I was feeling very tired these days and then I heard this praise of the Lord God. So I got lost in the Lord and found myself again. No longer feeling tired. Praise God for that.
There are many things written against how depraved and evil the Babylonian system is. Indeed its correctly mentioned as sinful and blasphemous in its nature and workings. However, I also see how many are wondering how to defeat Babylon and seem scared due to that. My answer to that is to be brave and look at what the Holy Scriptures says about her downfall by the Beast on which she rides. Let’s first read a description about her by John in the Book of Revelation:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgement of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Revelation 17:1-6)
What we must utterly dislike about Babylon is that she is “the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus”. That shows her murderous nature towards believers in the Lord God. So, such a behavior ought to be punished greatly.
Indeed God has spoken judgement against Babylon and also wants his people out of her ways. The following verses confirm this:
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. (Revelation 18: 4-6)
And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (Revelation 17:15-17)
Because of the sins of Babylon, the Lord God destined it to be that the very Beast on which Babylon rides will become the instrument of her destruction. Don’t think that the Beast is doing anyone any favor. In a bid to be in control and assert its own dominance over the world the Beast along with the ten horns will ensure that the Babylonian system is taken down by brutal violence. So the evil ambitions of the Beast will be used by God to destroy Babylon in the process.
A thing to take note; Babylon though spoken of as a wicked woman is not actually one single person. The Bible makes it specific that Babylon is a city that has remarkable influence over world leaders. The following verses confirm this:
- And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:18)
- Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more (Revelation 18:21)
Someone might ask what about Matthew 12:26 which says “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” in the context of the Beast destroying Babylon?
A simple answer to that would be Babylon is not Satan though she is profoundly wicked which warrants God’s judgment against her. Besides Revelation 17:17 says; for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
To make it more clear, God can use anyone to fulfill his purposes. That includes using those who are evil to bring God’s judgement upon the wicked. You might like to call them as unwitting accomplices of God. And this is consistent with the Bible. Here are two examples from the Holy Scriptures:
- Sennacherib the king of Assyria, was killed by his owns sons as a result of God’s judgement on him due to his blasphemy against God. (Read 2 Chronicles 32:1-22)
- Ahab the king of Israel who was very wicked and who was also the husband of the evil and idolatrous queen Jezebel, was killed by the a soldier of the king of Syria in a battle with the Syrians. This was due to God’s judgement upon Ahab prophesied by the prophet Micaiah. Now take note the king of Syria didn’t worship the Lord God yet God used him to execute his judgement. (Read 1 Kings 22:1-38)
To conclude, it’s true that God will use anyone (including sinners) to work good for those who love him. He is so great that he will use even the Beast to punish Babylon for her sins against those who believe in the Lord God. This shows a new dimension to Romans 8:28 which one might have not noticed earlier.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28)
When you are fasting unto the Lord Jesus you might be doing it to spend with him. You might want to get closer to him. Sometimes fasting is just so that you want to be undisturbed by the needs of the flesh so that you can concentrate on the Living God our Father. There’s always a good reason to fast. The Holy Spirit may lead you to fast and pray or sometimes require you to only pray without fasting. Listen to him and discern.
Never fast out of legalism or trying to earn salvation or forgiveness of sins for it won’t actually save you. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you from your sins. Fasting therefore must be done without guile and hypocrisy.
In Isaiah chapter 58, the Lord God condemns unworthy fasting but also sets the precedent on what fasting is considered pure. Lets read the following:
58 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Jesus himself did not do away with fasting. In fact he set the standard for all of us who believe in him in Matthew 6:16-18
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
It’s vital to know what the Lord God wants you to do in life. You can’t go on aimlessly in your walk with Christ. God has a will for your life which only you can do. He has already been preparing your for it though you may not immediately see how. This is done by the enabling grace of God. He can qualify the unqualified. Remember how David was just a shepherd but the Lord made him the King of Israel. Also, how Jeremiah said he was too young, yet God still encouraged him to be his prophet (Jeremiah 1:1-7).
Even Jesus had to follow the specific will of God for him. He didn’t come on earth without a mission. He came for the salvation of the world as per the will of God.
