The Bible comes from One who is transcendent to us - as high as the heavens are above the earth. For those wise enough to discern and steer clear of the dark has God said ? influences and horrific bondages, be enriched by the following devotional reads, especially in light of Jesus Christ being the Way, the Truth and the Life!
1 John 1 2 John 2 ... etc. ... 20 John 20 21 John 21 22 I John 1 23 I John 2 24 I John 3 25 I John 4 26 I John 5 27 II John 28 III John 29 Matthew 24 30 Matthew 25 31 Mark 13
1 Luke 1 2 Luke 2 ... etc. ... 23 Luke 23 24 Luke 24 25 I Thes. 4 26 I Thes. 5 27 I Cor. 15 28 II Thes. 2 29 John 14
1 Matthew 1 2 Matthew 2 ... etc. ... 27 Matthew 27 28 Matthew 28 29 I Timothy 4 30 II Timothy 3 31 II Timothy 4
Father, may the milk and meat of Your Word nurture us such that we are prepared, each and every day - equipped to be Your fruitful Ambassadors in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. May You be honored and praised as we are about Your Kingdom work of Gospel proclamation and Discipleship. THANK YOU for the honor and privilege to be graciously extended a part of this significant service opportunity! May we do it motivated by what motivated You to secure it - salvation - in the first place: LOVE for needy mankind! In Christ Jesus we pray. Amen
CB1B - January, 2020
Just Sharing ...
The love of Jesus Christ compels us.
As we walk in His grace under the direction of His precious Holy Spirit, we care about folks to the degree we avoid false- hope flattery. Will we endure in loving people to the extent of being willing to offer both biblical exhortation and corrective warning? YES, we will, for we wish to be better than simply nice.
As a caring parent shows love through counsel - sometimes in the form of you should (s) and/or you shouldn't (s) (for example, "Don't play with fire, you may get burned") - so too does our heavenly Father offer Counsel which includes prohibitions. "Don't follow after false gods." "Don't be deceived by all the false ways of these end of days." Indeed, His you should nots are love driven. God is good. Thank You holy Father!
He also offers you should Counsel. "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." "[You should] see to it that no one deceives you." (repetition for the sake of emphasis) "Love in action, not simply in word."
As God graciously bestows caring Counsel, so too do we offer this loving Counsel - not our counsel, mind you, but His Counsel.
But you know what? It's up to each one of us to accept it ... or reject it (and let's not fail to discern: ignoring it is rejecting it!).
Here's a worthy reality check ...
God's Word will be fulfilled, including the reality that all will one day give account to Him. Remember, God is not mocked - Galatians 6.
So we offer this (His!) we should conclusion:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." Ecc. 12:13, 14 (NKJV)
"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotton of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has over- come the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" I John 4:20 - 5:5 (NKJV)
CB1C - January, 2020
On One Pressing Thing To Ponder
Things are good ... at least some of them!
Philippians 4:8 encourages God's people in Jesus Christ to meditate on certain things. One Bible topic which includes all the things (true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report) is the love ofGod.
Recently, upon contemplating more personally on this thing - the love of God for ME - I had a (positive) melt down. His love for me (as I took the time to be quiet before Him and consider His active, I Cor. 13:4-8a love) brought tears to my eyes, to say the least. His loving presence floored me.
Perhaps YOU need a like blessing.
If you're willing, make time to sit at Christ Jesus' feet and ponder His love ... for YOU.
Consider including in your meditations the following Truths/truths:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 - NKJV Reread this verse substituting "the world" with the first person, singular pronoun: "For God so loved ME that He gave ..."
"How deep the Father's love for us [me], how vast beyond all measure; that He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure." Stuart Townend
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 - NKJV Personalize this precious passage: "But God demonstrates His own love toward ME ..."
"O the deep, deep, love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless free! Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me." Samuel Francis
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." I John 3:1 - NKJV
Father, I praise You once again for the recent sacred experience You graciously extended, one during which Your love lifted me. May others be deeply touched as they spend sweet time with You too. In Jesus Christ I pray, amen.
CB1D - January, 2020
DON'T Just Leave It To Imagination!
America, IT'S TIME to step up to the plate and further do our part!
