WHAT TO STORE UP IN PREPARING FOR END TIMES:
When we speak about preparing we do not want to give the idea nor get the mindset of being a survivalist. The believer is called to be an overcomer and not a survivalist. We are called to be a people of faith and not rely upon the flesh. However, in preparation we will be able to assist others who are not in the faith or are weak of faith.
We encourage believers to store sufficient food, clothing, and where possible fuel for at least three months. Some prepare for one year knowing that it most likely will not last a year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. I will place some items to stock up on in a list in the next study.
We suggest that the Saints concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, beans and peas, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water. Most families can achieve and maintain this basic level of preparedness. The decision to do more than this rests with the individual.
Do not think that once a crisis hits that you will have time to gather the necessary things to hold you and others over. There is only a three day supply of food and necessary items on the shelves of our stores. So start stocking now a little each month or it will be to late to get anything.
Although I happen to believe that the Father is going to care for His children with bread from heaven as He did with the Hebrew children in the wilderness for 40 years. If He did it then He will do it again. However, not everyone will be able to believe God for this. The food that we store will serve to minister more to others than for the true believer walking in faith.
We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God will be able to minister by assisting others during the “End Times” tribulations. Fear is not a character that a believer should have. Therefore, if fear is the motive for storing then there is a heart problem with the heavenly Father and His Word of Truth. The words of our Lord in the “Book of Matthew” do not end when the tribulation starts.
(Matthew 6:25 ESV) "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:26 ESV) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(Matthew 6:27 ESV) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
(Matthew 6:28 ESV) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
(Matthew 6:29 ESV) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matthew 6:30 ESV) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(Matthew 6:31 ESV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
(Matthew 6:32 ESV) For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
(Matthew 6:33 ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:34 ESV) "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
If families would think in terms of storing only foods basic to human need, or if they would supplement the food storage they already have with the basics to build it up to a year’s supply, the task would be simpler than they might think. They would then be prepared for food emergencies. A year’s supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways.
Today we start with what true Biblical worship is. We have spent a number of lessons discussing what it is not. We spoke about different words for praise and how each word gives a different way to praise the King of Glory. In no way did we exhaust the ways the Word gives us to praise and I highly recommend a personal deep study into the many different aspects of praise. To review some of words for praise.
1. "Towdah" and means to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
2. "Yadah" which means to lift our hands.
3. "Baruch" which means to bless.
4. "Shabach" and means to shout.
5. "Zamar" and means to play a musical instrument or to sing before the Lord.
6. "Halal" and means to rave or boast about the Lord.
Did you notice #5 "Zamar"? This is the word for playing a musical instrument or singing. This si a form of praise and is not worship. In fact, there is NO Scripture about worship in which there is music or singing involved. This is not to say that praise cannot lead us into worship. This is not to say that worship cannot lead us into praise. It is to say that when we are singing or listening to a "Christian" song it is either a form of praise or entertainment but not to be confused with worshipping God. Praising God is not worshipping, and worshipping God is not praising.
It is amazing that the first time the word worship is used in the Bible it was used by Abraham. The situation in which he used it was incredible.
Genesis 22:5-6 ESV Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you." (6) And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
Abraham was headed up to Mount Moriah to offer Isaac, his son of promise. He turned to his servants who had come on the journey with them and told them to stay while he and Isaac go and worship the Lord.
The Hebrew word used here and a total of 171 times in the Word of God is shaw-khaw'
TO WORSHIP MEANS: To prostrate before; to bow to pay homage to royalty or to God; To bow down, crouch down, or fall down flat in humility; To revere in the heart and with physical body; to stoop to; to adore.
TRUE BIBLICAL WORSHIP IS AN EXPRESSION OF HUMILITY:
We can’t truly worship unless we humble ourselves. Being prostrate is good because we are as low as we can be to see how big God is. Fear the Lord God = awe, reverence, (who am I in comparison to God). Think of a speck of dust in air, a pebble at foot of the mountains, or one of our tears compared to the size of the ocean. YET GOD LOVES ME AND KNOWS HOW MANY HAIRS ARE ON MY HEAD.
