Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Should You Think It Strange When God Intervenes Supernaturally? Acts 26: 8

As a believer, I have never raised a dead person, but as a reporter, I have interviewed people who have. As believer, I have never glimpsed heaven, but I've interviewed two people who have been there in the spirit. I have interviewed and documented (where possible) thirty-eight believers from around the world—evangelists, missionaries, doctors, award-winning authors, and "ordinary" believers.  I have collected their stories of God's life-changing supervention in their lives. 
As I pondered the many titles on Amazon which repeat the words miracle or God encounters, I asked the Lord for a different word that would describe their experiences. He dropped supervention into my head. Was that even in the dictionary? It is not in Webster's or a few others on my desk. However, I found it in the Oxford American Dictionary. “Supervention” is defined as an interruption or change from some condition or process—the perfect word for what God is doing in the lives of His people. Interrupting and redirecting their paths. Healing a condition. Changing the process.
You are about to read stories from people who have experienced a divine interruption in the direction of their lives. A supervention. Not every story has the hoped-for miraculous outcome. Some describe unexpected guidance, impossible peace in the midst of tragedy, or receiving Christ's empowerment to do something impossible.
Some readers will find their theology challenged. Most people base their belief on what they have experienced (or not experienced) throughout the years of their lives. Everyone can point to times when prayers went unanswered for healing or for other intervention. However, that should not cast doubt on the times when God does supervene to heal, to speak, or to rescue.
Some will shake their heads in outright skepticism. We ask the readers to base their faith, not in other people's experiences, but solely in the Word of God and to remember that He says all things are possible to them that believe.
It is our hope that each story is examined in the light of scripture. Is there biblical precedent? Does this glorify the Lord Jesus? Those are the questions I asked before including each of the following testimonies.
Readers, enjoy. Skeptics and doubters, open your minds.

Believers, praise God.
I am including one delightful story from the book on this Blog today. It is truly a faith-builder. 
Are Marriages Made in Heaven?
By Kevin Knight as told to H. L. Ford
Be ye not unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV).

