Prophetic Tempo — 2014

by Morris Ruddick on January 26, 2015



Expect God’s Unexpected
Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. Then James Audience_1003banswered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. With this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’” Acts 15:12-17

Finding and Preparing the Way
Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads and look; and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. See that I have set watchmen over you, saying, hear and obey the sound of the shofar! Jer 6:16-17 Go through, go through the gates, clear the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Is 62:10 I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12

Worldly Resources and Stewardship
The master commended the unfaithful steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. So make use of worldly resources to benefit others and make friends, as wise stewardship makes room for your future. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust in much. If you have not been faithful with unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust true riches? If you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  Luke 16:8-13

Wise and Faithful Preparation
Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But the servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to bring peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.  Luke 12:42-52

Mature Responses: Defining Priorities
Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good from evil. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us move on to maturity, not laying again the foundations. Heb 5:14-6:1 So prove yourselves not merely hearers of the Word, but doers also, that you not deceive yourselves. James 1:22 He who walks wisely will be delivered. Prov 28:26 To me belong wisdom & might, to me belong counsel & understanding. Job 12:13 The Spirit of the Lord rests upon me-the Spirit of wisdom & understanding the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isa 11:2

Maintaining the Focus
Some have wandered away and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers, but do not know what they are talking about. We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. Yet the law is made not for the righteous, but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious. 1 Tim 1:6-9 The naïve believe everything, but the prudent man is cautious and considers well his steps. Prov 14:15 Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Acts 4:18-20

Importance of the Simple Things
Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool glutted with food, an unloved woman who gets a husband and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress. Prov 30:21 Four things on earth are small, yet are extremely wise: Ants are of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; badgers are feeble creatures, yet they make their home in the rocks; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet is found in kings’ palaces. Prov 30: 24-28

The Emerging Realities
Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak in His wrath, and terrify them in His deep displeasure saying: “I have set My King upon Zion, my holy mountain.” Psalm 2:1-6

LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried out to the Lord and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; and I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, who have set themselves against me. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. Psalm 3

Restoring the Standard
So Daniel turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. ‘O great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from Your commands and laws. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Lord, You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame. But Lord, You are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against You. For we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.'” Daniel 9:3-9, 18  Lord, You have set up a banner for those who fear You, a standard displayed because of the truth. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, save with Your right hand and answer us. Ps 60:3-5

The Alert
Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel; so hear and give them warning from Me. Ez 3:17 Ephraim was called as a watchman and prophet to the surrounding nations; but has become a fowler’s snare in all his ways. There is enmity, hostility, and persecution in the house of his God. Hos 9:8 Yet the Lord will lift up a standard for the nations, and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off. Isa 11:12-13

Preparedness for the Realities
Enlarge the place of your tent and stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left and your descendants will inherit the nations. Isa 54:2-3 We have a strong city. Lord, You have established and strengthened our walls and ramparts. So, open the gates, that all who are righteous may enter, the ones who have remained faithful. The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. For in You we have an everlasting Rock. The way of the righteous is level and smooth. O Upright One, make the path of the righteous straight. While following the way of your judgments, we have eagerly waited for You. At night my soul longs for You. Indeed my spirit seeks you diligently. For when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isa 26:1-10

The Strategy of a Wartime Mind-Set
He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes will you see the reward of the wicked. Ps 91:3-8

Establishing the Standard
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1

Facing the Challenges
Do not be afraid of the sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being taken. Prov 3:25-26 The root of the righteous cannot be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.. Prov 12:3-4 The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is treacherous. v5 The words of the wicked entrap, but the words of the upright delivers them. v6 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand. v7 The wicked are ensnared by their own words, but the righteous escape from trouble. v13 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit. v17 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools blurts out folly. v23

The Expectation: the Power Shift
Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter. So be wise, O kings; be warned, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, for His wrath may soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2:7-12 He who enters by the gate is the shepherd. The watchman opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice; as he calls his own by name and leads them out. When he has brought them out, he goes on ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4

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