I can praise God to someone by boasting and shouting and singing praise, but I can’t worship God to someone. Real Biblical worship is personal. Real worship is the most intimate time with God a person can have.
To be continued:
TO BE FILLED...
1. WE MUST BE THIRSTY,
2. WE MUST BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD,
3. WE MUST BE SURE OF OUR SALVATION,
4. DECIDE WHO IS GOING TO BE EXALTED.
I want to say something else about being thirsty for the things of God and having our thirst quenched.
If I thirst for the filling of the Holy Spirit I will be filled. Once I first drink of the Holy Spirit, (having the Holy Spirit dwelling in me as a result of the NEW BIRTH), nothing will ever quench my thirst outside of His presence.
I have meet people who claim to have known the Lord and now claim to be atheists or part of a cultic religion. They claimed that Jesus was not enough truth and that now they have real truth. I either have to believe them or believe God's Word that once we are truly saved we will never thirst again. I choose God's Word.
Once we are saved there is a spiritual well deep wihin us that will spring forth, gush out, when we learn to walk in a Spirit-filled life style.
John 4:13-14 ESV Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, (14) but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Before we get into the word for worship we have been identifying what worship is not. To do this I have been giving some Hebrew and Greek words for praise. The reason is that what the church has been calling worship for years is in reality Biblical praise.
There are over 20 different words in the Scriptures identifying different ways to praise God. We won't cover them all but just a few to show what is called praise and not worship in the Bible. In part 7 we looked at the first word which is "Towdah" and means to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. In part 8 we looked at "Yadah" which means to lift our hands. In part 8 we also looked at "Baruch" which means to bless.
The fourth word for praise is "Shabach" and means to shout.
#4 Shabach - See Strong's #7623
Shabach is a simple Hebrew word which literally means "to shout." In the context of praise, it's giving a shout of praise for the Lord!
The fifth word for praise is "Zamar" and means to play a musical instrument or to sing before the Lord.
#5 Zamar - See Strong's #2167
Zamar is a cool word which means basically the playing of an instrument, or "making music" to glorify the Lord, accompanied with singing. Personally, this is one of my favorite ways to praise!
The sixth word for praise is "Halal" and means to rave or boast about the Lord.
#6 Halal - See Strong's #1984
This is one of the most active words I came across as a form of praise. Halal means "to make a show, rave, or boast." When used in the Bible in reference to the praise of the Lord, it is said that the sun, moon, stars, heavens, waters, and all creation "boast" of the Lord most High, proclaiming His Name and His glory to all the earth. Likewise we too, as humans, are called to boast of the Lord and His mighty works. Isaiah the prophet referenced this form of praise as being called for during times of festivals to the Lord. This method of praise might also incorporate dancing, leaping, and twirling (making a show!) before the Lord too, because of the tremendous excitement of love to God that it conveys. It is the root of the expression "Hallelujah!"
I am spending a few lessons on the topic of gold because so much trust has been placed on it. From the governments of the world for their economic stability to the individual seeking to have a solid financial security for the future, gold has been the choice of many.
The Old Testament role was quite straight forward. Gold served as money or adornment. Corruption certainly existed during Bible day. For example, people would shave gold coins, until they ended up as little more than nubs. Still gold remained and its value was not systematically destroyed nor manipulated through a financial money system. The time of King Solomon was known as the Golden Age of Israel. Solomon had lots of gold, in fact earning over 600 talents of gold per year and more.
We have seen what gold has done over the years of history since the birthing of the church. This history according to Acts chapter 2 is known as the period of “the last days”. Gold prices have climbed and fallen. However, it is the use and value of gold during the Tribulation period which should interest us. The Bible seems to suggest that gold holdings will be of little help at that time.
Ezekiel 7:19 ESV They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity.
People will continue to hold on to their materialistic idolatries and corrupt financial systems despite terrible times of crisis and tribulation.
Revelation 9:20-21 ESV The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, (21) nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
In Rev.6:6 we that it will take a full days wage to buy some grain for bread. I would like to share a story from the internet about a grandmother in Germany telling her grandson about a time between WWI and WWII.
