by Ken Pullen
Sunday, March 29th, 2020
ACP — A Crooked Path
All Scripture is from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.
A video / audio sermon by Alistair Begg is enclosed at the end of this information.
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17 — English Standard Version
The Day of the Lord
Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been before,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.
Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but behind them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
As with the rumbling of chariots,
they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire
devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army
drawn up for battle.
Before them peoples are in anguish;
all faces grow pale.
Like warriors they charge;
like soldiers they scale the wall.
They march each on his way;
they do not swerve from their paths.
They do not jostle one another;
each marches in his path;
they burst through the weapons
and are not halted.
They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls,
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.
The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?
Return to the Lord
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.
Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep
and say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”
Joel 2:1-17 — English Standard Version
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
2 Peter 2:9 — English Standard Version
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2 Peter 3:10 — English Standard Version
If My People Pray…
If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place.
2 Chronicles 7:13-15 — Christian Standard Bible
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Don’t be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will be healing for your body
and strengthening for your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 — Christian Standard Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.
Proverbs 14:34 — New International Version
Righteousness will exalt the people and sin diminishes a people.
Proverbs 14:34 — Aramaic Bible in Plain English
God moves. God’s movements are not always pleasant. God judges. God judges rightly, perfectly, always. God loves. God restores. God is all. Let none question God’s movements, judgments, love, trials given to us, tribulations endured, anything that God our Father has done, does, or yet will do.
Enough of this lowering God to our finite, sinful level. He is not “the Big Man upstairs,” nor any other disrespectful, lacking in awe and reverence thought, word or deed directed to God the Creator of all things with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Enough of this “I’m angry with God!” or “Why does God cause suffering!?”
God either brings about things due to His direct will, or He allows things to happen due to His direct will. He is always, always, ALWAYS in total control and there is not one word, not one jot or tittle within the whole of God’s word that is not true or contained within the word without purpose.
Suffering? Trials? Pain? Tribulations? Tests? Sin? A crowded hell?
These are all the doings, choices, actions brought about first by the seeds of thought, then the actions taken, the words spoken or written by men and women. God merely hands out His just judgments according to what men and women bring about by our words, our deeds, our thoughts and ways.
You have certainly heard throughout your lifetime as I have, and certainly read about it in school, in which there have always been men and women searching for eternal life, searching for paradise, searching for that perfect world and perfect place in which to be immortal.
Funny thing happened on the way to world history…
It was provided. It was given. It existed and was Created for man and woman IN THE BEGINNING...it was here! And what did the nature, the free will nature of man and woman decide to do with Paradise? no pain, no suffering, no death and in constant communion with God? Why we decided we knew better than God. We disobeyed. We chose to listen to the cunning, honey dripping from its most beautiful lips lying, whispering serpent, that Old Dragon the devil instead. And now? And now we wail, moan, complain, curse, disobey even more, sin even greater denying God! And we actually have the audacity to wonder and ask “Why is this happening?” or worse, “This is from some virus from a bat, a market in Wuhan, China, and has nothing whatsoever to do with God, the coming Day of the Lord, God’s judgments or signs given to people to repent and turn from their evil ways and back to Him, nah, it couldn’t be THAT!”
I’ve heard some say or write in protest, anger or disbelief, wonder; “How can a loving God send anyone to an eternal hell!?”
Friends, dear ones, true disciples, heathen, pagan and walking in darkness unbelieving — God does not desire nor send any person to an eternal hell. Each individual does that themselves. It is upon their heart, their mind, their beliefs, their ways, how they walk, how they talk, how they fashion themselves that determines whether or not each individual resides for eternity among the living in Paradise, in heaven with God the Father, Jesus our Lord, the Holy Spirit and all the heavenly hosts and those who accepted the Son, believed, obeyed and fought the good fight — or — it is upon the heart, mind, spirit and soul of every individual that finds themselves cast into utter outer darkness, pain, gnashing of teeth, eternal pain in the second death in eternal hell for what they believed, or failed to believe. How they fashioned themselves, who they followed and served in the fleshly span given them by God their Creator whom they chose to ignore, deny, mock, hate, disdain, revile and disobey suffering the consequences.
