Is it the end of the Church Age? This I’ve been observing for some years. If God wants people to follow church, they will. But the decline in traditional church has been steady, even though there has been an increase in the number of new believers for decades.
What’s going on?
It is the end of the Church Age, I believe. The Age where Christendom dominates the setting of universal values has ended. We see that in Western culture. That which is abhorrent to God as evidenced in scripture has become the celebrated norm. Wrong has become right and right certainly has become wrong. Abortion on demand, LGTB rights been declared and opposing values are considered to be a demonstration of intolerance rather than conviction.
A dear Messianic acquaintance has said, the Church Age finished when Jerusalem was liberated from Gentile control in 1967. That would concur with the demise of values that began then and is continuing now. Certainly the morality as expressed by Judeo-Christian values has been in decline since the Sixties.
I believe the power and authority of the Church in our society has gone. Moving forward, I don’t believe God’s strategy is to regain its influence, but rather to allow a Godly transformation to occur, so that the principles of God can again protect the people.
What we need to do is to turn from our traditional concept of the practices of Christianity that are based on Constantine Christianity – aka Roman Catholicism and the spill over into Protestantism – and return to the 1st Century church that embraced its Judeo roots. Jesus was Jewish; as he was steeped in the culture God favoured, so must we learn to celebrate the festivals – not as Law but because it is what delights the LORD.
The Church Age has ended, with our false dates and festivals. We need to return to the Sabbath and the Festivals ordained by God.
Introducing Words and Voices: for a more abundant life
“WATCHMAN ON ALERT”
Introducing Sarah Tun Words and Voices: for a more abundant life
Jesus is the foundation stone for all Believers. Without a foundation, the structure falls. Given the foundation, a structure is also necessary for advancement. The body needs a skeleton as a structure to hold all things in place. With that in mind, Larus Press is now under a new structure so that the ministry for “Building the Kingdom one reader at a time” can flourish.
I believe the LORD has led me to create a new structure for all things relating to this ministry to build up you who are already on the spiritual battleground and are seeking to be prepared for God’s Call moment by moment and day by day.
Sarah Tun Words and Voices is now the over-arching business and Larus Press is specifically the imprint for the books. Watchman on Alert is now the name of the Blog. The Soaring Post newsletter continues, drawing from Watchman on Alert posts just as they were previously LarusBlog posts. Added to that are my personal Reflections posted on the blog under An Examined Life continues, so that my journey is incorporated into the ministry.
I have a desire to spark God-given discernment in other Believers.
As I develop Insights, glancing through windows into God’s heart and piecing together the puzzle of our time, there is a prophetic element, a discerning from what I see. All things MUST BE TESTED by the Word of God and your own sense of conviction with the Holy Spirit. But I do feel it is the time and platform to articulate the questions and insights I discern through the events around us in these days and my journey through them.
To this I pray…
Dear Lord, As we stand on this precipice, and the world’s Towers of Babel unravel, LORD, we ask for your wisdom, strength and compassion on our brothers and sisters and for those who do not yet know you. You have promised many things in your Word, both difficult and beautiful. May we receive all you have as opportunities to grow and to offer a more abundant life to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:3-5)
The world’s politics seems to be turning upside down. Beginning with Arab Spring six years ago, and culminating in the US election result this past November, national governments are changing significantly.
In the West a clash between progressive social views and conservative politics is more evident that ever before. All across Europe, democracies are calling for conservatism, with liberal perspectives being rejected after years of an acceleration in social freedoms. Both extremes loath censorship, while each side points an accusing finger at the other.
Violence and radicalism is on the increase; fewer people seem able to discuss politely and agree to disagree than in times past. In the West, political correctness seems to have created a genuine fear toward any viewpoint contrary to the liberal media’s perspective. In the Middle East there is war.
Even in the natural world, there is an increase in natural disasters: earthquakes, floods*, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes.
Because of all these things, and the disarray of the world economy, poverty and disease are on the increase.
Many who believe in Jesus are saying we are in End Times (Matthew 24). Hollywood is producing film after film which depict an Apocalyptic plot or a post – Apocalyptic universe. There is increasing intensity in people and extreme perspective, and it is as if we are heading for an unavoidable explosion.
As Believers in Jesus, what are we to do?
We can recognise: “Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Now is not the time to take our faith lightly, nor our cause casually.
We can come together: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
We can lead: discern where others are fearful and model calm wisdom, use sound judgment in difficult relationships and circumstances, and love others as we love ourselves.