Revelation 6:6 ESV And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"
ONE MAN’S STORY:
As a little boy I used to ask my grandmother to tell me stories of her life as a young girl in Germany. She was always reluctant to talk about it, but I was usually able to coax something out of her. I didn’t understand until I was much older, but her reluctance was a result of the pain those memories caused. One of the stories that she would tell took place after the First World War.
Germany lost and, in so doing, agreed to the Treaty of Versailles. In addition to the loss of geographical territory, the German Weimar Republic was forced to pay enormous sums in reparations. In essence, the Germans had to pay for all of the damage done in the war. Germany did not have the financial means to pay these damages and their solution was to just print money.
As this new money moved into circulation the impact was devastating to the German economy. The inflation rate was absolutely staggering. A few years after the end of the war the German economy had an inflation rate in excess of 300% per month! The economy had essentially collapsed and the country was experiencing a depression of enormous proportions. This set the stage for the rise of the Nazi party several years later.
Which brings us back to my grandmother’s story. She would tell me how her father and brothers, all coal miners, would get paid twice a day. The currency was devaluing so fast that it needed to be spent as fast as it was earned. My grandmother told of collecting the money and going shopping for food.
The grocers didn’t even bother counting the money. They just estimated the amount by how large the stack was. A loaf of bread could be purchased for two bags of money in the morning, by the afternoon the price might be three bags. The currency had so little value that people would burn it in their stoves for heat because wood had more value than the money.
The reason I share this is because many people everywhere will be starving, and money and gold will be worthless compared to a scrap of bread.
We have been discussing the difference between praise and worship. The reason I spend so much time on this command is because our Lord said that God is a Spirit and those who worship will worship in Spirit and Truth.
In order to worship God we need to know what that word is and what true Biblical worship looks like. Before I build upon a foundation of identifying true Biblical worship I first must tear down the false teaching of the church of what is called worship. In parts 5-6-7 we have covered a lot concerning this aspect of what worship is not. Most of what the Bible calls praise has been redefined by the church as being worship.
There are over 20 different words in the Scriptures identifying different ways to praise God. We won't cover them all but just a few to show what is called praise and not worship in the Bible. In part 7 we looked at the first word which is "Towdah" and means to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
The second word for praise is "Yadah" and means to lift up our hands.
#2 Yadah - See Strongs #3034
The root word of this form of praise, which is "yad," is a word meaning "hand." Yadah is very literally the "lifting of hands in praise, reverence, and worship." The meaning conveyed is one of outward expression of love towards God, for others to see.
It also means "confession," but not necessarily in the general English sense that you and I are used. When used or translated as "confession," it means an "outward confession of praise or worthiness" to God.
Since Yadah involves the lifting of hands, one may understand it also with some connotations of "surrendering" or "confessing authority to" (as one under arrest puts up his hands to show submission to an officer).
The third word for praise is "Baruch" and means to bless.
#3 Baruch - See Strongs #1288
This is a word which very commonly is known to mean "to bless" or "blessed" (if you have ever heard the beginning of a Hebrew blessing, 'Baruch Atah Adonai…' which means “blessed are You, Lord.”
It also carries a secondary meaning, in some contexts, of "kneeling" or "bowing" as well. Baruch is usually the Hebrew word behind most blessings given in the Old Testament, either from God towards men (blessing), or men towards God (praising and bowing). Baruch is important to distinguish as strictly a verb (an action), not a noun (thing).
The 4th command in the New Testament is to worship God in Spirit and Truth. But what is worship? What is not worship but is being used as a substitution to true Biblical worship?
The first 3 commands we covered earlier:
1. COMMAND #1: DON'T MAKE GOD'S HOUSE (YOUR BODY) A DEN OF THIEVES. (JN.2:13-18)
2. COMMAND #2: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. (JN.3:3-7)
3. COMMAND #3: GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. (JN.4:1-2)
4. COMMAND #4: WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH. (JN.4:23-24)
In part 5 & 6 we stated that worship is not:
1. WORSHIP IS NOT A PLACE:
2. WORSHIP IS NOT A MUSIC TEAM OR MUSIC SONG:
Before I identify what true Biblical worship is I want to drive home what it is not. Since we stated that worship is not a music team, a song, or a time I feel it is imperative to assist the reader in identifying what role music and singing plays in the body of Christ.