You've most likely heard the lyrics, I can only imagine.
Imagine the past three years without the opposition we've suffered - and I do mean suffer! - from the political enemies of our great nation. How much more good would we have seen, both nationally and internationally as we continue helping both ourselves and other countries?
But it's time to ACT on what we know to be the case: Let's value our VOTE to the extent of actually voting, voting to help UN-Americans out of office so as to to get back to the beauties of one nation under God ... a country that is true to its name: UNITED states. Let's see these who are hurting US quieted by not extending to them the privilege of further representation due to their failure to live out the oath they took upon entering their assignment.
Let's see (by doing our part) all three governmental arms of our nation back to health. Begin, even now, actively encouraging a perspective toward cleaning up the darkness presently manifesting itself. Be a part of allowing LIGHT to overwhelm darkness. Do so simply by action ... YOUR action. May we the people retain the form of republic we have so enjoyed since its inception.
Father YHVH God, thank You for outlining, in Your Word, glorious and sound principles for a society of justice, mercy and grace. May we do our part to live out Your principles in our setting of government here in the USA. In Jesus Christ's name, amen.
CB2A - February, 2020
On One Other Pressing Thing To Ponder
The present, end-of-days landscape, in part, looks something like this: The 2nd Wave
Another way of describing and discerning current global culture, in the context of pertinent thematic Bible data, is this: End Time Bible Themes
Yet another way of highlighting our present state, one which includes crucial chonological Bible data, is this: End Time Bible Chronology
In conclusion, because there truly are major problems within many eschatological (end- time) views today - Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 - we offer the following end time proposal for your prayerful and exegetical consideration: End Time Bible Chart
CB2B - February, 2020
A Fair Request ...
Since we entered into formal ministry in 2000 we have tried to approach addressing false matters in this way: We contact those who are directly tied to the view we are confronting when we can find ways to contact them. We have been writing to individuals and ministries (respectfully raising concerns as the Lord leads us) before taking the matter public, especially if the matter is an end-time teaching in conflict with the explicit data in God's Word.
We believe this fair approach honors some biblical principles, especially as it relates to treating Family members and others in ways consistent with Bible Truths. To date, very few have re- sponded to our communications. We won't list those who we have contacted here. Instead, we'd like to ask for similar treatment from Family in Christ:
We ask for (what we believe to be) fair treatment from those who contend against us. PLEASE, if you have response comments, questions, etc. about the end-time view we propose, contact us before going public with your criticisms. We are most approach- able and have clearly posted means to get in contact with us. We ask this for multiple reasons, one of which includes genuine care for those who respond. Here's an example:
Some have misrepresented The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering position over the years. IF these folks had simply contacted us and discussed some of their concerns before going more vocal (public) about their opposition, some of the issues would have been dropped (due to faulty understanding of the position we espouse) and no embarrassment would have occurred.
FACT: To date, we have responsed to everyone* who has taken the time to contact us. This, too, is factual: There has not been ONE explicit Bible-based rebuttal to the biblical end-time position we put forth for prayerful and exegetical consideration (not that has been communicated to us, anyway). A few have written and we have responded. If you don't agree with these factual claims, please contact us so we can talk it over. "Thank you" in advance.
* This does not include the many emails we receive from others who write to us in languages other than English. This also does not in- clude solicitations appealing for our use of services others provide. The word "everyone" includes those who write to us with questions, comments - even criticisms - about the message(s) we herald and the end-time position we promote.
If needed, tag, you're it.
CB3A - March, 2020
Q: Do we accepttwisters ?
A definition of the term twister is needed in order to proceed. We'll highlight two of the main definitions in this blog.
1. a person who twists (namely, for our purposes here, one who distorts or perverts a defined definition, plan or viewpoint) ;
2. a tornado or cyclone
In response to the question above ...
A: We accept the existence of tornados/cyclones. We also accept the existence of those who distort.
A second important matter on acceptance raises yet another question. "WHY do we accept twisters?" Why do we act as if we're okay with the actions of distortion or perversion? So we now re-ask our initial questions above, this time with an additional emphasis:
Why do we accept or put up with distortions which have HUGE consequence?
As the phrase goes, a picture paints 1,000 words.