God, I believe, would love if every one of His human creations, each given free will, choice of whom and what they serve and believe, each one unique would choose to believe upon His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. And turn to, learn, know and live His inerrant living and active word. To obey. To thus receive eternal life. I believe God would love this and it would make His heart abundantly glad!
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
Ezekiel 18:23 — English Standard Version
But each man and woman has their own spirit, soul, mind and choice. And, sadly, most will refuse and disbelieve and disobey. And condemn themselves to an eternal hell.
God merely metes out His PERFECT justice and His PERFECT love, dear ones.
Well known singer and entertainer Dolly Parton has spoken bluntly and said that which we are now experiencing is a “lesson from God.” She is spot on. God is in total control always. And God’s ways, God’s movements are not always pleasant for mankind. Not because God is unloving, impatient, or unjust. Just the opposite is true. God is VERY loving, VERY patient and VERY just.
God, Father to those who believe upon His Son, Jesus, and are true disciples of Jesus, and children of God’s. It might sound trite, to simple or even unbelievable to you but as our Father, as Creator of all things, as the author of His word by His Spirit working in the men who wrote the Scriptures, God abhors sin and abominations. God abhors those who turn from Him and His mercy, love, and His Son, Jesus who is the only way to eternal life and to the Father — and as Creator? As our Father? He disciplines His people when they go astray, go their own way, turn from Him and to increasing sin.
The Day of the Lord is much closer than it is further away.
Of course dear readers one will not find, cannot hear one person on TV saying with their tongues what the world is experiencing now is a result of man and woman’s rampant sin. A world run amok. Lost and in utter depravity and darkness.
The Finger of God is upon us.
We are in dire need of sincere repentance. We need to rend our hearts and not our clothes. We need to purify and rend ourselves within. No more empty words or auto-pilot actions. No more complacency. No more showing up somewhere on a Sunday morning and getting your “gold star” for the week to only return to living more of the world than apart from the world, not living as a separate and peculiar people the other 6 days of the week. No more idolizing any man or woman on this earth and losing perspective that all men and women fall short of the glory of God and are sinners. Even that pastor, president, celebrity, athlete, whomever you have made into one of your idols even though you might not see it as such, or disagree. We can even begin to idolize someone close to us. We must always be watchful and careful for the slope of sin is always subtle and appearing like something else many times along the way.
We have lost our way. Lost our perspective. Lost what we claim we found and turned to our own ways while we imagine we’re doing such great work for the Lord!
What the world is experiencing now is due us. We have given lip service, patting ourselves on the back, patting each other on the back rather than lifting ourselves up and lifting each other up closer to God as we’ve lowered Him to our putrid stench that rises to heaven.
Have you ever sat quiet, still for about 10, 12 minutes and seriously, deeply attempted to think on what it is like to be God the Creator, God the lover of mankind? To have to watch, listen, know the every thought, the every vile deed, word and act of the inhabitants of this world? To do such is well beyond our ability and comprehension and in doing that exercise attempting to rise up to understand what it might be like for our God we will fall failingly short.
So try this after you’ve spent that 10, 12 minutes in total quiet, alone, trying to imagine what it must be like for God to see, hear, SMELL our stench rising to heaven — try to imagine the degree and level of sin taking place on this earth among it’s now approximate 7,800,000,000 living inhabitants. This isn’t accomplished by watching FOX News, or any news, or reading the rare still existing newspaper. This is done not be following the lies and false hope and optimism presented by this world and the ministers of Satan appearing like angels of light in their constant lie of “be positive,” and “be an optimist!” and “remove yourself from toxic people!” — no, dear ones, this is done by being a realist. And it takes effort, time, commitment and total objectivity and honesty. Removing all scales, weights, measures, the so-called “baggage” accumulated by living in this world as it is and teaches, and in becoming very fluent in the word of God. Realize from Genesis on through Revelation just how sinful and lost and vile the human race became. And is. After being created perfect. After being created to reside in Paradise in daily communion with God. To have eternal life devoid of suffering, pain, weeds, sweat and death.
