May 23 “Lightning”


An electrical charge high in rain-laden clouds builds as contrary winds torment each other.
When a cloud can hold no more electricity, the charge jumps, sometimes to another cloud and sometimes all the way to the ground. Objects too close feel the power. Positive and negative forces are balanced again, for a while.

So it is in a storm and so it is in history. Evil accumulates in the hearts of men as they ignore their Creator and live only for themselves. Nations do this, too. Israel always had enemies, like storm clouds, threatening their borders. When the negative forces became so great, the pagan hordes invaded the holy places and sacrificed unclean animals in the Holy Place. In the language of prophets, this was called “The Abomination of Desolation.”

Like the contrary winds in a terrible storm, this stroke of lightning required more than the evil of pagans; it required the apostasy of God’s people, a great falling away. This was what was meant by “desolation.” Pagan sacrifices outside of the city were an abomination—a deep offense to God. When these profane sacrifices were made in the house of God—that was desolation.

It had happened before and Jesus warned that it would happen again. Not one stone of the beautiful temple would be left standing. In AD 70, the Roman general leading this siege was Titus, himself destined to reign as Caesar. The Roman army broke through the gates, sacked the city, and burned Herod’s Temple. The warnings in Jesus’ words applied to those hearing Him who would experience this abomination of desolation. It would result in the diaspora of the Jews—exiled to wander through the earth until God restores them to the Land of Promise. That happened in 1948.

Another Tribulation
The words of Scripture can have more than one application. The warnings of Jesus in this passage have a meaning for our day as well.

  • The first thing we must learn from these passages is this: True worship brings God’s protection and false worship brings destruction. The promises of God are Covenantal promises, that is, they are conditional. If we will do our part; God will do His part.
  • The other thing we must learn is that another tribulation period is coming. There will be a great falling away and the love of many shall wax cold. Worship will no longer be in spirit and truth, but in the flesh and in lies.

In these end-times a contrary wind will also blow from God. As He did at Creation, the Spirit of God will move upon the earth. A great wind of the Spirit of God will counter the evil winds of the abomination. Never has such a conflict been seen on the earth. The Gates of Hell will put the Church to siege, seeking to ruin our worship and thus break our covenant of protection with God.

The Great Outpouring
As the Spirit is poured out, our sons and daughters shall prophecy. There will be signs and wonders because Jesus Himself walks among us with healing in His wings. We will be caught away from the worst of this Tribulation to feast with the Lord until suddenly, like blinding lightning, Jesus will appear with 10000 of His saints to right all wrongs and establish His peace.

So let us worship in spirit and truth so we can be ready when the trumpet sounds!

Matthew 24:15-28
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NKJV
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Revelation 22:20 NKJV
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Lord Jesus, help me be true to my Covenant with You! It is a New Covenant in Your blood. I will worship in Spirit and in Truth. I will tell Your story to one and all. I will live a holy life by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I will not participate in the Great Falling Away but I will seek the great Outpouring of Your Spirit. I want to hear that trumpet sound and that angel shout. I want to join You and my loved ones in that meeting in the air! Amen. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

Hasten Thy Glorious Coming Lord
Words and Music: Oren E. Munger

1. Christ’s coming now is nearing, Blest day of His appearing,
This tho’t my heart great joy affords;
Millions around are sighing, For this release are crying,
“Hasten Thy glorious coming Lord.”

Jesus is coming soon, coming I know, Coming His glorious bride to claim;
With raptrous hearts we’re waiting, To Join that grand translating,
“Hasten Thy glorious coming Lord.”

2. Sorrow and sin prevaileth, In pain the earth travaileth,
Darkness abounds in ev’ry land;
But in earth’s darkest hour He’ll come in mighty power,
“Hasten Thy glorious coming Lord.”

3. He warns us to be watching, Praying and always ready,
We do not know the day nor hour;
Are you your heart preparing, Ascension robes now wearing,
Washed in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb?


4. So when the trumbet soundeth, And He from heav’n desendeth,
To claim the church, His spotless bride:
With boundless joy we’ll greet Him, As we arise to meet Him,
“Hasten Thy glorious coming Lord.”

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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