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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sanctuary

I have been working on, and praying about this article for a few days now. It was much harder to write than I had anticipated. It may anger some of you, and open the eyes of others. I can but only be faithful to the Word. May God bless all of you, guide you, keep you and protect you. My trip to Romania is not permanent, I need to return for a few weeks to check up on some projects we are working on, and see my brother Daniel who is finally out of the hospital. Thank you all for your prayers on his behalf.

Sanctuary: A place of refuge or asylum; the state of being protected or safeguarded from danger or hardship.
Refuge: That to which one turns for help when in desperation; a source of help, relief, or comfort in times of trouble.
For those who have long chosen to dismiss the prophetic with the wave of a hand, and a roll of the eyes, these can be some unnerving and disturbing times. How could one believe the words of impending judgment, of financial collapse, of natural disasters and of unprecedented tensions, when in the physical all they could see was prosperity, smooth sailing and good times ahead?
I believe that for some time now we have entered into the realm of fulfillment when it comes to the prophetic warnings concerning this land we love called America, and those wise among us, with the spiritual foresight to see beyond today, and believe the word of God, are not taken by surprise as one improbable event after another takes place.
Even those of the house of God who have only maintained what they considered to be a relationship with the Father simply because they believed if they faked it well enough, He would bless them abundantly are stunned, speechless, seeing the pieces of the last days puzzle coming together seamlessly as it was foretold in the Word. The writing is on the wall and though many see it as Belshazzar saw it, due to their deeply held doctrine of never seeing hardship or trouble, of being caught away at the first signs of adversity, they are somehow able to justify indifference toward a loving God, and refuse to prepare themselves for what is about to unfold. ‘Why should we worry about tomorrow, if we won’t be here to see it?’ This is the deadpan answer I have received so often when attempting to teach on end time prophecy and on end time events. ‘It’s all well and good brother, but at best this is an intellectual exercise. We’ll all be in heaven, and have a front row seat watching the times of trouble unfold on the earth. It is interesting, you’ve put allot of thought into this, but in the end quite pointless.’
Times are changing, life is becoming increasingly difficult, prophecy is being fulfilled, and those who refuse to see the truth of the Gospel continue to keep one eye firmly fixed on the heavens, thinking to themselves, ‘any minute now, He’s got to show up in the clouds any minute now.’
This article is not for such people. Even when one can prove Biblically that we will be here far longer than they had previously thought, they still refuse to believe it, dragging out the old tired line, ‘that’s the way you choose to interpret it brother, I see it different.’ It is not about interpreting the Word, it is about reading and receiving it as is, without allowing our personal feelings or emotions to cloud the truth of Gospel.
Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then, the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
In the context of this passage, knowing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of mankind spoke them, I would like to broach the subject of sanctuary, or refuge during these times. As of late I have been asked by a growing number of brothers and sisters, what it is that they should do, and where it is that they should go, knowing the season that approaches. I will begin by saying that there is no easy answer. What may be God’s perfect will for me, and what may be my place of safety, may not be thus for my brothers or my father. We must acknowledge the fact that our faith is not collective, and thereby the place of refuge is not a singular geographical location, where all believers will congregate eventually.
For the past decade or so, men have been popping up throughout this land, claiming to know the place of refuge for all of Christendom, that one specific location wherein God’s children will be protected and spared. These locations change of course, from one individual to another ranging from Belize, to Chile, to Argentina, to the Ural Mountains, and some easily swayed souls who were not grounded in the Word packed up and moved away without a second thought. If anyone reading this article today is considering packing up and moving out based on another man’s advice, please, please reconsider. If God told him to move to Belize, then by all means brother, have a safe flight, and look out for the spiders. The fact that God told one individual does not mean it is a blanket statement for the entire body of Christ. When it comes to something such as this, God will speak to each of His children individually, and yes, some will be told to leave, but most will be told to stay, that they may be a testimony of God’s ability to protect even in the eye of the storm.
Our place of sanctuary is not a geographical location. Our place of sanctuary is in the will of God, under the shadow of His wing. If we have not grown and matured in God, if we have not learned to trust Him implicitly in every area of our lives, then it will not matter where we go geographically speaking. When someone leaves a nation out of fear for what is coming, and not due to the fact that God told him or her to do so, they have removed themselves from under the covering of God’s protection.
Amos 5:4, “For thus says the Lord of the house of Israel: ‘seek Me and live.”
Yes, I have been praying and petitioning God to allow me to move back to my homeland because it is the desire of my heart, yet here I will stand until He tells me to go. If He never tells me to go, then here I will be for I know that here is the only place where I will find myself in His perfect will and thereby be spared the judgments that are ready to be poured out upon the ungodly.
Psalm 33:13-21, “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name.”
Oh that we would understand this sacred passage and know where our refuge and our sanctuary truly are. Oh that we would open our eyes to the reality that our strength, our storehouses, our plans and notions of what will keep us safe are worthless. Oh that we would see the truth of God’s word and know that those who fear Him, and hope in His mercy will be delivered from death and kept alive in famine.