Be fluent in the word as to the depravity, disobedience and sin of men and women from the beginning of men and women first being on this earth through the ages to this very minute. Knowing sin and evil will continue to grow as the world hurdles on to its eventual closing as foretold in God’s word.
After pondering to some workable degree the level of sin and the stench rising to heaven 24/7/365 from this earth and its inhabitants? Now then, sit quietly in repose and think deeply on the extraordinary level of sin, evil, depravity, corruption, perversion, abuses, lying and all vulgarities and perversions and abominations taking place continually on this earth. It’s impossible for an individual to do there is so much to take in. If we could do so? It most likely would kill us from the weight of it.
Imagine the sadness God endures continually because of our sin and disobedience when all He really desires of us is to come to Him, His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, His salvation through the shed blood and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ so we can live eternally in the most amazing wonder, love, beauty, astonishment no one on earth no matter how aware or enlightened can begin to comprehend it!
We make God very sad.
We now have opportunity to make God our Father glad in seeing, knowing and taking hold of this opportunity He is giving us to increase in His ways, His word, His Spirit and gifts when all we need to do is turn to Him in faithfulness, ask not amiss, and grow closer to Him. To increase in Light and Truth to then go forth shining more brightly and boldly in the days ahead.
Stop living this illusion and lie that people are inherently good, which the world, all this saturating New Age (pagan revival) teachings teach. People are inherently sinful. It was not only prior to the Great Flood that the imaginings and hearts and minds of men and women were nothing but evil all the day and night long with only 8 righteous folks found. Noah and his family the only ones when God the Creator surveyed the earth finding obedience, reverence, righteous hearts and lives.
God moves. God is moving. Let us not sit idle, isolated, in fear or panic with anxiety.
Let us see what is happening as the hand of God, the most just God giving us OPPORTUNITY in our HOPE we’re to have in ALL THINGS in ALL TIMES no matter what.
Would you be singing songs of praise to God if bound in chains in a Romain prison in the year 50, 60 A.D.? Would you be seeing the Lord God nailed on a cross next to you while you’ve lived a life of sin and crime? One did. The other did not. From Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden and condemned to death, pain and a life of travails and suffering for their sin and disobedience, to the Great Flood, to a nation being held in slavery and wandering for 40 years in a desert due to their sins, to every plague, famine, time of captivity and bondage, to the lusts and crimes of kings, to a disciple selling the Lord for 30 pieces of silver and falling down stairs to have his gut split open and spilled out due to his sin and betrayal, to a lawman, a high official, a persecutor of Jesus’ disciples being stricken sightless by the Light, the Truth, the Way, and the Life on a road to Damascus due to his sin and his evil workings against the Lord to be pierced, knocked down, lowered in order to rise and know and become the chosen apostle of God and Jesus for the Gentile world making it possible for me to write this? And you to read this? To more instances than I can list or count recorded within God’s word of sin and its consequences.
God will not, is not ever mocked or truly denied.
Sometimes God has to move in very dramatic ways to get the attention of the sin-filled and consumed people of the world. Sometimes God has to move in ways that aren’t pleasant to finally get the attention of those walking in delusion, in banality, in illusion, in lies and in sin. And His judgments begin first within His church.
Okay, now that you’ve gasped, your breath as left your lips in a hissing sound and you shake your heads in denial? Go back to the top and reread what is in the inerrant infallible living and active word of God, written by the apostle Peter in his first short book within the Holy Bible, as the Spirit of God moved Peter’s heart and hand to write the words he did.
What is happening now? God has either wrought of His doing, or has allowed to happen. With PURPOSE and with REASON. For His purposes and reasons.
Are we to sit idle? Fearful? Overtaken with fear and anxiety? Hunkered down barely moveable? Or do we see this as the workings, the hand of God and a great opportunity?
This great pause and period of slowness, adjustment ought to be a time of contemplation, reflection and seen as the opportunity it is. Probably the greatest opportunity to grow closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit than at any other time in our lifetimes. To increase in spiritual discernment, understanding and knowledge. To increase in our prayer life. We might become frustrated at this time, thinking “I can’t be effective, I can’t do what I need to do, I can’t witness for the Lord,” and most likely an almost infinite degree of thoughts enter in.