We can pray: that God’s will be activated upon the earth and that those who are called to Him will be saved, that those already called will remain in Him, and that those in rebellion will soon return to Him. In Matthew 24, Jesus does warn us that some will fall away. Let’s pray for those near to us to ‘hold fast’ to their faith.
We can praise: God is sovereign. Though the earth trembles and mountains fall into the sea, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Nothing passes His notice. And so we can be confident that we are in the right place, in the right time and circumstance, and God is training us, leading us and teaching us to be all He has created and called us to be.
When we keep our focus on Him, we have peace and can offer that peace to others in trying times.
There is an old song, which goes like this:
“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love…”
How firm is your foundation? How solid is your anchor? If you need support to prepare you for the tasks ahead, turn to the word of God, recognise He’s in charge, be confident in that truth. As you pray and praise, the world will see your love and passion, others will calm down, and God will be glorified.
This is the power we have within us, based on the promise the LORD gave to Abram because of his faith.
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
The Father God has promised and His Word will never return void. So, we can trust and stand on His promise and know we are safe and secure in Him.
On Tuesday of this week, I wrote and posted on social media a short Psalm-like poem. Reminiscent of Psalm 150 it began, “Sound the Trumpet”. I include it now, and will afterward explain its relevance.
As America Goes to the Polls
Sound the Trumpet
Soar, Oh Angels.
One speaks of Your Righteousness
One You have chosen – beyond reason.
Your Glory prevails over all the Earth.
Let Jerusalem arise.
Let Peace arise.
Let Truth arise.
With the TRUMPet.
I was in a time of prayer and fasting when I wrote this. I felt the LORD lead me; He impressed upon me that Donald Trump was His choice and that he would win the election. I had a hard time having the faith for it, because the media preached opinion polls that were contrary to that, but I surrendered as best I could for that outcome, prayed and waited, watched as the results came in.
Donald Trump has indeed won the November 8th, 2016 US Federal Election. The aftermath, I see, is a deeply divided public, with some rejoicing and others deeply distressed, not only in America but around the world. Both main presidential candidates spoke on the 9th and used words of encouragement, asking for a coming together – a reuniting of the nation. Some follow this suggestion. Sadly, in the United States, some are not.
With America as a powerful nation who has voted for change, and the British people voting likewise – for Brexit – and even following Arab Spring which has brought with it much chaos, from the Middle East across to the West, the once silent majority are now speaking out for what they believe is right and it is contrary to what has been issued by their respective media and leaders. As a result tension is mounting and over-spilling.
Some people are in despair over the result of the American election, but rather than hearing Hilary Clinton’s words to give Donald Trump a chance, there are protests in the streets and some nasty words and pictures posted on social media. We need to pray for them: for their safety, for them to find peace, and in some cases, for their deliverance.
There is deep animosity – often fanned by the liberal press – between conservatives who have put up with political correctness and liberals who have demanded to have freedom of choice even beyond common sense.
Now, for Believers, we need to prepare, irrespective of where we live in the world.
I believe the American election result emphasises this time in our world as particularly significant in the history. So, I believe it is time for the people who follow Jesus to prepare. Millions of people, some who believe in the Bible and some who do not, are recognising and defending what is right in God’s eyes. The enemy is not willing to let go, any more than Assad is giving up control over Syria. It is time for Believers to be ready. There is an almighty spiritual battle going on; there always has been, but it’s just been given a huge injection of fuel.
The Gospel in Romans 1 comes to mind: man knows right from wrong. Some turn their backs, but some face reality and accept that there is a code of common sense and righteousness that humanity must stand for. Otherwise there is little humanity left.
“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Romans 1 goes on to identify further consequence for their refusal to acknowledge Him. The point for this post however, is to prepare and equip.
An onslaught of division, like never before, is coming upon us. And those who defend righteousness will need comfort, support and knowledge in order to discover Jesus and to walk through this season, fully equipped.
What are we to do to prepare?
Search the scriptures to find your calling. Seek out prayer partners for confirmation. Ask, seek, find the fullness of your identity in Christ.
When you know your calling, practise it to hone your skill….
For example, if you know you are called to preach, preach to the trees for practice. If you are a worshipper, sing, dance and play to the houses. If your greatest power is in your pen, write letters to the LORD as practice. The audience will come if you are prepared.
Next, if you are asked to serve, say “yes”. Pray for discernment but be ready to take the opportunities presented to use your gifting.
