There are all kinds of new beginnings in the Bible.  The very first one is found in Genesis 1:1. Many Bible scholars feel a judgment had taken place between verses 1 and 2, thereby making verse 2 the second new beginning of the creation of heaven and earth. Dr. C. I. Scofield  even lists several Scriptures as references to this in his commentary in the King James Bible. Other scholars have a different explanation, or none at all.

I remember as a teenager reading those two verses, and feeling a bit confused.
First, there was the heaven and earth, and then there wasn’t!

Nevertheless, there was, at least, the very first new beginning...the creation of all things. Later in Genesis, there is another new beginning for the earth, and mankind…right after Noah’s flood. And, of course, a final new beginning in the book of the Revelation, for the planet, the heavens and mankind. There is even a new beginning for the entire Godhead.

The Bible tells of new beginnings for individuals. The Old Testament speaks of encounters with God changing the course of lives…people are not the same…they turn around and walk in the opposite direction. That is the meaning of the word repentance, by the way. Abraham, Moses, David, Gideon, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, and Job, just to name a few, experienced that glorious encounter.

The New Testament speaks of so many having a new beginning after meeting Jesus. Every disciple except one, called by Christ; the apostle Paul; Mary of Magdala; the demoniac of Gadara, and on and on. Once we have an encounter with the God of the universe, in any form, be it the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the New Testament, or the Holy Ghost in the Church age, we are never the same again.

Millions have been saved (changed) since the beginning, and now in this last church age, thousands are being saved everyday. With our modern means of communication, the Gospel is already being preached around the world, fulfilling the great commission that Christ gave the Church in Matthew 28.

So what is there left to do? The very first thing we must do is prepare for the coming of Christ. Besides the evangelists who have a passion for souls, and the faithful and few missionaries, mostly in foreign lands, the main Body of Christ called the Bride, or the inner body of believers, in EVERY Christian church, also called the over-comers, are not ready; we have NOT overcome, especially here in America. It seems our enemies…the world, the flesh and the devil, win too often.

We have churches on every corner and the Gospel is broadcast on TV and radio, and even the internet 24/7. The table is full yet the Body is in starvation in our own land. And why is that? Because we have little appetite for God. We are rich by most of the world’s standards and feel we have no need for God, (Matthew 19:24).

Most people who DO go to church, only go on Sunday morning. Once a week is all they have a tolerance for and that is mostly out of duty. The rest of the week, they barely think of God. Some will say a prayer at the dinner table, or a bedtime prayer, but the rest of the time it is business as usual.

Many Christians get good works confused with being "rapture ready". If that would be the case, Jesus died for nothing. There are millions of volunteers doing a lot of good works all over the world, but that doesn’t replace knowing JESUS.

There is a belief that has been around for a long time, that if you are a believer in Jesus, you will automatically go up in the Rapture. For those that do not know, the term rapture is only found in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. It means catching away, or being caught up. It refers to that day when Christ appears in the sky and calls His Bride to Heaven. It is an invisible event seen only by those who are going. However, just being born again and living any way you please, and still go up in that great catching away, is a false belief.

The Word says only those who are watching and waiting for His coming, are the ones who are going. If we are watching and waiting everyday, then our life is a whole lot different than the lives of most Sunday morning Christians. It impacts everything we do and everything we say. It changes our life and life style, because our thinking is changed.

We must daily wash our minds with God's Word, as we would daily wash our bodies. If we don't, then we end up with "stinking thinking", as Joyce Meyer calls it. We are by our Adamic nature, carnal minded. Yet, Jesus said we have the mind of Christ! We just don’t appropriate it! The Word also tells us, "As a man thinks, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).

In our Thursday night Bible study, we learned about the Seven Churches which also represents the Seven church ages. Make no mistake…we are in the LAST church age. We have been studying Bible prophecy, and all the pre-rapture signs we found, have already been fulfilled…in fact, 85% of all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled IN OUR LIFETIME!

As of now, the Church is not ready for Christ’s return. If Jesus comes for us this week, all the church parking lots will still have most of the same cars in them next Sunday, that were there this Sunday, including the Pastors'!

I cannot imagine how the disappearance of all the world’s young children will be explained, unless they say UFO’S have taken them! Once again, Rachel will be weeping for her children and will not be comforted, (Matthew 2:18).

Not long after the Bride leaves, the world leader (or government) comes on the scene. He will sign a peace treaty and bring peace to the Middle East. He will play nice during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation Period.

These same lukewarm Christians (and Jews) will continue to do their duty and go to their lukewarm churches, for the first 31/2 years while the Bride is in Heaven getting her rewards, and partaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb.

When the Anti-Christ sits himself down on the mercy seat in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, half-way through the Tribulation period, and declares himself to be God, then all Hell breaks loose, against the Jews. You can read about it in Matthew 24.

Meanwhile, the lukewarm Christians will also be in trouble. They will be told they must take a mark in their hand or forehead if they want to buy or sell, or get food or any basic needs of life. Perhaps this mark will be on the order of the grocery store bar code, and can be scanned and tracked like an Onstar type thing. Obviously, we are already set up for it; not only with these technologies, but most of the countries of the world are now 90% cashless societies.