Remember: We really need to stop using the terms, "worship team", "worship song", and "worship time". You might ask, what is the big deal? We have already covered that the big deal is that we rob God of true worship by renaming it and substituting it with something else. Out of the mouth comes curses or blessings, life or death. What we confess is what we are doing and is what fills our heart. So if we continually call music and singing worship then that is what is in our heart. We would have to ask ourselves what is the object of our praise, God or the music.
There are over 20 words for different ways in which we are to praise the Father. I will give some of these over the next few studies and then we will jump deep into what true Biblical worship is.
#1 Towdah - See Strong's #8426
This word means "thanksgiving." In Hebrew texts such as the Psalms especially, it often appears in songs of thanksgiving and praise, which David offered in the midst of many of his trials. It can also sometimes denote an "offering or sacrifice of thanksgiving." It will be helpful to remember to offer this form of praise especially in the hard times. Thank God for his sovereignty, power, and might.
In properly understanding Scriptures one of the key elements to look for is discerning who is being addressed. Knowing if the writer is speaking to the lost man or the saved man is key to interpretation and use.
Take the Book of 1 John as an example. It is a great book for believers because it is addressed to believers for our understanding about the process of spiritual growth and how to identify someone who calls themselves Christians but is not.
I have heard over and over well-meaning Christians using 1 Jn.1:9 as a soul-winning Scripture like it is talking to a lost man. However, John through the Holy Spirit is addressing a believer in this verse. Let's look at some of verses of 1 Jn.1 and see the thought behind them.
In 1:6 we see that if someone claims to be a believer and we say as a believer that we are walking in fellowship with the Father, yet we walk in darkness (continual sin), than we are deceived. What are we lying about? We are lying about having fellowship with the Father if we walk in sin. This verse is for a Christian to examine his own life and the life of those who claim to be believers among us.
(1 John 1:6 ESV) If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
In 1:7 we see that if the believer walks in the light, not according to his own understanding of the light, but walks in the light as God is light, then we will also walk in fellowship with one another. Light fellowships with light. Light does not fellowship with darkness or a sinful lifestyle. When darkness meets light both are affected. Example: Suppose the sun is shining bright outside and you have your curtains opened and your living room is flooded with the brightness of the outside. You turn your lights on in the living room and it does not affect the amount of light that is already there because of the brightness of the day. Light has met light. However, the sun goes down and there is no moon and it is as dark as a thousand midnights outside. You turn your living room lights on and although it is bright it is nowhere as brilliant as it was when the sunlight flooded the room. Some of the light in the living room will shine out the windows but will make little process beyond a few feet outside the home. Light met darkness and both are affected.
(1 John 1:7 ESV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
We see in 1:8 as a Christian we cannot say we have no sin. That would be a lie.
(1 John 1:8 ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
However, we have a great promise in 1:9. If we as believers confess our sins we find that God is both faithful and just. He is faithful and just to not only forgive us but to cleanse us from the unrighteousness of the penalty of the sin, the power of the sin, and the presence of the sin. We would be wrong to use this verse as a soul winning verse. We would be telling the lost man that he needs to confess every sin he has committed in order to be forgiven and saved. The only sin that sends a lost man to hell is the sin of unbelief in failing to receive Christ as Savior. His long list of personal sins does not send him to hell. Once that lost man confesses Christ and repents of walking in his own power he is born again. Now as a Christian he starts confessing sins that he knows he is guilty of in order to be forgiven and freed from them.
(1 John 1:9 ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Purifying or cleansing us from all unrighteousness means to be totally forgiven of our sinful behavior. Experience tells us that true confession of a particular sinful behavior brings a forgiveness and a cleansing of conscience that sometimes we can even feel or sense. It is like a load dropping off of us. We seem to gain the upper hand over the sin and with some determination we can overcome it from that point forward.
