Unclean…That Which They Offer…

By Patrick Hawthorne

dead church

11 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, 12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.  13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.  14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.  (Haggai 2:11-14 KJV emphasis mine)

Haggai, a prophet of God, appears before the Jews who had been released from captivity some sixteen or seventeen years earlier in order to complete the build of the second Jewish temple.  Even though the foundation was complete, mounting pressure from neighboring enemies finally took its toll and the Jews stopped their work.  Years passed as did the people’s desire to obey God.  Now, content with building their own homes and their own lives, the Jews left the Lord’s home in a state of ruin.

Reading through Haggai, I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to stop and meditate on the above verses, mainly verses 13 and 14. “Then said Haggai, if one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be uncleanThen answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.”

For days I pondered and prayed about what the Lord was showing me.  This morning, I woke to the answer.  The Church – the Body of Jesus Christ as a whole – has been guilty of mingling with the deadness of the world.  That which is holy has become defiled and unclean.  With pomp and parade, the Church has offered up the sacrifice of praise unto the Living God while succumbing  to the pressures of the world, content to let the house of God remain in a state of ruin.

But, that is not where the story ends.  As with the Jews, I believe the Lord was showing me – and many others as well – that He is about to shake the heavens and the earth in order to restore passion to the Church.  A line is being drawn as the division between good and evil is becoming increasingly clear.  It is my belief that Almighty God is about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen in one final Holy Spirit power-filled push before His coming back for His glorious Church.  Will you be ready?  I know I will be… Be blessed.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:27-28 KJV)

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Posted in Christian, prophecy, teaching

The Serpents Blood – Story by J. Cahn

By Patrick Hawthorne

snakeThere are a couple of subjects that I tend to avoid, not that they are not important, but because there are better qualified people to address them than me.  These subjects are politics, current social issues, and economics.  However, in light of all that we are seeing throughout the world, especially as it relates to Christian’s, I am veering slightly from my normal pattern to present a story written by Jonathan Cahn that is reflective of the current state that our world is in.  Be blessed.

 

The Serpent’s Blood

“Do you see it? asked the teacher.

“Behind the rock,” I replied.

It was a snake, brown and black and slithering in the desert sand.

“What do you know about snakes?” he asked.

“I know to avoid them.”

“Nothing more?”

“Not much.”

“What you should know is that snakes are cold blooded.”

“Why is that important?”

“You’re warm blooded.  And because you’re warm blooded, you can run and keep running.  But a snake, being cold-blooded, is limited in its ability to endure to keep going.  Therefore, you can outlast it.”

“That’s good to know,” I replied.

“In the scriptures, the serpent is a symbol of evil.”

“Why is that?”

“Not because snakes are evil in themselves, but because they provide a representation of evil. They often move by twisting.  And so the nature of evil is to twist.  A lie is the twisting of the truth.  The impure is the twisting of the pure.  And evil, itself, is the twisting of the good.”

“So then if snakes are cold-blooded, then, so, in some way, is evil?”

“Yes,” said the teacher.  “Evil is cold-blooded.  What that means is this:  Though evil may have its day, its victories, its time to move and strike – it remains cold-blooded.  Therefore, it can never endure.  No matter how powerful the evil may appear, no matter how triumphant and unstoppable it may seem, it cannot last.  Deception is cold-blooded.  Hatred is cold-blooded.  Slander is cold blooded.  Oppression is cold-blooded.  All evil is cold-blooded.  And so the power of evil is only for the short-term and the momentary.  Its days are always numbered.  And in the long run, it always fails.”

“But the good is not cold-blooded,” I said.

“Yes,” he said.  “So, in the end, the good will always outlast the evil.  Therefore, persevere in the good, keep going in what is true, keep standing for what is right and you will overcome and prevail in the end.”

The Mission:  In the face of whatever evil, trouble, attack, or sin you’re dealing with, don’t give up.  But press on in the good (Isaiah 54:17; Matthew 24:13; John 1:5)

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Posted in Christian, story, teaching

Welcome to CornerStone Bible Ministries

By Patrick Hawthorne

https://cornerstonebibleministries.blog/

To all my blogger friends, I would like to ask a small favor.  The  above link is from my brother Bryan who just started a blog site for CornerStone Bible Ministries. If you don’t mind, please go over and introduce yourself.

CornerStone Bible Ministries is a Bible study group started by our dad, John Hawthorne (Pop’s) , several years before his home going to be with the Lord.  Bryan and our mom (Kay) are keeping the ministry going because it is more than just a Bible study group; it is a home church to several people.  Thank you in advance. Be blessed.

P.S. If you have any blogging advice, I’m sure he would love to hear your comments.

 

 

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Posted in Christian, snippet

Sunday Morning Message on Offense

By Patrick Hawthorne

I had the privilege of preaching my first ever Sunday morning message through an invite by Pastor James Boulton Victory Temple in Texarkana Arkansas.  Thanks Pastor James Boulton for your hospitality.  You have an awesome congregation.