Finally, Praise God. This may be a type of End Time preparation for Jesus’ return. Or it may be the real thing. One thing is for certain, time is short and getting shorter (Matthew 25) and woe to any who are unprepared or unwilling to hear His beautiful voice.
Be blessed, stay blessed. The Master has called us and we have responded. Now, it is time to be ready to serve.
I don’t write regularly because while I do enjoy it, I am attempting to write only what the LORD leads me to write, when He leads me.
I send out Soaring Post sparingly because, as there is so much that all of our email in-boxes are bombarded with, I aim to be read when I post, and not overlooked.
Today I’m posting and sending about the upcoming federal election in the United States of America. The presidency is at stake. Some say the leader of America is the leader of the free world. Certainly, the country is extremely influential globally in many spheres, namely: morally, financially, culturally. When America has preached righteousness, it has touched the world. When it has preached carnality, likewise it has influenced the world.
The current series I am writing for Larus Press is Preparing You for GOD’s Call.
So, how is the US federal election tied to readers, most of whom are probably not American and therefore, not eligible to vote in an American federal election? There is a vital connection, so I ask you to please bear with me as I explain my thinking…
Sometimes we are called to learn and to grow, while at other times we are called to application. Today, and over the next few days, we as a Nation of Believers in Jesus are called to pray; the days are short. In preparing you for God’s Call today, I am encouraging you to grow in your prayer life, and in particular, your intercessory prayer life. To pray for American and the voters there is the Call.
UNESCO – the world organisation that “encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations” (see: UNESCO) has just voted that The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is only an historic site for Muslims, not for Jews, nor for Christians. Perhaps their thinking is that if they grant Arab supremacy, the Muslims will be appeased.
But what does this UNESCO vote signify in the Spirit?
Time is short. Zechariah 12 speaks about the attempt that will come to sever Jerusalem from the Jews; it prophecies the rage and battles that will ensue as a result. We are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122). The war over Jerusalem is inevitable. I say time is short, because the signs that this war is coming sooner rather than later, are increasing.
How is the election in America hinged on the events in Jerusalem? They may or may not be directly connected… What is significant in this US election is that, because the days are short, the state of the nation now, perhaps more than ever before, is critical for its fate. Like the vote over Brexit* – which has touched the hearts of many of my readers as a significant number are British – I think this particular election in America is pivotal to the way GOD sees it: Will America, in these Last Days, be seen by GOD as a sheep nation or a goat nation? (Does this mean that Jesus will only look at the immediate and not at the history of a nation? I do not know. Witness the virgins and their lamps… Matthew 25)
As recorded in Matthew 25, in the Last Days, upon Jesus’ return to earth (to Jerusalem), he will judge the nations and separate those of his (sheep nations) from those who will go eternal punishment (goat nations). I believe the American election is significant to the judgment it will incur as a nation in GOD’s eyes.
So, it is important that we pray for those who must vote. And for those with the right to vote, I say it is important to vote, to vote the way the LORD leads you.
Now this election is very unusual, because both candidates are so appallingly unpopular. Neither is particularly moral, trustworthy or righteous; they do not seem to me even to be “nice people”.
Imagine standing in the polling booth and gazing at your ballot, marking the person you dislike the least. With the bizarre way the candidacies have developed, this is the situation many in the United States face on Tuesday 8th November.
To say the situation surrounding the main candidates in the upcoming US election is bizarre is an understatement. There are several candidates, although only the two main party candidates get national and international press and television coverage. Of the two candidates, one is bombastic, rude to the degree of almost lewd, a creator of a casino empire with multiple sins, yet who defends the rights of the unborn and stands for Christianity in a bold, unapologetic manner. The other is deceptive, sly, cunning – like a fox or snake, she is untrustworthy and is currently under FBI investigation – yet, she is an experienced politician, is cool under pressure, and extremely intelligent. Neither Hilary Clinton nor Donald Trump are particularly moral, though their weaknesses are different. It is almost unfathomable to think these are the choices out of 300 million people. And yet, doesn’t a nation get the government it deserves (French lawyer Joseph de Maistre, 1789, who opposed the bloody French Revolution)? Perhaps it is the American people, more that these two candidates, who are to be scrutinised for how the nation got to this point of amorality.
Now, while American voters must choose the path of their least resistance, the rest of the world awaits.
Perhaps it will be as a Believing American I spoke to recently said… that after the election, the winner will drop dead, or will step aside and a capable Vice President will step in. Nothing is impossible with GOD, and in these times in America, with this particular election, anything could happen!