Jesus said in John 6:38-40 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
If Jesus had to stick to God’s will, how much more are we to abide in God’s will for our lives? No wonder there’s a verse which is part of the Lord’s prayer which is “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). When the Apostles wanted to know how to pray, Jesus gave them a prayer what is popularly called as ‘The Lord’s prayer’ which isn’t a legalistic prayer but aptly points to doing the will of God.
Once you know the specific will of God, never back down on it. Make your life for God abide in him forever. Remember 1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
The Lord will enable you to specifically do what he has called you to do and will confirm it to you. I remember the words by a wise person which go on like this ‘no supernatural revelation without supernatural attestation’. At certain times of my life, I would meet men and women who I had never seen nor met before and they would say to me that I would do so and so great things for God. It was not about speaking a blessing, these people were very clearly told me the works I’d do, though by prayer only I had witness to those good deeds. No one else knew the plans of God for me but some how they knew it word for word. This would amaze me a lot. So after they would speak I normally wouldn’t get to see them again but would feel stronger in spirit.
Now you don’t need a person coming to you all of a sudden to confirm the will of God. You can get it by praying, reading the Bible, being with people who themselves have received the specific will of God for themselves (like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts).
Psalm 138:8 says that; The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Once you know that God has given you a good work to fulfill, be rest assured that he will see you through. He will make sure that you receive all the wisdom, provision and favour that you need to do his will. Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
It always about giving glory to God. A believer in Christ our Lord must not focus so much on the good works than the Lord God who is the giver of the good works. Boast not of your good works but rather boast that the Lord God chose despite your limitations. Humility is the key to doing the specific will of God in sincerity both before men and God. It’s that virtue which gives back the glory to God who first blessed you to bless others. It that thing which prevents the Devil from filling you with pride and other vices. This will save you from deception.
May you be always be humble before the Lord God in the service of people whom he chooses to bless through you. What God has given you freely, give to other freely in faith.
Prophecy has always been a part of the will of God. Even before Jesus formed the church there have been prophets sent by God. Prophets were those who gave messages from God especially about the future concerning blessings and judgements.
The Lord doesn’t want to hide prophecy. He wants people to know what he has planned out so that they can be secure in him.
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.(Amos 3:7)
Jesus said, “So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time”. (Mark 13:23)
So pay attention to true prophecy because it will give you hope.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain,and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19)
Biblical prophecies were always due to inspiration by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures themselves attest to this.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
So a true prophet is to be heard and prophecy is to be acknowledged positively. Its very important to always check if the prophecy is consistent with the Bible. Otherwise it could lead to deception.
Now only a false prophet would say there’s no Judgement day at all and you realize that the Bible clearly speaks of Judgement day. So would you do then? I’d reject the false prophecy of no Judgement day and then denounce the false prophet if he persists in that perversion of truth. I will also reject any prophecy that says that pay so and so amount of money to guarantee your salvation. Because the Bible says “believe in Lord Jesus and you will be saved” but it doesn’t say pay money for salvation.
However, sometimes instead of discerning prophecy by the scriptures people use a wordly approach. They simply ignore prophecy or act like sceptics. Scepticism is not a substitute for discernment. Also labelling every prophecy as false without even checking may cause you to miss being part of a great move of God.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)
People have got into trouble because they have either rejected or ignored prophecy. Due to legalism in certain churches, only prophecy that comes from the top leaders is considered valid while other people who gave prophecy are told to keep such things to themselves and repent of their ‘sins of pride’. By such standards of legalism, great prophets such as Daniel, Isaiah etc wouldn’t be heard if they were on earth today just because they are not ordained religious leaders. Yes that’s the logic of legalism though it always claims to ‘defend’ the faith. So even legalism is a bad way to interpret prophecy.
Sometimes there’s outright rejection of prophecy and sure enough disaster and death follows. The ancient Israelites most of the time rejected the call to quietness and trust in the Lord and instead they kept worshiping false gods. Though they sometimes did heed the prophets and repent of idolatry, they later back tracked on prophecy and they rejected it.