Some left-behind Christians will remember from their church teaching, that taking the mark means eternal doom, and refuse. That means those who did not live for the Lord before the Rapture, will now have to die for the Lord during the Tribulation. These are the martyrs that the Revelation refers to that comes up out of the Great Tribulation. The rest will have headed for the hills and manage to live off the land, in constant hiding.

This is too awful to contemplate…therefore we must get ready now.

Many churches have been in transition for a long time, and it has not necessarily been for the good. Most of us have not seen much of the power of God in action in the past 40 years. In Bible numerology, the number 40 is a number meaning testing. All of our programs, sales-pitch sermons, and various enticements designed in the hearts of men for church growth, have not been a substitute for the movement of the Holy Spirit, when bidden to come in by unified, repentant, and hungry hearts.

The number 7 in Biblical numerology means perfect or full as in satiety, not able to hold anymore. I think most of us are finally fed up with going through the motions of worship, when the glory of God is not in our midst.

The number 8 represents a new beginning. I believe it is a new day for the Church, in 2008.

The Psalmist says in Ps. 98:1 “Sing a new song unto the Lord for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory”.

It is time we sing a new song. We have passed through our 40 years of a mourning period. Our night will turn to day. Tears are shed in the night but joy comes in the morning. It is time to move forward. Paul said to forget those things which are behind and press on toward our high calling of God. The old things and ways have passed away, and now all things are become new.

It is time for the whole army of God to march on and move forward. We are the ones who will take the land for Christ, and that includes Hometown, USA.

We must get ready for that assignment. We must pray for a hunger for God and His revelation to us as a church. Firstly, we need the prayer teams in place. Then we need the praise teams in place, as it was in the tabernacle.

Outside the church/school in Texas, where I was trained in the 1960's, was a sign over the door…"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”.  People did their visiting outside. When they came into the sanctuary, everyone was kneeling in their pews or at the altar, in whispered prayer.

There was a Holy hush in the house and an air of expectancy. The people came on assignment…they prayed until the Holy Ghost came in, and the services were wondrous. We saw miracles and healings in just about every service, and they were a Spiritual manifestation that came out of heartfelt worship. Those folks had developed a RELATIONSHIP with God!
Even our various ministries are but an overflow of our relationship with God! Selah (pause and meditate on that).

The church house was always full and it was just a plain wood frame church with hard pews…people always sat in the same place, and left their personal cushions in their seat, to kneel or sit upon.

Neither were there any external trappings to attract people. No dinners, socials,  programs, or even Vacation Bible School.  There was nothing extra offered but the plain Gospel taught twice daily and folks that knew how to pray and praise God. The teenagers, and even the young kids knew how to preach, sing and pray, and were filled with a passion for Christ.

Those early Methodists in that town, were on fire for God. Later, all denominations came for training. Missionaries were sent out all over the world from that obscure training center, and their work has gone on since the 1940’s.

This kind of church starts within the individual hearts of the people, for we ARE the church. We should be asking ourselves “If not us, then WHO? If not now, then WHEN”?

David said he meditated on the word day and night…so that means we give God our first fruits of the morning and our last conversation at night.

To meditate on the Word is not just reading meditate means to "chew on it"... to THINK about what we read. David said “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you”.  The memorized Word keeps us and even the little children from sin.  ESPECIALLY the little children!

When the Word is in us, we treat people differently…we esteem the other person higher than ourselves. We show respect for our leaders and the elders of the Body, and for the Lord’s house. It is just getting back to the milk of the Word, to basic Christianity!

Gathering around the altar to pray before services, is a reasonable thing to do. As a group, we are inviting the Holy Spirit into our midst. Without His presence and anointing, pastors can do nothing behind the pulpit, anyway. It is all just hot air.

Let us all recommit ourselves afresh and anew to God, this coming year and ask Him to have His way in our churches rather than our own way.

Try missing a meal now and then each week, which is called a chosen fast. It brings the power of the Holy Spirit up in us, when the body is afflicted. As we put the body under subjection, the Spirit rises up within us. We replace the meal time with that time alone in prayer, and seeking God. It will bring amazing benefits in our walk with God...the old-timers knew that. When individuals get "on fire" for God, the CHURCH catches fire, as we bring it with us into the services.

In fact, we have thrown the baby out with the bath water, when we left some of those old time ways. I believe in progress, and am aware that we live in a different generation and culture...however, many pastors have replaced some of the basic Biblical teachings, with feel-good messages, in order to build up church attendance. We have to update the old methods without doing away with the proven principles of worship, service, seeking God with a whole heart, and just plain LIVING like a Christian!

We leaders have to get back to the old-fashioned preaching about sin. Not only to bring sinners unto repentance and then into salvation, but to get the Bride ready for the soon coming of our LORD!

"Please help us Lord Jesus, to be found faithful, and not ashamed at Your appearing, by returning unto us the FIRE of the Holy Spirit, and the JOY of our salvation" is my prayer for 2008...Another New Beginning...Amen!

Pastor Moser
January, 2008

W. O. W.

There is so much world in the church and so much church in the world, that it is hard to tell the difference!