Dear friend, if God tells you to go, then by all means go. However, if God has not spoken, do not make the mistake of presuming to know the mind of God, do not make the mistake of walking out of His perfect will thinking that you know better than He. If I can encourage you with anything, it is with the reassurance that God is able to protect both you and your family, no matter what may come.
The judgment of God is reserved for the ungodly, just as the plagues were reserved for Egypt. In the midst of Egypt there was a land called Goshen, where the children of Israel happened to be. They had not been told to go anywhere; they were protected exactly where they were. While the plagues of God rained down upon the land of Egypt, Goshen was at peace, for the children of God dwelt there.
‘But brother Mike, what about the scripture that tells us to come out of her My people?’ My answer to this, is how can you go when you were not sent? It is easier to presume a physical exodus from this land, than search our hearts to see if we have come out of Babylon spiritually. There are countless souls who are still tethered spiritually to the spirit of Babylon, and God in His infinite wisdom is admonishing His people to come out of her, while they may.
Proverbs 14:26-27, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to avoid the snares of death.”
It is not in South America, it is not in the Congo, it is not in Paraguay that the children of God will have a place of refuge it is in the fear of the Lord. If we are obedient children, He will guide and protect us like a loving Father. If the fear of the Lord is ever present in our hearts, and as such we remove ourselves from the world, and we learn to hate evil, for the fear of the Lord is to hate evil, then we have strong confidence, for the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, and causes us to avoid the snares of death.
No, the judgment that is about to descend, not only upon this nation but upon the world is not intended for the children of God, for just as Israel was spared in Goshen, so too will we have a refuge, a safe haven, and a sanctuary in God. The persecution that will follow however, well that is an article for another time.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On The Road Again

We were on the road this weekend, thankfully we didn't have to drive very far, only about two hours each way, and had a real fruitful time of fellowship with some friends near Appleton Wisconsin.
I have been working on a post entitled 'Sanctuary' for the past few days, and hopefully will have the first installment up sometime tomorrow. As always, thank you all for your prayers and your patience. I will be leaving for Romania a week from tomorrow, and so have been running around most of the week with everyone's shopping lists from back home. So far I've bought suspenders, baby tylenol, jeans, medical books, coloring books, homeschooling manuals, and fish oils. I'm almost halfway through the list. I keep trying to explain to everyone back home that you're only allowed 2 fifty pound suitcases, but no one seems to understand that one hundred pounds isn't as much as it seems. Anyway, just thought I'd pop in and let everyone know I am still alive and kicking. God bless.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea JR.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Way Into the Kingdom Part 3

First off, thank you all for your prayers, and your suggestions on natural cures for strep. I could probably put together a nice little brochure on how to cure strep from all the e-mails i've gotten, and the comments on homeward bound. I'm better, and after having consumed industrial quantities of Ricola, (if you don't know what Ricola is they're really good cough drops), even felt well enough to take my wife to the airport. She's in Romania now, made it safe with no interesting stories to tell. Belated as it might be, here is the final installment of the way into the kingdom. We also posted the E-Newsletter today, so if you haven't gotten a chance to peruse it, I think it's worth a few minutes of your time.
My wife took her laptop with her, and I am forced to use my on special, not quite all there laptop, purchased at a place that rhymes with Ball-Mart, which is better known for well, value rather than quality. Oddly enough I borrowed this dinosaur from my friend Geno eons ago, and I'm hoping to return it before I turn fifty. The reason I mention this is because I can't put the verses in bold and italics. I may try to go to the office tomorrow and fix it, but for now, my apologies again.
Luke 13:27, “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.”
The Word of God is never repetitive simply for the sake of repetition. Unlike modern authors, God did not have a quota to fill, a minimum amount of pages to write, and in His inability to come up with something new, chose to repeat Himself just to make the Book seem bigger.
When the Word of God repeats a certain passage, when certain words are accentuated over and over again, it is not for dramatic effect, but for emphasis. By repeating the words ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from’, the Word of God is pointing out the significance, relevance, and importance of this passage as it pertains to salvation, sanctification, and regeneration of the human heart.
A truth that is continually brought up, repeated, and concentrated upon must be received and appropriated with all due diligence, because the orator or writer, sees that the life of the listener or the reader is in danger of eternal death.
I have been asked on several occasions why I continually bring up the topic of repentance in my sermons, because as one lady put it I seem intelligent enough to come up with new material. The reason I preach repentance every time I stand behind a pulpit is not due to an inability to fashion a sermon, but rather due to the paramount importance of repentance in the life of a believer. I hammer home the point, often to the chagrin of the listeners, because absent of repentance one will never know the comforting grace of God. If something is as important as eternity, it is worth repeating over and over again.
In this verse, Jesus repeats the words He uttered in a previous verse during the same conversation. But how could He not know them if they claimed to have drank in His presence, and to have heard Him teach in their streets? Because it is not enough to hear, it is not enough to catch a glimpse of Christ from the corner of one’s eye, it is not enough to witness a miracle; one must be born again, born of Christ, living in Christ, moving in Christ, perpetually becoming Christ like.
