (NAZAH) all nations, and kings who did not see this event as it happened, still "would see" and considered it. As Paul would also write later in Romans, Isaiah saw the condition of those for whom this servant died: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all....he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter..." (Isa. 53:7-8). And, "...he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed...by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities...he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (v. 5, 11-12). Jesus interceded for us in His work on the cross. He continues to make intercession for all. Paul writes, "...God our Saviour...Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:3-6). God desires that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and to that salvation, righteousness, and everlasting life that He has provided through Jesus Christ, His Servant, and beloved Son. These things are the basic fundamentals of the faith of Christ, which we are to know for ourselves in order to be transformed, and in order to teach others. *This is based on the 10/18/20 message of Dr. Stevenson to the Church. To contact Dr. Stevenson and the ministry, write to PO Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705. By email: everlastingcovenant@ymail.com

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Feed My Sheep*

This month of October is a month reserved to honor pastors. It is also a time to bring forth an important message for the Body of Christ. It is becoming more and more obvious in media and on the internet that there are many who are unbelievers. How have the pastors been bringing forth God's Word? The prophet Ezekiel brought forth a sobering prophetic word from the LORD regarding the pastors, or spiritual shepherds, of the sheep: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the LORD God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered...Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." (Ezek. 34:1-10, excerpt). The foundational truth of any pastor's calling is not a "religiousity", but the transforming truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain...And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." (1 Cor. 15:13-14,17). As with Christ's own disciples at the time, there are those who struggle with unbelief, who require visible evidence. Jesus understood this need with some, and provided them with evidence that they could see. In John 20, Mary Magdalene found Christ's tomb empty after His death. She ran to tell the disciples that someone had taken the Lord's body from the tomb. Both Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. John got there first, looked into the tomb from the outside and saw the linen burial clothes lying there. Peter, upon arriving, went into the tomb and also saw the burial clothes. John then went into the tomb also, "...and he saw, and believed." John believed based upon what he saw, because they did not yet know the scriptures pertaining to His resurrection (v. 8-9). What did they see that convinced them? Was it just the empty burial clothes, or could they have seen an image on those linen clothes that convinced them? I believe they saw an image. Mary was outside the tomb weeping, but saw two angels in the tomb positioned where Jesus' head and feet had been. They asked why she was weeping. Still distraught, she turned and saw a man, who asked her why she wept, and for whom was she seeking? Mary asked the man if he knew where Jesus' body had been taken. The man spoke her name, "Mary", and she knew immediately that this was Jesus who was speaking to her. She later ran to tell the other disciples that she had seen and spoken to the Lord (v. 11-18). Later that same day, Jesus appeared to the disciples, except for Thomas, who was not there, and showed Himself: "And when he had said so, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." (v. 20). Later, when Thomas arrived, the disciples told Thomas that the Lord had appeared to them. Thomas replied that he would not be able to believe until he saw and touched the Lord for himself (v.25). Eight days later, the Lord agin appeared in the midst of where the disciples were gathered. Jesus singled Thomas out and showed him His hands and pierced side, and even offered for Thomas to touch Him in these places. Thomas immediately believed (v.26-28). While Jesus understood His disciple's need to see in order to believe, He also said to Thomas, "...because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (v. 29). The belief in His resurrection is so vital to our Christian faith, that Jesus was willing to provide physical, visible evidence for those who needed to see in order to believe. Pastor's must provide the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Shroud of Turin may well be a piece of physical evidence left behind by Christ that we can utilize to convince unbelievers to "see and believe". In any case, with atheism and agnosticism becoming widespread, and unbelief spreading even in the Church, pastors will be held accountable if they do not shepherd and feed their flocks responsibly, according to Ezekiel. After His resurrection, and after presenting Himself three times as physical, visible proof to His disciples, Jesus spoke of the kind of pastoring He expected of them to Peter. After asking Peter three times if Peter loved Him, and receiving Peter's affirmtive response, the Lord then commanded Peter, "Feed my sheep", and "Feed my lambs" (Jn. 21:15-17). Though Jesus told Peter that this love of Christ, and the pastoring feeding and keeping of the sheep would impact Peter's life in a most sober manner, He commanded Peter nonetheless, "Follow me" (v. 18-19). In Matthew 28, the scriptures reveal a conspiracy through bribery to keep the truth of the resurrection of Christ from the people. The conspiracy was engaged in between the religious leaders of the day, and the forces of the world, Roman soldiers, who had been ordered to keep watch over the tomb that had held the body of Jesus. The scriptures say that this conspiracy of lies continued "to this day" (Mt. 28:11-15). This is indeed true to this day as books are still being written continuing to support this lie that was conceived to cover up the resurrection. Even some of the disciples who saw and met with Jesus after His resurrection continued to doubt (v. 16-17). Doubt and unbelief is a stubborn force, but Jesus said that His power is greater, commanding His disciples: "...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (meaning age)." (v. 18-20). This month is Pastor Appreciation Month. I have dedicated myself, since the Lord called me, to feed His sheep the Bread of life, the Word of truth to the best of my ability, and as led by the Spirit of God. It is a blessing when the flock appreciates and blesses a shepherd who has been faithful to feed and keep the sheep. This month should also serve as a warning from the prophet Ezekiel to those shepherds who have not fed the sheep, and properly tended to them, but have fed and kept themselves instead. *The above is based upon Dr. Stevenson's 10/11/20 message to the Church. To contact this ministry, or to order the book, "NAZAH: White Linen and the Blood of Sprinkling": PO Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705 or Everlastingcovenant@ymail.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Most Sacred Day: Yom Kippur*

Of the three fall feasts of the LORD, the second, the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is the most solemn. The blood of atonement, Christ's own blood, sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat in heaven, is especially necessary to the Church and to this nation in these current times. The prophets wrote of the blood of sprinkling, and it is also written about in Dr.Stevenson's book, "NAZAH: White Linen and the Blood of Sprinkling". The sounding of the shofar or trumpets during the fall feasts also have a prophetic warning and implication. The prophet Amos wrote, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Surely the LORD God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the LORD God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:6-8). The LORD is revealing something through His servants. Are we listening to the warning sound in the trumpets? The LORD spoke through Jeremiah about sending prophets to reveal His secrets and warn His people of imminent danger, but His people ignored these prophetic warnings. This provoked the LORD to anger (Jer. 25:4-7). In America, also are ignoring the warnings being sent by God. We have turned away from Him and to the worship of other gods, although we may not recognize it as such. In New York City, there was a projection of the goddess Kali, who is associated with death, violence and sexuality, onto the Empire State Building, and New York also led the nation in legalizing late term abortions. The Church is looking for secular remedies in government and the courts, but there is only one remedy: a 2 Chron. 7:14 repentance and return to God. The sprinkling of the atonement blood of the Lamb of God is something that is necessatry and vital to the people of God. Peter calls believers in Christ the "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you and peace be multiplied." (1 Pet. 1:2). Peter also wrote regarding our salvation, that this salvation was revelaed to the prophets of old, althougb it was for a people to come (v. 10-12). The fulfillment of the prophesied salvation was and is revealed for these last times (v. 5). One of the prophets to whom the LORD revealed His secret of salvation for a future time is the prophet Isaiah. In Chapters 52 and 53, Isaiah clearley writes about God's servant who gives His life for the sins of many. Isaiah also writes in this regard of the blood of sprinkling, "Behold, my servant, shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard, shall they consider. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (Isa. 52:13-15, 53:1). The prophet asked the question, "Will you believe this report?" Isaiah goes on to say, "But he was wounded for our trasgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we were healed." (53:5). Isaiah 52:15 also witnesses to the Shroud of Turin as something kings would be able to see and consider, although no one told them of it. The Book of Hebrews is the Word of God written to Christians concerning the Day of Atonement and its meaning in Christ to believers. Hebrews says, "But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer spinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternl inheritnce." (Heb. 9:11-15). Thw writer of Hebrews reminds us that almost all things by the law are purged (cleaned) with the sprinkling of blood, for without shedding of blood there is no remission (v. 21-22). Again, there is also a prophetic warning connected with the sprinkling of the blood of atonement. From the Book of Hebrews again, "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh: for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:24-29). The blood of sprinkling is speaking, and we are not to refuse what it is saying. There was a previous shaking, and there will be a greter shaking to come, so that all that may be left are the unmoveable things of the Kingdom of God. God is a consuming fire, and the next judgment will not be by water, but by fire. Are you repenting? The Kingdom of God is at hand. This is the message of the blood of sprinkling, and this is the message of the prophets and servants of God. There is yet a prophetic Word regarding the spinkling of the blood of atonement that we shall see fulfilled. It is from the prophet Zechariah, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn...In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." (Zech. 12:10, 13:1). The blood of sprinkling is still prophesying. The pictographic meaning of the Hebrew letters that comprise the word "Kippur" in Yom Kippur are: "the covering command of the harvest of the Most High". Have you sought the atoning blood of Jesus? "May you be inscribed and sealed in the Lamb's Book of Life." This entry was based upon Dr. Stevenson's message to the Church of 9/27/2020. To contact this ministry: everlastingcovenant@ymail.com, everlastingcov8@twitter.com, Kenneth E. Stevenson @ Facebook, endtimeschool.com, P.O. Box 154221, Waco, TX 76705