They Understood the Times

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…(1 Chron 12:32).

I began writing of the new journey my Shepherd is taking me on at this time, illness, and I mentioned that there is an “above-the-line” thing also going on. It is not ever about only us is it? We think it is, we get trapped into a “small space” of thinking when Jesus is urging us into His “spacious place” of abundance. I am thinking right now, not of the illness, but of the spacious place where He is moving—not moving here in my home or in my family, nor even in my country, but in that huge global harvest place that is going on all around the world. My tiny existence must matter there or it doesn’t matter at all. It must matter here, in the confines of place and time, but it also must matter in the wide open space of eternity—the place where time does not exist and where every person who ever believed in and put their faith in and followed God, lives. All of us are intertwined; all of us—yes, from Adam and Eve to the last living Apostle John the beloved, and every saint since—make up this vast network of divinely empowered, living, breathing, saints. In that place, my arms are interlocked with Elijah’s. Wow. We matter!

I have been reading a 31-day devotional book, The Power of Jesus, published by the Jesus Film Project© (www.jesusfilm.org), a project I am wholeheartedly supporting. I read it before I go to sleep at night and the stories seem to linger in my subconscious even as I sleep, so powerful and supernatural are they. I love reading this because it is happening right now—all over the world. Jesus is moving in the most intensely powerful way around this world, just as He did in the book of Acts. I am serious; all you have to do is read these stories to see it. Joel Rosenberg wrote of the same things happening in the Muslim nations in his book Inside the Revolution, where Jesus Christ is appearing in person to people who have never heard of Him, and they are coming to saving faith in Him and then “coincidentally” run into believers who lead them in discipleship. This is a supernatural work of God in the days in which we are living, just as the prophet Joel, and Peter who quotes him, wrote

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.’” (Acts 2:16-18 NKJV).

I wonder, did Peter even realize the vastness of what he was preaching? Did he realize that that prophecy had a past fulfillment, a present fulfillment and a future fulfillment? Because they were experiencing this “pouring out” right at the moment. But then it seemed through the couple of thousand years since, that prophecy seemed to go underground as the Church experienced growth yes, but also so many divisions and discord that it seemed impossible for something this spectacular to happen again. Here in America when we began to be too intellectual and enlightened to really believe in dreams and visions and prophecy, we all but abandoned that kind of earth-shaking move of God. We settled for mediocrity and finally for less than that, as the nation sank deeper into lawlessness, apathy, moral depravity.

However, thankfully, after the tragedy of 911, a new thing was forming in the above-the-line spiritual realm and it is growing so big and so fast that it defies the imagination.

I will begin this discourse with another prophecy:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV).

Which of these describes the day in which we live? Lovers of themselves? Lovers of money? Boasters? Blasphemers? Disobedient to parents? Unthankful? Unholy? Unloving? Unforgiving? Slanderers? Without self-control? Brutal? Despisers of good? Traitors? Headstrong? Haughty? Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God? Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth?

There is no need to elaborate on these things; just read the current headlines.

So, we see two different views of the “last days” as described in the Bible. They seem to contradict each other; but do they? Scoffers would believe so, but I beg to differ. This is what these “last days” will look like above-the-line and below-the-line. And it is exactly, precisely what is happening right now, in the very days in which we are living.

I hope to be able to do some comparisons between the two in future blogs.

I don’t know about you, but I am all in! This is one of the most exciting times to be alive, just as it was in the book of Acts, and we can either shrink back in fear of what is coming, or we can lock arms with the unseen “cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1 NKJV), and live above the line.

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