Are marriages really made in heaven?
Some people say they had a matchmaker from the opposite place. With one of every two marriages ending in divorce these days, it could be that many couples do have the wrong matchmaker.
A young man and woman who met in Canada have a rather amazing story to tell about their own Matchmaker. It's a story that every Cinderella and knight in shining armor dreams of when seeking a future husband or wife. Only there is no fairy godmother in this love story.
Speaking of knights, the young man whose last name is Knight (coincidentally), grew up in New Brunswick, Canada in a home that he describes as “not exactly Christian.”
At the age of fifteen, Kevin Knight attended an evangelistic crusade that changed his life. The message by John Wesley White drew him to the cross. On September 15, 1977, he gave his heart to Jesus. That date was to become quite significant in his life in more ways than one.
After graduation from high school, Kevin enrolled as a student at Bethany Bible College. During his second year, an attractive young woman arrived on campus. She immediately caught his eye.
From Corning, New York, Rhoda Whitaker had grown up in a godly home. Her mother was a woman of deep faith.
Both Kevin and Rhoda had been praying separately for the Lord to bring the “right person” into their lives. Kevin especially wanted confirmation, because of some family issues and insecurity he had experienced during his growing-up years.
The pair began spending time together. Soon Kevin realized he was falling in love. He was pleased when Rhoda's parents invited him to their New York State home for a visit during Christmas break. In January of 1984, Kevin and Rhoda drove to Corning together. On the way, Rhoda said something which Kevin will never forget. “My mother is very prophetic and she will know when she meets you if you are the one for me.”
Kevin later recalls, “I didn't know what 'prophetic' meant, and I didn't put much stock in those words at the time.” Still, the idea made him a little nervous, especially when Rhoda mentioned that every previous young man she had introduced to her mother received only a cordial comment, “Yes, he's a nice enough friend.”
Kevin was hoping for more than friendship with his lovely companion. They arrived and were greeted by Rhoda's father, Nathan, who welcomed Kevin warmly. Jane, her mother, sat quietly and just observed. As the evening progressed, Kevin and Rhoda's parents spent a couple of hours getting to know each other. He thought things went very well.
That night, he doesn't recall dreaming of wedding bells; however, the next morning as he walked into the room where Rhoda and her mother were sitting, he saw that they were looking through bridal books.
Now that might surprise any young man, especially if he had not yet even popped the all-important question.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! What's going on here?” he exclaimed.
Jane rose and said, “Wait right here, Kevin. I want to show you something.” She left the room and returned carrying a very worn, black Bible.
This has been misplaced a long time. I just recently found it,” Jane said with a twinkle in her eye. She opened it and removed a piece of paper.
Then she told Kevin the following story: “In 1977 I had surgery, and while I was regaining my strength, I rested on the couch and prayed. I asked the Lord for a godly young man to be my daughter's future husband. The Lord answered me with very specific directions. He said I should cut a piece of paper into the shape of a large egg. I wrote down the words He gave to me at that time. Then I placed it in my Bible. This egg-shaped paper is a symbol of God's promise to me that something has been waiting to hatch.”
Jane handed the paper to Kevin. On it, he read a description of certain character traits—personal qualities that described him perfectly. He was astonished at how specific the words captured his very essence.
I knew when I read them that I was the one the Lord had chosen for Rhoda,” Kevin smiles.
Rhoda also knew that Kevin was her “knight,” with or without shining armor.
The pair enjoyed a few days visiting with Rhoda's family before they returned to Canada. Then Kevin decided to visit Moncton Wesleyan Church in New Brunswick, the church where he had given his heart to the Lord. He found Forest McArthur, a lay person at the church, and asked out of curiosity, “Do you happen to have any idea of the date when I got saved?”
Mr. McArthur nodded, led him upstairs to a file cabinet, looked through some papers and pulled out a card. “Here you are. You were saved on September 15, 1977.”
Kevin stood there staring. It was a moment of undeniable confirmation. He had surrendered his heart to Jesus on the same day Jane's mother had been praying—the very date on which the Lord had instructed her to write on an egg-shaped piece of paper.
If Kevin had any shadow of doubt, it was erased at that moment.
The couple married and eventually settled near Branson, Missouri. They have three beautiful daughters and the Lord has brought a godly young man into each of their lives. “We always told them to make sure they marry God's best,” says Kevin. “Our own marriage has been great, and Rhoda and I love serving the Lord together. We want that same blessing for our daughters.”
I suspect that readers of this story may be asking for Jane Whitaker's phone number in order to call in a prayer request for a match made in heaven.
The actual number everyone needs, not only for a godly spouse, but for every matter of life, is found in Jeremiah 33:3. Paraphrased it says, Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great things which you do not know.
That covers everything, including revealing the characteristics of a future godly mate.

About Kevin Knight: Kevin pastors Homestead Worship Center, 5200 State Highway J in Kirbyville, Missouri. He also is a sales representative for Branson Tri-Lakes News. Rhoda is a nurse assistant at Cox Hospital in Branson. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Have You Ever Wondered about The Five Foolish Virgins?

How many would agree that this interpretation of this parable is correct? I've often wondered.