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Posted in Christian, Live, teaching

Round and Round Deception Goes…

By Patrick Hawthorne

deception

21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)

The topic of deception has been on my heart of late.  Not only my heart, but it has been a topic of interest for many in the Christian community.  As I commonly like to say, “Same word, same Holy Spirit.”

The Lord, through His Holy Spirit, is speaking a message of warning to His Church.  His message is, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” This is the same message He spoke to His disciples around two thousand years ago when they stood admiring the Temple buildings. (Matthew 24:4.)

Today, as I was reading Matthew 7:21-23, this warning again became clear.  Actually it was the latter portion of verse 23, “…ye that work iniquity,” that caught my attention.  Upon reading that portion, my mind immediately took me to the words of Jesus. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12.)

The iniquity spoken of by Jesus in both Matthew 7 and Matthew 24 have the same meaning. Both refer to contempt or willful disregard for the things of God.  The term actually describes a deliberate desire to practice lawlessness while maintaining the appearance of holiness.  A note of interest is that in both cases the mention of lawlessness or iniquity is preceded by a warning that deception would occur through false prophets.  And, in Matthew 24, the deception by false prophets is preceded by a warning that many will become offended in the last days.  This offense is either with God or those associated with God.

The thing about deception is that it is very deceptive.  By that I mean, deception is often missed because it is cloaked in a bit of truth.  Jesus said, in Matthew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Now, more than ever, it is important for the child of God to take serious the call to holiness.  If there is any anger, bitterness, or resentment towards another that you have been hanging onto, I strongly suggest that you deal with it and make things right through prayer and forgiveness. Also, if you are walking the fence with one toe dangling in the world and the others with God, you best come off that fence and get right with God.  The Lord is speaking.  Are we listening?  Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, teaching

Baby Ducks and the New Birth

By Patrick Hawthorne

duck

I was reading a post from one of my favorite blogger friends, IB, in which she was describing a series of dreams she had about baby ducks.  Following these dreams, a visiting minister to her church spoke a message from the book of Hebrews. To illustrate his point, the minister used an analogy about baby ducks and how, upon being hatched, they are imprinted by what they first see.  For the full post, please visit:

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/about-those-baby-duckies/comment-page-1/#comment-66168

While the post from IB was quite entertaining, the take away for me was not quite so humorous.  Immediately upon reading about ducks being imprinted by the first thing they see, I imagined a person being born again by receiving Jesus as their Lord.  As with the baby ducks, what is the first imprint these new babies in Christ have as they become a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17)?

Are they being imprinted by a body – the Church – who is guided by the precepts of Titus 2:11-12?  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and world lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age?”  Or, are they being imprinted by a body who is wishy-washy in their diligence to the things of the Lord?  Better yet, are they being filled with a lot of head knowledge about the Bible but no intimate relationship with the Word (Jesus)?

That is quite a sobering thought when I think about it.  The Word tells us to be a light unto the world (Matt 5:16).  As I think about my Christian walk, is my light flickering on again and off again?  Or is my light as steady as a light house bulb, constantly showing the path to Jesus.  Yes, we are to help the lost find their way to Jesus but just as important is the imprint that we make on them after they are saved.  Think about it… Be blessed.

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Normalization of Deviance…What Could Go Wrong?

By Patrick Hawthorne

stupidpeople11

I recently attended an officer training class for the fire department I work for. One of the subjects dealt with the dangers of taking shortcuts.  As was discussed, it is estimated that in the fire service, for every four-hundred near misses there is one bad outcome.  Therefore, when weighing the odds that something bad will happen, shortcuts are often rationalized and the deviant behavior becomes the norm.  When something bad eventually does happen, it becomes a predictable surprise – emphasis on the predictable.  An example is driving on two wheels between two idiots laying in the road.  The outcome is very much predictable even if they get away with it 399 times.

As I listened to the lecturer, my mind wandered towards thoughts of the Church – the Body of Jesus Christ as a whole.  Still having our old sin nature tagging along with us saying, “Hey, don’t you want to do the things we used to do?” our propensity is to take the shortcut, even with our Heavenly Father.  Forgetting verses that speak of our Lord’s jealousy, we bow down before the idol of Busy, rationalizing that our God is very understanding.  Eventually, as we lose the closeness of our personal relationship, the slacking off of the things of God becomes the norm.  We become guilty of normalization of deviance.  As such, when the predictable surprise called life happens, we are taken off guard.  Often, our first inclination is to cry, “Father, how could You let this happen?” as if He is the one to blame.

That life’s problems will happen is very much predictable, but the surprise does not have to be.  Jesus told us, “These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace.  In the world you shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33.)  Notice that He said, “…that you might have peace.” By simply taking time to go before the Lord each and every day for our bottle of “Grace Boost,” much of the surprise of the tribulations of this world could be squashed.  His mercies and His compassion are new every morning; great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 paraphrased).

By recognizing our vulnerability to the tribulations of this world, doesn’t it make sense to avoid life’s predictable surprises?  We do that by making up our minds to put our Heavenly Father first and foremost even in the midst of a busy life.  Eventually, as we practice His presence, a new norm will be created.  Be blessed.

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