I'll use the picture of fruit coming from a main paradigm (a holistic way of viewing things) being lived out today. I'll do so using the political landscape ... after all, it's the season!
One political party especially builds its worldview opinion on relativism, a huge trait of the Postmodern perspective. As a result, TONS of opinions are running around because , as Protagoras put it, truth is relative, it's only a matter of opinion.
The FRUIT of the Democrat's foundation is destroying them today. TOO MANY VIEWPOINTS !
The other political party, while accepting aspects of the Postmodern paradigm, hasn't jumped in with both feet and has been able to avoid, to a greater degree than the Democrats, the chaos of this most destructive attitude.
[ Moving on to applying Daniel 9 - that is, OUR being willing to confess our own contemporary worldview or pop-Christian, perspective sins ... ]
But here's where it gets MOST sad given the twisters have sold Postmodern relativism to many in churches today. This relative half-truth perspective is not only ruining the secular world but is also affecting the church (note: I use a small "c" intentionally).
"What's YOUR view of the passage?" some ask. It may seem nice to approach Bible inquiry in this way but do we discern the fruits of applying a relative truth hermeneutic (approach to Bible interpretation) to Bible Truth? Many do not. Yes, this fruit - too many viewpoints! - is being used by darkness to undermine God's Truths in radical ways today.
As the Democratic Party is in trouble due to the fruit of their own worldview - Postmodern deception - so too are many churches without a sound Truth Foundation because they have given God's Word over to opinion. The fruit of this error is only beginning to manifest itself. It will be even more destructive in the years to come.
And once again, IF we'd but only listen, we'd find transcendent Counsel. Judges 21:25 reads this way (ESV): "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
[ Our present relative fad has briefly popped up in the cultures of mankind for millennia. ] But there's hopeful correction: The Word of God graces Truth seekers with insight concerning this current cultural affair! ]
So here's our soon-coming* fork in our road :
Will we listen to a new king who will capture the loving allegiance of most of the world due to his charisma and supernatural mani- festations? OR will we bow to the King of kings and honor Jesus Christ and His written Word - the Bible - as our authority for faith and life-action practice?
In this truth-is-relative day, many will follow the way of the antichrist and be deceived by multiple rounds of twisters. Our Lord has fore- warned us about this - see Matthew 24:4, 5, 11 & 23-26, not to mention other passages!
May we exercise wisdom from on high and seek YHVH God's insights on these contemporary matters. May we do so for our best interests, for the best interests of others, and, ultimately, for His glory and praise.
* A vacuum now exists. People are hungry for Truth. Will they seek it from Creator God OR from darkness? God's people need to, as love compels us, boldly speak His eternally significant Truths.
CB3B - March, 2020
In Response ...
We've received a few comments toward this end: In the form of a question, "Why have you slowed (cut back on) the posting of your new commentary blogs ?" [ A couple comments, by way of connotation, included this sentiment: We miss these blogs because they offer helpful / insightful discipleship. ]
Our answer in response to the question above:
We continue writing blogs which, by God's grace, do discern culture in light of Bible Truths BUT we no longer post some of these materials on the Internet. We do share the new, un- posted, pertinent messages in a personal context when we make our live presentations at churches, schools, small groups, etc. in the context of pulpit messages, seminars, conferences, (adult) Sunday or Sabbath School series, mid-week Bible studies, etc.
IF you would like to glean these culturally relevant, cutting-edge, Bible-based insights, simply contact our ministry and ask us to come your way (for more personal ministry with you). We'd sincerely be more than happy to prayerfully consider doing so if you are located within the continental USA. Thank you in advance for understanding our travel-area limitations.
Email our ministry field director, Dr. Jon Swanson, at email@example.com for more information.
Note: Because of our unusual day (e.g., the growing threat of emails failing to get to us), you may wish to assure your message is getting through to us by snail-mailing us directly at:
Endurance Ministries P.O. Box 92098 Portland, OR 97292
Until then, enjoy our Online gifts (for now) - posted on our CurrentMatters.org "gift" page.
CB3C - March, 2020
God's Gracious Insights ... The Warfare Of POSTURING
Branches within our (USA) government are further painting a picture,one using the current COVID-19 pandemic!