What followed next was the defeat of Israel by various kingdoms. Israel cried out for relief and God forgave them and did restore them. However, their heart was not fully with God. So, God again sent his prophets to them. Yet they didn’t listen to prophets who spoke of God’s sovereignity, love and mercy. They kept sacrificing not just animals but even fellow humans and kids to false deities!
Due to this, severe judgement arose from God with the result that an evil and sadistic empire known as Babylon attacked Israel like a ravenous wolf tears up its prey on a dark winter day. Empires such as it spread terror where they went and even more in Israel. Most Jews then were either killed or exiled over to far off lands, with only the poorest of the poor left to tend the land of Israel. The glory of Israel was dimmed out due to their repeated rejection of prophecy. Even to this day Israel never experiences true peace and security. Please don’t think that God has forgotten about them. There’s Biblical prophecy about them and Jesus reconciling in the future. Amen.
Now not every rejection of prophecy brings instant death. Sometimes you just miss a brilliant opportunity to improve yourself or others in the mental, physical and spiritual without much effort. You miss a time of God’s favor and then replicating the benefits yourself would otherwise take years of self discipline to achieve or even be unachievable by human standards.
If Peter wouldn’t have given heed to visions related to Cornelius the Roman and Gentile then the church today would never open its doors to people who are Gentiles. (A person who is not a Jew is called a Gentile by the Jewish people). God never intended salvation through Jesus be only limited for the Jews but rather also to everyone else who believes in the Gospel. Peter’s reaction to this prophecy changed the future for many Gentiles yet to be born. Thus we see that a positive response to genuine prophecy affects both the present and the future dramatically.
Prophecy can sometimes be very time specific, so avoid an indefinite delay tactic in discerning. Write down or make a recording of the prophecy you got. Make note of the time, place etc. Then simply pray in the Holy Spirit and remember the words of the Bible. Ask the Lord for wisdom on this. Have hope in Christ!
I remember an incident when a man in a room where people were gathered for prayers got a shocking revelation. It was that a young woman among them secretly had hidden poison in her bag and would commit suicide later. The prayers were slowed down and after some discerning he made known the prophecy to all over there. That woman started panicking and others in the room found out that she indeed had poison in her bag. After being found out, nobody started a blame game on her. Instead they prayed for her and with her. This woman with much tears repented of her desire to kill herself and is still alive today. Just imagine for a moment that the person who recieved the prophecy decided not to bother about. That woman wouldn’t be alive today.
Here are a few scriptures to reflect on which pertain to prophetic blessings, warnings, affirmation of prophecy and discernment as well :-
1) I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come,scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” (2 Peter 3:2-4)
2) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. (Revelation 1:3)
3) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
4) And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
5) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (Matthew 24:6)
Don’t keep facing the temptations that are being pushed over to you and let it run you over. Don’t keep getting overwhelmed by the economy or politics. Just call upon the name of the Lord and don’t give into negative emotions. Ask him to deliver in you in the righteousness of Jesus our Lord.
When you are in trouble take refuge in the name of the Lord God. The Lord will be your strong tower when you run up to him in prayer. He is mighty to save. He is almighty forever.
Being in a place of refuge is not about being scared in hiding. It is about being calm and trusting in Christ who is your refuge in difficult situations no matter what.
Taking refuge in danger is not an act of cowardice. Its in fact a very wise thing. It’s a wise thing to be in a bomb shelter when there is an air raid from bomber planes. Taking refuge away from heavy bombing is a tactical move in most armed forces till they can later launch a counter attack.
Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus when you are grave danger because he can hear you from his sanctuary. He loves those who trust in him and seek his kingdom and his righteousness.
2 Samuel 22:2-7 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. “The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 144:2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
When you trust in the Lord you are saying NO to terror, you are saying NO to the enemy’s plan for you. When you trust the Lord you say YES to his Christ’s plan for you.
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The Lord Jesus comes that you may have life and life in abundance. Desire that God’s plan of life is manifest in your life.
For this I strongly suggest that you call upon his name when in danger of any sort. Doesn’t matter if you not used to pray loud, what matter is your faith in Christ. So, if you can’t pray out loud then pray in the silence of your heart. The Lord God will answer when you pray in faith. Amen.