Published by Jerry Baysinger on 01 Aug 2014 at 11:31 am


The Lord Jesus spoke a parable about the kingdom of heaven and ten virgins. How does this parable relate to this particular time we are in? Let’s read what He said in Matthew 25:1-12:Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
First thing we notice is that all ten were virgins; that is pure and undefiled, who were going forth to meet the bridegroom, that is symbolically Christ Jesus.  They took their lights, as the wedding was to take place at night.  It says five were wise and took oil for their lights, and five were foolish and took no extra oil, thinking they would not be waiting long for the bridegroom.  Many in the church think Christ Jesus is coming quickly, even before the tribulation, so they won’t be waiting long, nor having to endure anything.  Those represent the foolish virgins.  Keep in mind, these foolish virgins are pure and undefiled, just like the five wise virgins.  They are all beloved to the bridegroom, else they wouldn’t have been invited to the wedding.
Now, the five wise virgins took extra oil, knowing their wait may be long, and the oil their lamps held might not be enough.  In other words, they planned to wait and endure as long as necessary.  They waited quite a while until they all went to sleep.  But their lamps were still burning.  And at midnight a cry was made that the bridegroom was coming, and to go meet him.  And we see all ten awoke from their sleep and trimmed their lamps and the five foolish virgins realized it was later than they thought and their lamps had gone out.  Why?  They ran out of oil.
Having not prepared for the long wait, the five foolish virgins went to the five wise virgins and asked them to share their oil.  The oil represents the Holy Spirit and the anointing of God.  But don’t you know, if you haven’t prayed, if you haven’t studied, if you haven’t spent quality time with the LORD, and developed your relationship with Christ Jesus RIGHT NOW while you still have time, when He comes, you won’t have time then to “catch up”.  And you’ll be shut out of the Kingdom of God. And that’s exactly what happened to the five foolish virgins.  The wise ones refused to give up any of what they had carefully prepared and told them to go to them that sell and buy for themselves, that meaning, “we can no longer share our provision with you, if you neglected to prepare then, too bad, so sad.  You knew to prepare and didn’t, because you figured you could look to someone else to prepare for you, but it doesn’t work like that.
You can’t get in the Kingdom of Heaven on someone else’s anointing or their relationship with Christ Jesus. Just because Grandpa or Grandma knew Jesus and loved Him and went to heaven doesn’t mean YOU will. What happened?  The five foolish virgins left to go get oil, or “anointing and the Holy Spirit”.  Well, they got it alright, for they were pure and undefiled, as you remember.  But they acted TOO LATE! They put off seeking God with all their heart for “another time when they had more time”.  You know how it is with everything in our lives that we need to do.  We always need to prioritize our time to make sure we get the necessary things done, right?  Well, the most important thing ANY of us have on our plate is our relationship with God: that is if you’re WISE.  But if not?  Well then God gets shoved down to the bottom of your priority list, and if there’s any time left that you don’t have something more important to do, like watching your favorite TV show, then you’ll spend time with God, maybe. You’re busy, right?
Well, by the time they got back, the five wise virgins had already gone in to the wedding, and the door was SHUT.  Still keeping in mind, all TEN virgins were invited to the wedding.  It was the bridegroom’s perfect will that all TEN be there, and He made provision for all ten to celebrate with Him.  But only FIVE were there at the appointed time of the BRIDEGROOM’S choosing.  The rest were off doing something else, and not where they should have been, when they should have been there. I liken it to being at the airport when your ship comes in.  Sooooo,  they banged on the door to gain entrance.  LORD, LORD, we’re ready now, open the door for us and let us in!  But the bridegroom answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Is that what YOU want to hear?  There’s only one way to avoid that, and that is to seek the LORD NOW with all your heart so you are prepared, no matter how long you have to wait.  If you are wise, you will prepare yourself to endure the tribulation if necessary, and be determined you will be found in Christ Jesus, no matter how severe the world’s circumstances get or how long Jesus delays His coming.  Then, if it turns out He comes sooner and takes us out before the tribulation, fine. It’s better to prepare and not have to use it than to not prepare and do without.   But those who think they may not have to endure and have not spiritually and mentally prepared themselves to endure hardness, will not endure the hard times if Jesus delays His coming, and they will become disappointed and give up, thinking, “Why did God not deliver us from hardship?”, and be left standing outside the Kingdom of Heaven.
Keep in mind, they were all called, but they were not all chosen. God’s salvation is for “whosoever will”, and He made preparation so that ALL can be saved, but not all choose to prepare themselves for His coming.  I can’t prepare for you.  All I can do is WARN you, for that is my job. What you do with that warning is entirely YOUR responsibility.  If I don’t warn you, then if you are shut out of the Kingdom of God, your blood is on my hands and I will have to give account, for God has called me to be a watchman.  But I’m on the job, I’m warning you, so you can’t say, NOBODY TOLD ME TO PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST JESUS.
Jesus loves you so very much and He wants you to be there at the wedding feast.  You’re invited.  He will open the door when it’s time.  When is that?  I don’t know, but I’m already at the door waiting.  I’m not taking any chances.  Your job is to be there when He opens that door.  He will only open it once.   I hope to see you there.  Take a lesson from the ten virgins.  Be wise, be prepared. Be one who gets in.