They are, in various ways pertinent to their sphere of influence, seeking to communicate this:
Citizens, lean on us, we'll take care of you.
Included with that chocolate carrot - hidden as it is - is the fine print of their contractual obligations of those who would sign in ...
You need to comply when we need to implement the we'll-take-care-of-you actions.
Endurance Ministries would like to suggest a different path:
Instead of complying to the extent of (one day) compromising essentials of Bible faith, let's take the intiative on our own God- given authority. Let's take care of ourselves and our immediate communities of which we're a part.
A portion of the present reality picture includes smaller battle-field efforts. For example: State authority voices are being further elevated; church authority voices are being further diminished. Hmmmmmmmmm
Note: Future discernment today ...
The antichrist will one day use the conditioned attitudes of governmental dependence to further secure his attempt at global rule.
Creator, Savior and Lord God, help us better discern our day in light of Your eternal Truths forever settled in heaven. May You help us do so for our best interests, for the big-picture interests of the lost, and ultimately for Your eternal glory and praise. In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen.
P.S. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been hit by - one way (illness or loss) or another (affect upon personal and/or family employment) - the Coronavirus.
P.P.S. We are thankful to the Lord for our readers. One suggested we add the following (knowing our hearts) ...
"Please know that we do not criticize/judge those who accept various and varying help from the govt in this time. It is important that we are set up in the best possible way to deal with the virus and the economic and vocational fallout that has and may well continue to bring hardship on many. My counsel is this, 'Do not be in a position where relying upon govt aid is necessary.' This can and should be a 'trial' that we learn from. Maybe ask yourself these questions: 'When this happens again, or per- haps even something much worse, will I be prepared? How can I prepare?
What steps do I need to take to protect my family and serve in generous but prudent ways to my neighbors?'"
Once again, thanks for sharing dear readers! We love you too.
CB3D - March, 2020 (Posted just before 10:00 AM - PST - on 3/26)
Some FACTUAL Observations ...
In responding to the COVID-19 challenge, governmental authorities have put out guidelines. For example ...
Our observations and concerns here at Endurance Ministries:
The "essential" services and facilities list allows for exemptions from the STAY AT HOME order. These exceptions do NOT include religious activity - at all. The documents are silent on the matter of spiritual practice in any gathering context - small group gatherings included.
Our question for the governing authorities:
On what grounds do you limit the expression of religious practice?
Some - as our governor has communicated , for example - say the reason for our stay-at-home order is to protect our elderly and general population. Okay, great reasons, but surely there is much more to this matter. We raise one growingly pressing concern here ...
In our county - Benewah County - there's not ONE case of COVID-19 registered (at the time of the posting of this blog). No, this does not mean the virus is NOT present in our county. It does mean, however, that the virus threat is NOT as great as in "hot spots" across our nation. (Dr. Marc Siegel nails this matter when he suggests focusing greater restrictions in hot spots while at the same time loosening restrictions in less-threat areas - see March 25, Fox News article for specifics.)
In light of our concerns, we respectfully observe and ask:
WHY are church services (gatherings of any size) now not allowed in areas where there is much less threat at present? And WHY don't you - governing authority voices which represent all national commitments - allow groups other than yourselves and those groups YOU deem "essential" to be granted stay-at-home exceptions? You've neglected a HUGE populace: the Christian community.
WHY do you decree - you've given an "order" - as a VIOLATION, a gathering of less than 10 individuals for spiritual ministry purposes? (The State of Idaho now restricts even small group meetings by their new stay-at-home order, especially given church meetings are NOT exempt - at the very least, they are not listed in the "essential services" list.)
FAMILY IN JESUS CHRIST :
This present COVID-19 training event is a precursor to even greater government threats to our God-given freedoms.
Do you recall our recent blog (CB3A;20 above) on "twisters" ? So as to avoid being misrepresented by some who would twist what we're seeking to say here, we include these clarifications:
1. We are NOT belittling the need to address this viral threat; 2. We don't reject common-sense preventative measures like "social distancing." What we do take exception to are some of the governmental extremes! Case in point:
As in Idaho, we find these extremes currently in place: Stay at home Gatherings, even ones practicing precautions, are closed The list of "essential services" do NOT include faith expressions - at all.