The Brexit result came as a shock; even those who wanted to leave thought they’d lost before the ballot boxes closed. The election predictions for the US also are “too close to call” at this stage. We don’t know if there will be an acceleration of the liberalisation that Hilary Clinton heralds. Or, if Donald Trump wins, perhaps there will be a turn back to old standards, including both good and bad.
I believe, whichever the result, the LORD knows and has the result in the palm of His hand. But just as He wants that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), He wants us all to stand in the gap and call for His will to be done upon this once GOD-fearing nation, itself born to give liberty and freedom to all who come to its shores or are born into it.
We don’t know whom the LORD would choose to win this election. One might think to have a leader who wished to abolish abortion would be GOD’s choice (Trump). But perhaps this is not the mind of GOD. Perhaps he wishes Christianity to be persecuted, so that more would come to Christ. What I do believe is that a vote toward morality and truth, a vote that stands for the truth of Jesus, a vote away from selfish ambition and personal gain, could herald this nation as a “sheep nation” and so be saved at the coming of Jesus.
So, as I write to prepare you for GOD’s call, I encourage you to be as one who stands in the gap for the nations and the world. Let us pray for this nation of the United States, with its rich history of defending Christianity and God’s truth. Let us pray that the nation does not get “the government that it may deserve”, but a Godly government that will lead people back to Him. As the world stands on the brink of change, let us draw near to GOD, that He might rescue the nation of the United States from itself, and lead it – and all the nations – back to Himself.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. And everyone says…. Amen.
*Brexit is the nickname given by the British media and its citizens regarding the referendum held last June to determine whether the UK leaves or remains as a part of the European Union. The vote was in favour of leaving; therefore, steps have begun in the process for Britain the leave the EU. Personally, I believe the result of the vote also speaks spiritually, declaring that Britain is a sovereign nation. To make a long discussion short, for me, the result of the vote signifies (knowingly or unknowingly by the voters) a rejection of the worldly principles encapsulated in the EU, and that Britain now stands as a Godly nation – a “sheep” nation – before GOD.
Nation groups are seeking independence, sovereignty, autonomy.
Do I experience prophetic revelation? Am I simply discerning the times? I’m looking into current events, seeking to discern their significance and relevance to Biblical Truth: Why are nation groups in Europe seeking their independence on the rise?
I seem to have had a eureka! moment earlier today. I was listening to Revelation TV live (UK Christian television), as host and guests were discussing the imminent referendum in Scotland regarding the possible separation from the rest of Great Britain.
It occurred to me: in current events we seem to be having a preponderance of nation groups seeking sovereignty – going back to their ‘roots’, their identity. Whether its Ukraine, Iraq or the UK, around the world citizens are seeking to group themselves according to their historic roots. Why?
In the End Times, we see that LORD will judge the earth and nations groups will be sheep or goats, saved or unsaved (Matthew 25:31-46).
Could it be that supernaturally, the nations are being divided according to their spiritual status? Will some nations be found wanting and others delivered from judgment? That is what the Bible says. And it may be that in these times, the Holy Spirit is behind the nations’ efforts for sovereignty, so that God’s justice will prevail over the nations.
Consider current events. What, with your spiritual eyes, do you discern is happening that stands in line with scripture of the End Times?
Practice looking at current events in this light. God can and does speak to us, and we can improve our sensitivity to His activity and His leading when we look beyond the media and toward lining His word with current events and activities.
The truth is God is raising an Army of Believers to fight for the human race against spiritual darkness. We fight to the glory of God, for the Prince of Peace, with the power of the Holy Spirit who operates within and through us.
Ready: The world is becoming a very dark place spiritually. Youth are depressed, trained to believe there is nothing after this life and that freedom is doing what you want. Bereft of hope, so many people are turning to substance abuse as false comfort. These are only two of many areas that reveal spiritual darkness. Prayer and praise, the application of God’s Word in our lives and for others – these are the weapons of our warfare to combat spiritual darkness.
Set: What is spiritual warfare? How do we apply the weapons that we have?
A look at Ephesians 6:10 – 18 will serve to deepen our understanding and preparation. We know the truth (vs 14) and must grow in our own character to have the right to fight the enemy (vs 14). We fight against principalities and powers and not people (vs 12) , instead loving them toward the light of God’s love and His inner and inter-relational peace (vs 15). Faith keeps us strong against the lies of Satan our enemy (vs 16). In our own minds we are confident of our salvation and rightness in Christ (vs 17) further supported by our knowledge and growth in God’s Word (vs 17), our ultimate instrument of victory. The eight verse text is packed full of encouragement and empowerment. Get to know it and stand to fight against the enemy for family, friends, colleagues and strangers, that they might be saved from living death and called to life today.
