Monday, March 30 2015
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9
Psalm Sunday is the celebration of the triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, in which He fulfilled the prophesies previously spoken of Him. The King of all kings rode on a donkey into the city and people laid down their garments and palm branches before Him signifying the victory of salvation that He was bringing as He entered the city.
In light of this celebration let us not forget why He came into the city in the first place, and even more importantly, has He come to you with His saving grace and forgiven you of your sins and iniquities? We can get carried away by the celebration and miss the reason Jesus came to the earth, and that was to bring salvation to mankind who had rebelled and sinned against a holy God. This whole week should spotlight His act of mercy as He journeyed to the cross to shed His blood for us to inherit eternal life and to be set free from the bondage of sin and eternal death!
Don't let the historical facts and dead rituals blind you to the truth of why Jesus came and what it means to be born again and washed in His blood, in order for you to be saved from your sins. People get all weepy as they view the spectacles of endless passion plays, but miss the main point of the whole week, and that is the question: are you saved and forgiven of your sins and transgressions, or are you just having an emotional response that will fade in time and with it, profit you nothing in regards to true salvation.
Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the world: "Say to the daughter of Zion, surely your salvation is coming; behold His reward is with Him and His work before Him.' " Isaiah 62:10,11
JESUS IS THE WAY
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
Contrary to popular belief and the opinions of worldly minded people, Jesus is the only way of salvation for man. Even though many religions promote their version of eternal life, none the less, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One to die and shed His blood to make a way for us to inherit His saving grace.
The truth is the way, and the way is in the blood, a new and living way inaugurated through the flesh of the Lord Jesus. Jesus entered Jerusalem to change the way of salvation from dead works, rituals and animal sacrifices to a way of faith in His death, burial and resurrection in which He died once for all to receive His gift of eternal life. The old temple with it's laws, rituals and old priesthood with it's dead traditions were done away with as the angels tore the veil of separation in two while Jesus died on the cross.
The life is in the blood of the Savior, without which, no one will see the Lord. The perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God was put to death along with our sins and took the punishment for us to whom it was do in order to make a way for us to enter eternal life. By faith and not works we receive the gift of His grace to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, washed in His blood and made to stand righteous in His presence.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25,26
PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness; prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." Luke 3:4-6
John the baptist, was preparing the way of the first triumphal entry of Jesus when He began His ministry to bring salvation to all of mankind by His sacrificial death and to build His church. The Lamb of God appeared on the scene to destroy the works of the devil and to deliver man from eternal death and damnation.
The message John preached was very different than what we hear today in our comfortable cathedrals of complacency as he railed against the multitudes who were coming to be baptized by him. "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath of God?" No self respecting preacher today would dare say that to a multitude of future tithers because everyone knows you can't build a mega-church by preaching the word of God! John told them that unless they bore fruits of repentance they would be thrown into Hell and in desperation they cried out and said, "What shall we do?"
Multitudes were coming for another dead ritual and got the surprise of their lives when John preached the gospel to them and told them unless they repented of their evil behavior they would suffer the fires of damnation. The truth of the gospel that John preached is the same gospel Jesus preached that brought conviction to the hearts of men, exposing their sins and making a way of salvation for them by repenting and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ!
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word (The Lord Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 3:12-14
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Monday, March 23 2015
For He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. Joel 2:23,24
There are many teachings about the former and latter rain and over the years men of God have explained this to mean that the former rain was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the latter rain is the last outpouring at the end of the age of which I believe is true.
In the natural sense the former rain came at the time of planting in the fall in Israel and the latter rain came in the spring at harvest time, opposite from the west. In the spiritual sense, Jesus was the first fruits having been the first Seed to be planted in the earth, being crucified, buried and then resurrected, signifying the first harvest which produced a great crop of souls. There have been many moves of God in the past two thousand years and the body of Christ has longed for the last outpouring of which I believe is here with the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.
The reason I believe we have come into this last outpouring is the fact of the great signs that we are now experiencing in the sky as Joel prophesied, the four blood moons (two have already occurred) and the solar eclipse we just had on the first day of the first month of the Jewish year, the month of Nissan, the beginning of the latter rain and then the harvest to follow. At the same time the winds of judgment are blowing as the Day of the Lord approaches and with it the awesome fear of the Lord that will ultimately bring repentance and usher in a great harvest of souls.
"And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered." Joel 2:30-32
THE DAY OF THE LORD
Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand: it shall come as destruction from the almighty. Joel 1:15
Judgment day! We have all heard it, the world knows it, and the movies have portrayed it, but what is it and when will it occur? I believe we have been experiencing the beginning of it for years with the rise of sickness, disease and every malady one can possibly dream up, millions have become sick. Drug and alcohol addiction, another scourge that has been sweeping the world, claiming millions of lives and devastating families, not to mention the financial burdens that accompany it.
The prophet Joel explains it as a day of darkness, a day of clouds and thick darkness. No one can deny that the world has begun to sink into the darkest of times with crime, murder, rape and perverted acts of all kinds on the rise. TV, the movies and even cartoons are filled with demons and demonic images and violent content. Our children are consumed with sex, drugs and violence of every form and fashion not to mention access to the Internet and a virtual world of filth and poison. Another atrocity that has provoked the judgment of a holy God is the murder of fifty million unborn children, their little lives snuffed out by greedy murdering devils, promoted by a liberal band of women deceived into thinking that it is right and their choice to kill their babies, even if it is only for birth control!