So Family, here are some biblical principles paramount at this time:
~ Prayer to YHVH Creator God for His intervention on our behalf ~ Ministry in His name - both Gospel and Discipleship efforts ~ Loving Him supremely and others as ourselves
In closing, the governmental extremes above, especially in areas where the threat is low, are in conflict with our God-given rights, our Constitutional freedoms, and some of our personal spiritual convictions.
So where do we go from here?
Citizen Compliance? Civil Disobedience?
or perhaps some of our national governing officials can bring better BALANCE to their orders by reconsidering their present position.
NOTE: Our free-to-you Polycarp DVD - just help us with postage - so perfectly touches upon fair, peaceful options. Email us for your DVD copy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow-up posted on 3/28/20 …
We continue in prayer for the effects of the Coronavirus. We are also offering help to our fellow mankind when asked to do so. May God grant us wisdom as we seek to respond correctly.
On Friday, 3/27/20, the State of Idaho added the following (“additional guidance”) to the list of exceptions to the stay at home order, and I quote:
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE Updated March 27, 2020
Churches Question: May clergy or church members get together to stream or record religious services?
Answer: Yes. The recording or streaming should be done by the minimum number of individuals necessary, following Social Distancing Requirements. I am grateful to Idaho’s religious leaders for caring for the spiritual needs of their congregations during this challenging time.
Please keep in mind, dear Church, Idaho’s “Order to self-isolate” given two days prior – on March 25, 2020 – is still in effect. On page 4 of the document we find this, and I quote:
“6. All people in Idaho shall immediately cease hosting or participating in all public and private gatherings and multi-person activities for social, spiritualand recrea- tional purposes, regardless of the number of people involved, except as specifically identified in Section 8. Such activity includes, but is not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities. This prohibition also applies to planned wedding and funeral events, with the excep- tion that funerals are permitted so long as they occur outside and comply with the Social Distancing Require- ments as defined in Section 8.j.” (bold added to high- light our areas of concern)
This raises additional questions which the Body of Christ needs to address in preparation for future governmental restrictions of our spiritual practices. This includes crucial definitions of terms and phrases like “fellowship,” “educa- tion,” “discipleship,” “Gospel activity,” “Outreach efforts,” etc. All of the said events immediately above especially occur in the context of gathering, which, according to the Stay-Home order, are now prohibited.
Something to think and pray about, even discuss together.
We raise this concern because our “spiritual needs” extend far beyond the viewing of recorded services, needs which are outlined in God’s authoritative revelation to us.
May the precious God-given guidelines be acknowledged as such: They are prescribed by God, not man. This includes obedience to governing voices when they are not in conflict with the Word of God as given in the 66 books of the Bible.
And how shall we live in future days when the global community crosses the line which we cannot cross?
CB3E - March, 2020
A CALL To Humble Confession
In light of Psalm 119:89, 160 … In light of II Timothy 3:16, 17 and II Peter 1:20, 21 … In light of contemporary false teachers who reject God’s eternal principles – including the one below … In light of the need of the hour …
II Chronicles 7:13, 14 reads
[ God speaking ]
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (NKJV)
We discern many – not all ! – of the ungodly will continue in rebellion against God given the deceptive bondage by which they are presently held captive, BUT let US (those of us in Christ Jesus) not make the same mistake of rejecting His call to repent.
Instead of blaming God for some of our present global concerns, we His people need to follow in the footsteps of Daniel – see Daniel 9.
And know this dear readers:
God is not asking for temporary lip-service apology like we witnessed by many after 911. He’s asking us to follow the examples of those in Nehemiah 8 (as opposed to those persisting in the sinful Jer. 6:16-21 perspective [of verses 16c and 17c]).
And, if you’re presently an unbeliever:
He’s asking you to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Ninevites – see Jonah 3 and Click Here for Good News.
The loving judgment of God is upon the earth, providing circumstances/opportunities to turn from our wicked ways. Even in this loving discipline, our God is good … and great … and greatly to be praised.
May each of us respond to the love of God in ways most beneficial to our eternal souls. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, unto Your glory and praise, amen.
You can find our CURRENT 2020 commentary blog posts here: