The woman was running for her life in a dark strange place, the cold fog closed in on her as she heard footsteps behind her, coming closer. Looking around her all she could see was the fog. She turned and ran away from the footsteps. Running hard she knew they were gaining on her and fear griped her. Now the footsteps were all around her and she knew she was surrounded.
A man appeared out of the fog and reached for her, he had a sinister look on his face as he whispered “I’ve got you now.” Looking into his eyes she saw the evil in the man right down to his soul. She screamed! The woman woke with a start from the strange dream she had, and realized she was hearing loud voices from somewhere near her and knew this was not in the dream.
Rubbing her eyes she got up and looked to where the voices were coming from. Looking up she thought to herself “that’s the second time this weekend my neighbors upstairs are fighting.” As the woman dressed she looked up at the ceiling again as she thought, “they never argued like that as long as I can remember, what is happening with them lately?”
Going to the kitchen to start the coffee she said to herself “what is going on in the world” as she heard her neighbors again. A banging noise hitting the floor above making her jump, almost spilling her coffee. “This is getting worse, I’ve never heard anything like this out of them before. They seemed like a nice couple when they moved in a few months ago.”
Thinking about her dream she thought about the man’s eyes and how she could still see the evil in him like a dark foggy tunnel that ended in a great fiery place. Things quieted down as she drank her coffee and ate a late morning breakfast at her kitchen table. Sitting back and enjoying her last cup of coffee this morning she looked out the window down at the people walking around the street markets below that were already getting busy. She decided to go down to the markets and get a few things on the list she had made, to keep her mind off the dream she had last night.
After a short prayer of protection she opened the front door and smiled at the beautiful sunny day that greeted her this Saturday morning. What a beautiful day You gave us today Lord, she prayed to herself. She stood there a few minutes letting the sun warm her as she thought of the cold fog closing in on her in the dream.
As she went down the steps to the curb she saw a car coming down the street going way too fast and almost hitting someone trying to get to the market across the street. The person crossing never even looked as he crossed, and the driver of the car almost looked like he was aiming at the person as he blew the horn at him. Then the woman heard the two of them cursing and swearing at one another when the car stopped and they almost got into a fight right in front of the now shocked woman.
She stepped back and prayed for God’s protection on this crazy day and thanking Him that no one got hurt. As she watched the two men she heard a whispered voice in her head saying, “look into their eyes.” She was shocked again because she saw the same evil in both their eyes as she had seen in the man in her dream.
She watched as the car pulled away and the other person walked across the street. A strange man walked up next to the woman and smiled at her. He laughed and said, “Boy that was a close one, the way that person just walked out in front of that car. I would have taught him a lesson if I were driving, I would have hit him I think.” Then the smile left his face and he leaned into her and said, “Do you understand I think I would have really taught that guy a lesson myself if it was me behind the wheel?”
The woman looked at him, and was startled when she saw the same evil in his eyes, but it seemed the fire was greater in him then she saw in the others. Seeing the woman was shocked at what he just said and what she saw in his eyes he straightened up and cursed her and left.
The woman looked back at her front door and thought, “I haven’t even left the sidewalk yet and all this has happened.” She turned and went back and sat down on her steps and prayed again for protection against all the evil out here today. She prayed that the insanity would stop and people would start acting normal again.
Getting up, she cautiously went to the curb again and crossed the street safely. Walking into the crowds gathered around the outdoor shops she soon heard a loud man standing in his vegetable stand boasting about how great he and his sons were at farming. She knew his familiar voice because she went there for very good fruits and vegetables every week. There he was looking around at the crowd, looking back at him, “Just look at these fruits vegetables here in front of me” he said, “just look, who else could grow fruits and vegetables like these?”
Watching him she thought, now there’s a man caught up in his own pride. The woman saw movement out of the corner of her eye and saw a mother and daughter to her right move in front of the man and his stand. She watched them as the man went on boasting. It seemed the little girl wanted to go up and play with some tomatoes in a big crate in front of her. The mother tried pulling her daughter back but the little girl kicked her mother and ran over and grabbed a few tomatoes in her little hands. Playing with them she dropped all but one of them and they splattered on the ground.
The boisterous man stopped and looked down at the little girl and his smashed tomatoes and started swearing at her as the mother came up to her daughter in a panic. The farmer stopped swearing when he saw the mother’s face and all the peoples look of horror at his swearing at the girl. The woman could see his smile was not genuine and she also saw his eyes had the same evil in them. He told the mother loud enough for everybody to hear, “Aw don’t worry about it just be more carful next time.”