It is not enough to be a religious person, born of religious parents, fulfilling all the traditions of one’s chosen denomination, and defending the denomination rather than Christ will all your might. The Jews of old did the same exact thing, yet they were Christ’s mortal enemies, because rather than encourage the masses to worship as dictated by tradition, He counseled them to worship God in spirit and in truth. Since His Kingdom is not of this world, a worldly-minded individual can never understand it, or discover its beauty.
John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
The nature of Christ cannot be known in the midst of sin, but can only be discovered and emulated, once the sin has been removed from our hearts, and we have removed ourselves from sin. It is then that we are truly born again. Even though the Pharisees were religious, their inability to know Christ for who He truly was betrays the fact that they were sinful men.
When a man believes, and truly repents, receiving Christ as Lord and Savior of His existence, he is born again, not of blood, but of God. It is not religion that saves; it is Christ and Christ alone.
John 1:12-13, “But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Christ repeats these scathing words, words that will ring in the hearts and minds of so many for all eternity, that while we may we would search our hearts in the light of God’s Word, and honestly answer the following questions: Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going?
If the answer to who we are is anything other than ‘a child of God, saved and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb’, then we have missed the mark and are living in error.
If the answer to where we are, spiritually speaking, is not ‘in the will of God, founded and cemented in the truth of His word, no longer distracted by the world, or by those claiming to be of Christ but are not’, then once again, we have missed the mark and are living in error.
If the answer to where we are going is not ‘from grace to grace and glory to glory, ever growing in God, ever maturing in the Spirit, ever drawing closer to Him’, then we are not headed in the right direction, and we must take a moment, get our bearings, and rediscover Christ in all His wondrous glory.
If today we cannot be bothered by the essentials, if today we attempt to justify indifference toward the Word of God, if today we turn our back on the saving grace of Christ, if today we find substitutes for true transformation and regeneration, if today we are satisfied with less than all of God, if today we discard the truth because it is too difficult to abide by, if today we attempt to bypass a true and lasting relationship with Jesus in lieu of momentary experiences whether they be divine or otherwise, the day will come when we will hear the dreaded words ourselves, “depart from me, I do not know you all you workers of iniquity.”
Saints of God, may we be sober minded during these dark days, may we know that we are anchored in truth, may we be satisfied in Christ, and satiated by God’s word, may we embrace brokenness, humility, weeping and supplication rather than exuberance, giddy laughter, empty doctrine and false signs. The day of reckoning is at hand, and all that can be shaken will be shaken. May you be found strong in the Lord, may you be found steadfast in His will. If you have found truth and light, if you have found life and peace, if you have found joy and comfort in the Lord, do not be moved, I say again do not be moved. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s not even grass, it’s artificial turf; it looks pretty from afar, but offers absolutely nothing.
I remember while traveling with my grandfather in the early nineties we would stay in people’s homes while on the road. For some reason artificial fruit was very popular back then, I think everyone remembers them, the beautiful apples and grapes, the peaches and bananas, all made out of plastic. They were fun to look at but if you attempted to eat one, the best you can hope for is a chipped tooth.
There is far too much plastic fruit in God’s house today. It offers no sustenance, no nutritive value, just there for decoration and nothing more. The spirit is slowly but surely being starved to death, while the eye gazes upon baskets and baskets of molded plastic. We need the Bread of Life that we might live; we need the waters of life that our parched and thirsty souls may drink in the living waters and be renewed and rejuvenated.
Now, while the door is still open, may we sit down in the kingdom of God, and have our fill of His Word, for in it we will find a true abundance, and a life of victory.
Luke 13:28, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.”
I have stated before, and am a firm believer of the fact that there is nothing worse than regret. Take the regret one might feel as a human being, and multiply it exponentially into infinity, and one might just get a glimpse of what it will be like for some, who will find themselves thrust out of God’s kingdom.
Those who chose not to obey God and His written Word, those who were not born again, those who did not have His nature both in their daily lives as well as the church, will be thrust out of the Lamb’s marriage supper, and will not be allowed to remain in God’s house. This thrusting out, will be accompanied by weeping and gnashing of teeth, because those who were thrust out will palely be able to see the grace from which they chose to remove themselves, and know that this was entirely their doing. They will not be able to lay the blame at the enemy’s feet, they will not be able to point out to preachers or evangelists and say, ‘it was they that led me astray’, for every man chooses to believe the truth of God’s Word, or the half-truths of men.
It is a great thing indeed to seize the opportunity, to be aware of the importance of the moment in which one is living. After the moment has passed, after one has allowed the opportunity to slip through their fingers, they can weep, even gnash their teeth, but they will never be able to recapture that moment.
Whomsoever rejects Christ the Savior, whomsoever rejects Christ, as Lord today, will weep bitter tears tomorrow, for they will be thrust out. But brother, how can God be so cruel as to thrust someone out of His kingdom? In truth, it is not God who thrusts man out, it is man who thrusts himself out by unbelief and disobedience.
Total submission, complete surrender, absolute repentance, these are the things that will ensure us a future with God, and a place in His kingdom. Neither signs nor wonders, angels or apparitions, church attendance or financial giving will cause God to welcome us into His eternal rest, only true salvation brought about by the saving power of Christ, and the evident image of His son Jesus upon our countenance.
2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.