I believe with the destruction of the twin towers of 911 we entered the advent of terror, not an attack from an enemy to war with, but a form of judgment on a people unrepentant who have rejected and deeply offended the Most High! God sent this same army of terrorists against His own people Israel when they rebelled and sinned against Him and I believe we have done the same thing with our arrogant attitude and rebellious actions. The Trade Towers were a symbol of man's pride, a modern day tower of Babel if you will, the ultimate insult in the face of our heavenly Father!
The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness. The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it? Joel 2:10,11
BLOW THE TRUMPET AND SOUND THE ALARM
"Now, therefore," says the Lord, turn to me with all your heart, with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning." So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:12,13
The Day of the Lord will bring with it terror and violence of all kinds even now beginning to escalate around the world. Persecution will come against the church and many will flee, but others will be purged and cleansed as the terrible judgment irons out the wrinkles of the bride's dress!
Because of such widespread terror around the world and as the economic system collapses, people will be brought to their knees in repentance, crying out for mercy and repenting of their sins. This last powerful wave of God's outpouring will sweep the false prophets, teachers and preachers out of the body of Christ, cleansing her of any man-centered religious nonsense and the ritualistic worship of man. As it was in the beginning those who are truly saved will give all to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
The trumpets are blowing and the judgment is falling as the latter rain begins to water the earth for this one last harvest of souls. Men's hearts will fail for fear of whats coming upon the earth and millions will be swept into God's kingdom, but millions of those who refuse to repent will follow the Beast into eternal damnation and be tormented forever and ever!
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7,8
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Friday, March 06 2015
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult (confined) is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13,14
Two of the world's anthems to my generation proclaiming the way of eternal life; one, the highway that leads to death and damnation, and the other, a minstrel song of ascending the stairway to Heaven. Both songs portray a path leading to eternal life, the question being, which one are you on?
You can take a poll among your friends, relatives, associates and even strangers walking down the street and ask them if they think they will go to Heaven when they die, and unless they are born again, Spirit filled believers they will almost always say, "I hope so!" Their response is because tradition and false teaching has taught them that being good will reward them with eternal life in the glorious portals of Heaven, but that couldn't be farther from the truth or even biblical as this message will attempt to explain. People just like to think that they are good and justify their deeds as something God will someday approve, but they are in for a very rude awakening!
Being good moral upstanding citizens, working hard, being benevolent, attending church one day a week, looks good to the world and your peers, but isn't worth one red cent to purchase your ticket to the stairway that leads to Heaven! Jesus spoke of a broad way and a narrow way that led to eternity, and He was very direct and to the point of how it was to be obtained. First of all there are no good people in Heaven, only saved people who were washed in the blood of Jesus and forgiven of their sins and transgressions. Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life and no one comes before the Father (God) but through Him!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
Jesus warned that in the last days there would be many false prophets and so this has truly come to pass with cults and deranged leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones and so on, but the ones we are to worry about are those who look like sheep! Men who proclaim they know Jesus, but pervert His word and the way of eternal life! The world of modern day Christianity is full of false prophets, self help gurus, and false teachers who water down the Way of salvation so they can build their kingdoms of flesh.
Super Stars, best sellers, mega church pastors and the list goes on and on, of men and women who are using a false, perverted gospel to deceive the multitudes into following them! Who, you say, you know, you listen to them daily on radio and TV begging for money, promising a better life, prosperity and endless wealth if you will only give to them. Millions of unsuspecting sheep have been led to slaughter by their cheap preaching and seductive ploys to gain your heart and as the scripture says, they look like sheep, but inwardly they are wolves!
My people perish for lack of knowledge the Word says, and because people are following men and not Jesus they don't know what His word says, and so they become deceived and a deluding influence blinds them to the truth that is able to set them free! If Jesus, the apostle Paul or even some of the past preachers of old would be allowed to preach today in our comfortable cathedrals of complacency they would empty them with their message of repentance and scare the big tithers to death. Compare the gospel of Jesus to the gospel of today which only asks a simple prayer, when Jesus demanded total allegiance, death to self and a life of submission to the leading of His Spirit!
"I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 23:21,22
THE NARROW WAY OF TRUTH
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
Jesus was approached by a religious leader of the Jews named Nicodemus who came by night for fear he would be seen by his peers and was obviously convicted by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told him that he must be born from above in order to see the kingdom of God and Nicodemus asked Him how he could be born a second time when Jesus explained that he would have to have a spiritual birth. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6
The new birth has several components necessary for one to be saved, the heart must be convicted of sin or be desperate for a life change drawn by the Holy Spirit, confession of sin and repentance in order to receive forgiveness, and by faith one receives the benefit of the shed blood of Jesus to wash away his sin, iniquity and transgressions. As Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, so we too must be crucified with Him, baptized into His death and resurrected into a new creation in Christ! Being born again allows God's Holy Spirit to indwell a person's spirit and to lead them in a new and living way of righteousness, no longer by the works of the law or good deeds but by grace through faith in Him and the finished works of the cross of Christ.
Thousands of people came to Jesus as they do today, looking for signs, wonders, miracles, healing and provision, but only a very few surrender to follow Him in obedience to His Spirit by dying to self and being crucified to the world. By praying the "Sinner's prayer" they hope to receive the benefits of salvation, believing their ticket was punched for Heaven, when in actuality they only muttered a worthless oath never intending to follow Jesus, just as it was in His day when He only had a few hundred sold out believers. So, after hearing this message of having a new life in Christ, what road are you on, the Highway to Hell or the Stairway to Heaven? The choice is yours!
"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Note: The famous "Sinner's Prayer" that we see in Romans 10:9,10 was actually taken from Deuteronomy 30:14-20 that requires a total sell out and not just a prayer to punch one's ticket!