Ephesians 5:18 ESV And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Do you really want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive all that He gives?
We said that first WE MUST BE THIRSTY for the things of God.
Secondly, after being thirsty, WE MUST BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD and His Word.
Third we said that WE MUST BE SURE OF OUR SALVATION.
This may seem strange but there are people who are addicted to church and Holy Ghost meetings who have never been born again.
The fourth thing is to settle this question in our hearts. "WHO IS GOING TO BE EXALTED"?
God the Father wants us to be filled in the Spirit more than we want to be filled in the Spirit. But the manifested presence of God our Father is not for our benifit so that we can have "goose-bumps", "liver-shivers", and "do-dads" running up and down our spine.
The Lord God of the universe desires to be exalted and given honor from our lives. It is not a "feel-good" session. It is a demonstration of the power of God in and through His children for His glory. Being filled with the Person of the Holy Spirit is not for manifesting our spirituality and piety but manifesting the glory of His presence through our weakness with fear and trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5 ESV (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
GOLD AND SILVER (Continued)
I am spending a few lessons on the topic of gold because so much trust has been placed on it. From the governments of the world for their economic stability to the individual seeking to have a solid financial security for the future, gold has been the choice of many.
The topic of gold evokes interest today just as it always has throughout the millennia. Much of mankind’s history has surely been motivated by the possession of this fascinating metal. One would think that there must be lots of gold in the world today. Not so. If all the gold presently existing above ground in the world were put into one place, it would amount to one solid cube the size of a doubles tennis court and 45 feet high.
That block would represent most of the gold ever mined in history. It is estimated that only about 15% of all gold ever produced has been either consumed or lost. The rest of it all remains accounted for and owned by some person or entity today. There is only about 160,000 tons of gold in the world today. This seems like a lot but it equates to less than one ounce per person on the earth.
Why the big attraction to gold? It is a rare and special substance and one of its most valued properties being that it does not corrode. The only other metal that rivals gold’s properties is platinum. However, platinum is very difficult to produce and is much rarer. The timelessness of gold and also the fact that it is only found in pure form in nature are qualities much admired. In the Bible, gold is used to express ideas of purity, value and wealth.
Gold also plays a significant role in prophecy. Today’s world with its corrupt monetary systems, will want to heed what the Scriptures say about gold, especially its “last day” roles. Unfortunately, there exist some serious misconceptions and false hopes about gold today.
Many believe that in light of hyperinflation, perhaps a massive worldwide economic depression, monetary debasement by corrupt governments or any other form of economic theft, gold will hold its value. Is this really the case? No! We could cite reams of supporting economic and financial history on this point, both ancient and modern.
The history of the past century alone will dispel all such comfortable notions. Despite two world wars, a supposed massive debasement of our currencies hyperinflation, and the recent gold rally, gold has returned a total of -9% in real terms in 111 years. The supposed financial safe harbor of gold has been a myth. Yet it still stands as a stronger investment value than any currency.
Before going any further, it is therefore important to settle this point of “false hope.” In this present age of gold, as alluring and hopeful as it may appear, it does not offer a sure escape from monetary corruption nor judgment. It may be a promising investment from time to time. It may even provide protection from the ravages of inflation during certain periods. But it will not provide assurance against a world “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (See Matt.6:20). In the first place, we must remember that our Lord Jesus Christ still remains in heaven and that this world still remains thoroughly corrupted.
This great era of human history from a commercial point of view can be called “the Age of Global Capital”. It is marked by world-wide sophisticated forms of monetary corruption and theft. Because of these conditions, many people seek a safe haven for their savings. Investors therefore value gold for what they believe is its property of “real money.”
Just what does the Bible say about gold today and its future roles, especially at the time that God restores everything? In tackling this subject, we need to consider gold’s role over five different eras of time:
1. Old Testament times
2. The Last Days (beginning with the revealing of the Church in the Book of Acts)
3. The Tribulation period
4. The Millennium
5. The Eternal Jerusalem
To be continued...
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.