1. Learn the weapons of your warfare (use Ephesians 6).
2. Grow as God leads you, in truth and righteousness.
3. Walk in peace toward whomever you encounter.
4. Allow God to grow your faith. In all things acknowledge Him and He will ensure your path is straight.
5. Be wary of that which seeks to challenge your confidence in your salvation. The enemy likes to attack our minds to shake our assurance. (Mind = Soul = Emotions+ Intellect+Will)
6. Read the Bible. Learn scripture. Prepare to use it against the enemy.
7. Don’t go in presumption, but rather prepare and trust God’s call.
Remember, it is the Truth that sets people free.
Go: Wait on the LORD. Be ready to speak of the hope you have. Love. And walk in the measure of holiness the LORD has already given you. You need not look for the battle. When you are prepared, it will come to you. God bless and may ‘The glory of the LORD be your rear guard’. (Isaiah 58:8b)
When people talk about making a decision, and they are wrestling between their head and their heart, I believe they mean the are debating between an intellectual choice and an emotional one. But actually, both our intellect and our emotions are part of our soul, our mind. Neither have anything to do with our heart. Rather, the heart – apart from being the literal pump in our bodies – refers to our spirit, that part of us which is our identity, what makes up the core of our being. For Christians it is the part of us that connects with the Holy Spirit and affirms we are a child of God. For the unbeliever it is dead, awaiting salvation by God’s grace.
Ready: How do we minister to a dead spirit so that it may be made alive again through faith in Jesus?
Set: Relationship and prayer are at the core of encouraging someone who does not follow Jesus to find their faith and to trust in Jesus as God’s son. As we pray for someone who does not know God, let’s begin by praying for the opening of their heart. Let’s minister to their spirit, asking God to revive it, and to soften their heart so that it might become connected to God. When the heart awakens it can receive, recognize, and call out to God.
The way of salvation is through the heart.
1. Pray for your friend or loved one to have their heart opened.
2. Encourage them to reflect alone, to connect with their heart – that core of their being. You may not mention it, but this is the pathway to their personal discovery of God.
3. Befriend them. Be ready to answer questions about your experience of God. But above all, love them: “If I have the faith to move mountains but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Go: Be a light to others in the world, not by talking but by being the love of God and enabling them to soften their heart to the one who loves unconditionally.
Larus Walk is a group of blogs from Larus Press, inspiring, equipping and empowering you to fulfill your Identity and Purpose in Christ. Wholeness, Witness, Word and Worship&Warfare are the four strands that build us, enabling us to soar.
THE INTERNET: The Void – a musing
There are times when the internet is not my friend. Sometimes a void fills my mind and I am incapable of being creative. It happens when I’ve been on the internet for too long.
My greatest desire is to write words to captivate an audience of people desperate to think deeply about themselves, their circumstances and their world. People like you… and me.
But sometimes my mind has been so pacified, so washed by internet usage that the deepest I can get inside myself is face level – I am filtered from my imagination and mental clarity where I am enabled to swim in the wide sea of ideas, passions and questions.
When I can’t get passed the filter, can’t get underneath the blank existence of meaningless drift, I live in a fog of confusion, boredom and vapidity whose only feeling is that of dullness… manifested as a glimmer of frustration in interminable boredom.
Oh that the Void did not exist. Oh that my brain would not succumb to the numbness of internet superficiality. Oh.
The Void is our enemy. Its identity is busyness, superficiality, shallow habits of mere existence on the screen and beyond.
Humanity deserves more than living in the Void. She deserves philosophy, faith, desire, curiosity, hope. These exist underneath the Void, where there is a fullness the Void cannot comprehend. This is life.
Life and the Void do not co-exist. Life is pain and passion; the Void is dull formulation and nothingness. Life seeks to ignite; the Void lulls the human spirit into detachment and docility.
Here’s to the internet, bringing the world together, bringing revolution, praise and peace. But avoid the Void that is death: vague, colourless, thoughtless despair.
The human spirit is vital and so it is vital we keep it alive. You… and I are much more than the Void. The human spirit lives in creativity. Let us create! That’s how we’ve been designed to be: created by the Creator to create.
Ah purpose! Reflection has brought purpose into focus: the filter is lifted; the Void is overcome.
I breathe easier in this moment. As the fog is lifting, I experience again the open window into life!