Heaven Pt. 71

“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 1 Sam. 2:9,10 KJV

Warning In the Wind- JE Lillie

On my way to New York City this afternoon I was listening to a well-known radio evangelist here in the States preaching a message about the end of the world, and the judgment of God. His take on the matter is that we are already in the tribulation of Revelation, AntiChrist is about to be revealed and the church is about to get severely whacked because God loves His children and thinks that we really need to go through tribulation so we can understand the crucified life! WHHHHHAAAAAATTTTTTT!!!

I nearly went over the guard rail on Interstate 95 as I listened to his closing prayer. Not one iota of hope. All grace was missing. The Blessed Hope had been replaced by cursed fear! I am so glad this was not the Good News  preached to me. I was already steeped in my world of gothic depression. Such a word might just have been enough to send me the rest of the way over the edge!

What I heard from the Scripture…what I still hear today echoed in the rightly divided Word of truth is… “He will keep the feet of his saints,…he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 

I do believe there is a judgment coming  but I believe that God will protect His people through this final judgment by removing us from the Earth before the judgment starts.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the
Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be
caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the
Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” I Thess. 4:15-18 NLT

Yes there’s a warning in the wind. Judgment is coming but Scripture warns us so that we will be ready to escape it. I am not looking for the AntiChrist to rise. I’m looking for the Christ to make me rise!

The church is not appointed to go through wrath!

Who Are You Really?

    Who are you really?

     Some of us think we are the product of our upbringing or our education. Some of us think we can be whatever we focus our minds on.  Some of us think we are just the sum of our experiences. Yet others think we can never really know ourselves at all.

     Now, Jeremiah, the prophet, indicated that we were clay in the hands of a Master Potter; So I am not sure that anything in the list above is really true.  Sometimes I think our upbringings, educations, experiences, and even our own desires do more to confuse us about who we are than anything.

     After all if God , the God of the universe, took the time and trouble to forge us then He had a purpose in that forging. If that is so surely He made us complete with all the gifts and talents we would ever need to accomplish that purpose.

     Have you ever heard of a tool craftsman who forged a screw-driver to drive nails? No! that would be ridiculous. If a craftsman needed to create a tool to drive nails he would make a hammer. And that item would continue to be a hammer even if it was told all its life by everyone around, it should be a screw driver. Even if it felt in itself it would like to be a paintbrush, a hammer could never do a good job of coloring a wall. Even if a foolish carpenter tried to use it as a pair of pliers the hammer could only ever be a hammer. You see, it was created for a purpose and could  only ever be successful in that purpose.

     Who are you really?

     The truth is down deep inside of you. Your identity was forged with you in the womb. God knew you and imprinted your identity deep inside you before you were even born. Yet the moment you came into the world everything in the world began trying to steal your identity.

     The power of sin exercised its strength upon you and told you, you were a thief, an alcoholic, or a homosexual. Yet none of those were part of the original design. Sin stole your identity.

      Who are you really?

      Relationships rose up in your life and took the place of God. Suddenly what people thought about you took the place of what God thought about you. An earthly father told his son he was weak and the boy gave up His God identity to prove he was no sissy. An earthly mother told her daughter no one would marry her if she gained too much weight; So the daughter gave up her God identity to prove she was beautiful.

     Who are you really?

      You went to school and learned that you came from a monkey and that life was about what you knew and who you knew. So you turned to amass knowledge and influence only to find out with Solomon that it was all “vanity”.

    Who are you really?

     I have done a lot of thinking about this lately. I feel like I’ve spent half my life trying to figure out who I am, by asking the world around me, only to find out that it never really had the answer to begin with.

     I know the answer is found in God alone. He and I are on a journey inward to find the answer that He spoke into my life long ago. I know that when I put away sin, my fear of what others think about me, and even my varied life experiences, when I gaze into the Word of truth and apply it to my life I shall know more than ever before who I was made to be.

     Who am I really? I am a child of God made to reflect His image. I was made a little lower than the Heavenly beings and I was clothed with glory and honor. I was made to be in fellowship with God and to draw other men into that fellowship by my life. I am who the word of God says I am regardless of what the world, the flesh, and the devil tell me I am.

… And if you will accept it THROUGH CHRIST so are you!

Pastor Wrinkle’s Corner: The End


1. Tell me what it mean in your own words to be born again




2.  Tell me why you would want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit



Tonight we are finishing up the Book of ___________________.

We are covering the __________________ part of the book or the part that has yet to happen.

In Your groups: Read Revelation 20:11- 22:21

Discuss what you think the end of time looks like. Who do you believe you will see there? Why?





In your small groups tonight you talked about the end of __________ and Heaven. Now we are going to talk about the judgment that leads up to the wonderful time in Heaven.

The judgment of Earth is yet to ______________ and we don;t really know when it will happen.

It takes seven years and is three ___________ of seven judgments.

It is all kicked off by the rapture of the church. Tell me in your own words what that is.



Seven seal judgments:








Seven Trumpet judgments:








Seven Bowl judgments:








After this comes the ____________________ reign of Christ and then the Battle of ______________________ and then eternity.

This has been the story of God’s bargains with mankind.

Do you accept the bargain?


Psalm 36

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Dear Readers, These were taken just after the string of thunderstorms that came through MA last week. How nature can bring such destruction and such beauty together I do not understand. It seems to be only another indicator of the “creation groaning in eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God.”


Passion: Dits and Fratz

     Theatrical productions are put together in stages: casting, read through, character development, rehearsal, set build, tech, dress  and run. Most of these phases also have component pieces they are broken into. With a set build for instance there is the design , the construction, painting and the final touch-ups which my sister calls “dits and fratz”.

     “Dits and fratz” is the fine tuning of a set: Hanging curtains in fake windows, fluffing pillows, hanging pictures on the walls, you know, all the stuff that makes the suspension of disbelief easier for an audience.

    Ditsing and fratzing is always the last part of set build. After all you can’t very well hang  pictures on a wall that hasn’t yet been constructed can you?

    Now I dits and fratz with the best of ’em. After all it doesn’t take much to dust an end table or fold a throw. Sometimes  the crew will even let me slap a coat of paint on the wall once it’s up as long as it doesn’t have to look too pretty. That however is the limit of my set build ability. Set carpenters usually send me for the coffee or the pizza when it comes time to break out the power tools (maybe its the story about trying to install a toilet with a pipe cutter that gets to them).

     My point is, I need the carpenters to do their work before I can dits or fratz. I have to wait for them to finish their job if I want my work to stand under the pain of scrutiny. I get that when it comes to building a set.  So often I forget it when it comes to my Christianity.

     Jesus said “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:3,4 NLT

        Apart from Jesus I can do nothing! Oh, how I want to deny the fact that all my work…my “very important” ministry is essentially just dits and fratz in the scheme of kingdom building. I want to be noticed. I want people to applaud me. I want the credit. So I start ditsing and fratzing before God even comes up with a design for the stage.

       I tell God how I’ve got it all figured out. I start hanging my event posters and setting up chairs for my “awesome” ministry programs thinking that the work is the point. I forget that God hasn’t even started giving directions for the set build never mind  a solid foundation of anointing for the ministry to hang on.

       I was meditating on these verses this morning when God whispered in my ear “This is the point. This is the most effective place of ministry. Much of your work is just a context for you to pray in. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

     Man what a heavy revvy! Most of my years as a minister I have considered prayer the thing you do so that the really important ministry work can be blessed of God. Now I am beginning to see that the ministry work is the thing I do so that the really important prayers can be directed and lifted up to God!

     I am not negating the importance of a minister’s labor. Preaching, charity, visitation is all necessary. Yet I have done the job long enough to know that in and of themselves these things are just dits and fratz helping people with a temporary suspension of disbelief. When God gets involved through the prayers of one of his saints, though, disbelief goes out the window all together and lives are changed for eternity.

     I’d say its time for less ditsing and fratzing. I’m off to pray!

The Gatherings

     Last time I led a devotion with our worship team, we began by sharing needs: One was in deep financial need, another  faces the end of marriage, several are living with severe health issues, others face difficulty with children, or jobs. In short, not one of us was without a deep spiritual challenge.

    God had given me Philippians 1:6 to share.

“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Phil. 1:6

     When we finished praying for one another we turned immediately to the business of lifting our voices in worship to the One True God, the One who had promised to complete His good work in us.

     I have seen a great gathering of the forces of evil in the realm of the spirit. If ever I passed things off as just bad luck or coincidence I am not doing it anymore. I am far too aware that the church has an enemy who is building his strength and pouring it out strategically against the church in these, his last days.

     But I am also seeing a great gathering of the saints of God in concert prayer to face down this enemy. Worship was not deterred that night by the fact that enemy bombs were dropping into our midst as if we were London during the Blitz. We kept on. We are keeping on. I see the body drawing together. Maybe it’s not exactly a multitude but it is enough to quench the fiery darts of Old SlewFoot.

      I see a church gathering  victorious. Against the backdrop of the incoming darkness, the army of light will shine. We will know our God and understand His ways, because we will know the Word!

     I am going back to the prophets tomorrow and I will finish the work I started in “Like Men of Issachar”. This enemy is not going to keep me from God’s appointed purposes.

    What challenges do you face as you serve God?

The Branches of Men Part 2

     My son is taking a Victorian Novels class in college. So when he calls we often talk about the latest book he is reading. He just started Tess Of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Somehow today as we got talking about the class we went off track to discuss our blogging and ended up in a conversation about J.R.R. Tolkien (heady conversations really).

     Anyway that led  us to the topic of the future race of men you and I have been talking about in these last few blogs. Tolkien’s books discover many races of creatures: elves and  orcs, dragon and hobbits and oh yeah three kinds of men. The wizards or the Maier are a race of immortal humanoids. The Dunedin are a race of men, mortal but very long-lived. Finally there are the race of “middle men” ordinary men with shorter life spans.

     I see three races of men in the Millenium. Those who rule and reign with Christ, we spoke of in our first blog on this subject. These men and women will have glorified human bodies immortal and filled with power.

    But there is a second group of men, alluded to in Scripture, which corresponds to Tolkien’s Dunedin.

     “No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.” Isa. 65:22 NIV

     I believe something is going to happen in the Millenium which restores mankind’s ability to live long and prosper, so to speak. Something in the atmosphere changes, something in the water…something to make it like it was in the beginning. You know Adam lived 828 years. Methuselah lived to be 969. I believe that there will be a race of men who while not immortal will have lives that go on for centuries and centuries. Why do I believe it? Well because the Bible says there will be such a race  in Isaiah 65. Now this is one of those fun-house mirror things I talked about three blogs ago. We can’t really tell for sure what we are looking at. The image is kind of blurry but I really don’t think Isaiah is talking about the people who come back to rule and reign with Christ in Revelation 20:4,because those people will have been resurrected and its pretty clear according to I Cor. 15 they will then have incorruptible and immortal bodies. How can something immortal and incorruptible die? I don’t think it can.

    So who are these long-lived mortals? Hmm not really sure… Maybe they are people who lived through the Tribulation but didn’t take the mark of the beast or end up getting whacked by an earthquake or a hundred pound hail stone. Maybe they are children born to those who rule and reign with Christ (can they still have kids?)

    Anyway what we do know about them is that they are blessed.

    “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. ” Isa. 65:23,24 NIV

      The mysteries of the Millenium intrigue me. I long to discover that day for myself and see if what I have thought all these years on this side is really how it will be or will it look entirely different?

     Now for the third branch of the race of men? Can you guess who they are?

The Mystery of the Millenium

   What does it mean to reign?

    From the prophecies given to Daniel  we know that the time of AntiChrist’s reign on Earth and the subsequent period of the planetary judgment will be seven years.

“He will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. Then as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration,  until the end that has been decreed is poured out on this defiler.” Dan. 9:27 (NLT)

     The prophets point to this coming “Day of the Lord” with  absolute certainty. It is coming and according to the prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments our world is set for this seven-year period to arrive shortly.

    But what lies beyond this time of tribulation? The prophets also speak to that. The time beyond the judgment of Earth is divided, by the Bible, into two periods. The first is called the Thousand Year Reign. The second is called New Heaven and New Earth (see Rev. 18-22).

      The Thousand Year Reign is a period shrouded in mystery. We see it in Scripture but we see it as though looking through a fun-house mirror. The whole of it is twisted and bent out of proportion. I can only tell you what I think I see. But that is enough to excite me to service for my King!

     I know it is a thousand years long. I know that in that time those who have followed Jesus will be co-rulers with Christ over the Earth.

     ” Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the word of God. And I saw the souls of those who had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Rev.20:4 (NLT)

    What does it mean to you to reign with Christ? Reign is such a loaded word. To me it means to have authority but not just over men. It means to have authority over all the creation as I was originally meant to.

     “For you made us only a little lower than God, and you crowned us with glory and honor. You put us in charge of everything you made, giving us authority over all things–the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.” Psalm 8:5-8 (NLT)

     I will swim with the dolphins in the ocean and the great whales. They shall carry me from one shore to another on their backs. I shall ride upon the lion and the zebra across the great plains and they shall keep me warm in the cool of the savannah nights. I will call forth the winds and they will obey. I will pray for rain and it will come to water my gardens. Now that is really “Reinventing the We’ll”!

    The communion between my God and me will be completely restored. Being perfected, I will be always in His will. This means that every prayer I utter will be answered. I will never wonder again if I am off track or praying wrong. I will know my God and He will know me face to face and the communion Adam had will be mine somehow.

    In that I will be able to tend my Eden as Adam tended his. At my command the plants will grow. The beasts of my forest will not fear me and I will not fear them for that curse which was given after the flood will be removed. I see the Thousand Year Reign as Lewis’ Narnia or as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, beautiful, idyllic!

     There is much more the Bible reveals in shadow about the Thousand Year Reign. We will say more on that later. In the mean time tell me what you think comes after the Tribulation.

Jeremiah: Life Is Death. Death Is Life

     I heard the voice of my Shepherd this morning as I prayed.

     “I am a God of resurrection. I am a God of life.”

      I wondered at the distinction He made between resurrection and life. He made it in the Bible, too, now that I think of it.

     “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.'” John 11:25 NIV

     “What’s the difference Lord?” I asked.

     In answer to my question I heard the Spirit within me say, “Resurrection is not just about the bringing of life. It is also about the removal of death.”

     I have to admit I had never thought of it in quite that way before and the ramifications of it stunned me, particularly in light of our current discussions on judgment. You might not see it yet. Allow me to explain myself and my line of thinking a little further.

     God is a God of life and of resurrection. He does not just bring life or perform resurrection. He is life. He is resurrection. When He walks into a room life follows Him. Resurrection emanates from Him. Death is removed just by His being in a place.

     Now I am going to say something which will make some of you recoil in disagreement. Ready? Everyone wants life. Most don’t want resurrection.

      Before you unsubscribe to the blog hear me out! We want to live. We just don’t think much about God’s attempts to eliminate death from our lives, our families or our culture. If removing death were just a matter of obliterating cancer or heart attacks we’d be more than happy to let God perform it. But the tendrils of death are twined much deeper into the fabric of the world than most of us acknowledge. You see sin and death are con-joined twins and death is not the dominant sibling; It’s just the least likeable.  It is sin that brings death and in order for resurrection to take place death must go. It follows, then, sin has to go with it. And that is the part of resurrection which no one wants. That is why neither Judah nor Israel would hear the prophets, and depart from sin, even when the writing was on the wall about God’s coming judgment!

   Here is what God told Jeremiah as he was preparing the man of God for ministry, “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.” Jeremiah 7:27-29 NIV

     You see God’s judgment and wrath are a part of his resurrection nature. Judgment comes to a people who will not allow God to remove death because they will not allow God to remove sin. Most frightening is the culture that loses the ability to recognize the difference between life and death, the culture that begins to say “Life is death. Death is life.”

    I was watching a television interview today with Ricky Martin. For those of you who missed it, he just “came out”. In the interview he said he had been on a spiritual journey and on that spiritual journey he came to the conclusion that God didn’t mistakes; So he had decided that his own homosexuality was to be accepted and embraced. I nearly wept. I do agree with Ricky. God doesn’t make mistakes. But God didn’t make him homosexual. Sin took Ricky’s good creation and warped it making Ricky into a sinner like the rest of us.     Sadly he no longer sees it that way. Like so many others in our culture he is beginning to call what is death life and what is life death. He proclaimed that being a gay man was “wonderful”.

     Homosexuality is just one of the issues we Americans really don’t want God to deal with in our nation. We protect it like a mother wolf defending her cubs from a bear. Really it’s no different from the immorality of idolatry which Israel and Judah committed. They defended their right to worship as they wanted in the same way.

     But God is a God of resurrection. Resurrection for Him is not a choice it’s a result of His existence and so He will have it. He will remove death eventually and with it sin. Those who stand to defend sin will be moved out of the way and sin will be done away with.

      Now some will say ” Well if resurrection is not a choice for God, sin is not a choice for me. It is just the way I am.” God made a way, He sent His son Jesus to not only forgive our sin but to give us strength to change from our sin and become children of God. This is what John meant when he wrote, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12 NIV

     For this to be true, though, we have to get out of the way of God’s resurrection power and let him remove sin and death. We have seen the ramifications of not allowing the Resurrection to do His work peaceably before. May our God have mercy.

Joel: Great and Terrible

     “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions .In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike. “I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth–blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood-red before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives.” Joel 2: 28-31 NLT

    ” Great and terrible”. Now there are two descriptive words that we seldom see used together in a sentence.

     “How was the party Frank?”

    “Oh you know great…and terrible.”

     The two don’t seem to go together do they? A careful read leaves us scratching our head. Well which is it Joel great or terrible? It can’t be both.

     Honestly most of us just gloss over the words and settle for “Jesus is coming. I get to go to Heaven! It’s all good.”

     But words are important and God is trying to tell us something about that day. The day of the Lord will be “great”  that is to say”gadowl”. I think  a better translation for our modern ears would be “intense”. When we say “great” today we mean “super” or “very good”. God doesn’t mean that. The Day of the Lord will not be a good day for God or planet Earth. God does not delight in the death of people, even wicked people. Lots of people are going to die that day at the hands of God in judgment.  Further it will be a “terrible” day, a “yare” day. This word we sort of get. The New Living Translation interprets the word as “terrible”. Only God isn’t saying it’s going to be a terrible day like some rainy Monday. He means it will be a terrifying day a day that inspires the dread you feel in the moments before Freddy Krueger massacres his next innocent victim. 

     Revelation tells us a little more about the Day of the Lord:

     “And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These miracle-working demons caused all the rulers of the world to gather for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God Almighty….And they gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne of the Temple in heaven, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And there was an earthquake greater than ever before in human history. The great city of Babylon split into three pieces, and cities around the world fell into heaps of rubble. And so God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds  fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the hailstorm, which was a very terrible plague.” Rev. 16: 13-21 NLT

    Great and terrible indeed. The Scyfy channel isn’t far off in its tales of woe, dread and planetary calamity. Al Gore has it right when he talks about coming superstorms. They’ve just got the source wrong. It’s not science it’s Jesus! It’s judgment!

     Further it’s not far off. The time is at hand. You might ask how I know that. Go ahead ask.

     “How do you know JE?”

     O.K. I’ll tell you how. I’m alive that’s how. I am a practicing Pentecostal and I am sign of the coming end of days.

    Joel said, “In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike” ( Joel 2:29 NLT). In other words in the days just before judgment God’s Spirit will be poured out for everyone to receive. That outpouring is the pentecostal baptism evidenced by the speaking of tongues according to the apostle Peter. Listen to Peter’s words from Acts Chapter 2.

        “On the day of Pentecost…everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,] as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability….Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.  Some of you are saying these people are drunk. It isn’t true! It’s much too early for that. People don’t get drunk by nine o’clock in the morning. No, what you see this morning was predicted centuries ago by the prophet Joel: `In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy….” Acts 2:1,4,14-18 NLT

     You already know the rest of the prophecy. I have to say that the return of Pentecostalism to the church in the 20th century is perhaps the second greatest sign of the approaching Judgment Day.  The greatest sign is…well that’s another post. Suffice it to say we are close. Let us pray that  work of the church will be effective as Jesus second coming draws near!