Be calm and patient. We might not see this as opportunity. We might not understand or see all the reasons and benefits behind the current situation in the world, but use this as a great and wonderful time of opportunity.
To increase and grow in and with the Lord and His word. We might not be able to implement this growth and opportunity tomorrow, or next week, or even next month — but — take this time, see this as the opportunity it is to increase in our spiritual walk and understanding with the Lord and the word. Thusly when and if things return to how they were? We each can then shine brighter in being that city on a hill, as a light unto the world. Not for our glory or for any praise for us, no, so that when others see us? They see the Light of the Father in us and glorify Him. We can increase our saltiness to flavor our walk, our words more in the word if and when things resume as they were.
God is making this time possible for growth. Not for fear or despair. Not to be as those in the world are at this time.
We are to be soldiers. In a constant war. Equipped and prepared, ever ready to give account. To stand boldly for our Lord, the Truth and the Way to Life.
I know I need to be better prepared and equipped. Perhaps you see this need also? THIS is the time and opportunity given to us by God our Father to do just that.
Because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. And the status quo won’t cut it as the Day of the Lord approaches closer with each passing day. So while here? As a soldier of Christ’s? In this spiritual war? Why not become stronger, bolder, better equipped for the battle at hand.
Yes, I’m weary and tired also. Physically. But allow through faith, through trust, through conviction to be refreshed, emboldened, fortified and lifted up by the Spirit of God to become the vessel, the instrument for His purpose we all can and ought to become.
This is our opportunity. No more excuses. Now is given the time.
Every person, whether accepting it, believing it or not is in a perpetual, nonstop escalating spiritual war. This is the greatest longest ongoing war in world history. With more casualties than all the wars, battles and bloody fights this world has known or will ever know. And no one is a spectator. No one is 4-F, or a conscientious objector, No one. Each person that has ever lived, that is living now, or that is yet to live is cast into this 24/7/365 — and 366 days nonstop spiritual war.
Each person is on one side or the other.
And here’s something you should know if you already don’t…
God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and all those soldiers and those wearing the full armour of God never wavering, never falling, never becoming disloyal, never giving up, never surrendering (except to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Their will and ways) win in the end. It’s the only world history book not only ever written that is 100% accurate and true, but also tells the very clear end of known history even before such time has arrived!
The Whole Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 6:10-20 — English Standard Version
The Holy Bible is the only history book ever written that is 100% true that also tells the complete clear end of history, how it unfolds and how what has been known comes to an end and what happens next in world history. Redundant, I know. Wrote that immediately above, but, hey, do you get that? Do you, will you understand, see and believe? Your eternal life depends upon such, and in case you’re wondering…eternity is a long, long, LONG time. You can even look it up if you don’t believe me…
Moreover, eternity has synonyms which might help to some small degree in understanding what it is.
- age without end
- continuous as in a circle
Ironic and very sad this book is the best selling book in world history and is also the least read and most neglected and misread and misunderstood book in world history!
Okay, I’m almost done with this particular piece. Just a bit more and you can move on to something else as God continues to always move and His plan, His perfect justice and love is met out…
I am going to conclude this piece by enclosing some questions from Anne Graham Lotz’s (daughter of the passed onward Reverend Billy Graham) wonderful piece titled “Hope in Troubled Times” and provide Scripture references to some of those questions asked in her piece. You’ll see the link to her entire article, questions and Bible references below these selected questions and Bible references, with a video sermon by Alistair Begg to conclude this:
When God moves, why do you and I have no cause to fear?
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
Psalm 27:1-3 — English Standard Version
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalm 46 — English Standard Version
My Refuge and My Fortress
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Psalm 91: 1-8 — English Standard Version
The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Nahum 1:7 — King James Version
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 — Christian Standard Bible
God’s Everlasting Love
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 — English Standard Version
What is the difference between rending your heart and rending your garments?
Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.
Joel 2:13 — Christian Standard Bible
What is our ultimate hope in troubled times?
I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
John 14:1-14 — English Standard Version
Full article, questions and Scripture references from Anne Graham Lotz’s article in link below:
Trusting God in the Dark — Video sermon by Alistair Begg