With relief on her face the mother grabbed her daughter and told her to apologize to the nice man. The little girl looked at the man and stuck her tongue out at the man and ran away from her mother as she laughed. As the little girl turned she was shocked again because she saw the evil in her eyes as well. The woman watched as the mother ran after her problem child. The woman thought “what is the world coming to”.
After buying the things she needed at the boisterous farmers market she went on looking for the other things on her list. She noticed the market was noisier then she remembered it being in the past. Walking along she heard people yelling and cursing and accusing one another of the most ridiculous things.
Looking on with great interest she saw evil in most of their eyes as well. The rest just looked terrified with the way people where acting and started leaving the market. Becoming more and more aware of all the evil around her she walked faster wanting to get home. She was seeing the evil in peoples eyes, but now she was starting to feel it all around her as well, like it was in the air. Seeing her apartment just up ahead she almost ran to her door and opened it with a sigh of relief. With a troubled heart she put her groceries away and made herself a cup of coffee to settle herself.
Sitting at her kitchen table looking down at the street below she thought it looked even worse out there now with people going crazy and running around. She could feel the evil growing stronger all around her. It looked like fights had broken out among the people at the market and even up and down her street. Sitting at the table sipping her coffee she heard God’s voice talking to her. In a voice she knew well, God said to her, “you are wondering what has happened in the world, you are wondering what is wrong with those people out there? You are wondering is that really evil you see in men’s eyes. I will answer your questions by showing you as I have before. Go out into the streets and see, fear not I am protecting you as I always do. Go and see what time it is.”
With a sense of anticipation and fear she got ready. The fear she felt was not for her safety but for what this might mean for those out there living in the world. The woman steeled her nerves for what she would see and prayed to God and thanked Him for using her again. Opening her front door she saw the fog swirling around her as she opened the door. Looking into the white swirling wall she went down the steps to the sidewalk carefully one step at a time. She was lead to the right as she got to the street and walked up her street.
Hearing voices within the fog she heard people cursing one another and god as she walked. She heard people fighting with each other and breaking things. People came up out of the fog at her yelling at her and demanded to know who she was and what she was doing out here. They demanded to know if she was one of those christian trouble makers or not, some told her they didn’t like the way she looked and to be careful, they would be watching her.
Seeing the evil in their eyes, as well as in the way they acted and behaved, she continued walking up the street as she felt lead to go. She heard up ahead in the swirling fog angry voices of a lot of people yelling things at someone she couldn’t make out. As the woman got closer she could see it was a large group of people and she could hear the curses and threats were coming from them at someone she saw they had surrounded laying on the ground.
Fear and curiosity got the best of her and she pushed her way into the mob of people. As she got into the center of the mob she saw a man on the ground. The man was laying on his side with his hands covering his head as people kicked him and punched him. The people’s eyes, wide with evil in their hearts, yelled their curses and threats at him. They seemed to be working themselves up to doing some real violence to the man on the ground.
The love for her fellow man welled up in her and she rushed over to help the man. Seeing it was her good friend and pastor laying there in pain she cried out to God for help in a shout! At the sound of her voice and the name of God the people backed away from them and stopped yelling, they seemed to disappear into the fog as the woman went to her friend.
Checking to see if he was ok she helped him to sit up. She saw with some relief he was shaken but alright. Still in shock she looked around to see if the mob of people would come back again. Seeing only the fog she ask him if he was alright? Looking at her, still in a daze, he saw it was a friend and one of his flock. He softly said to her, “How did you find me and get those people off me?”
She sat beside him and told him how God had told her to come this way and that He was showing her what times we are living in. She continued looking around again and said to the pastor, “God has sure shown me the times we are living in alright!”
The pastor spoke a little prayer thanking God for sending a friend to his aid this day. Looking a little better he got up and helped his friend to her feet and thanked her for her bravery in stopping the mob before they could really hurt him. Shaking her head she said “I just got mad at those cowards all beating up on one man, and prayed to God that He would stop the injustices they were committing.” She continued, “He was the one who stopped those people and chased them away like that.” She looked at the pastor and asked “What is happening, and why were those people so mad at you? I thank God for guiding me this way as He showed me the things He wanted me to see here today.”
The pastor just smiled and shook his head in agreement and said “I think if I remember, your apartment is just down the street, let’s go back to your place and we’ll talk, I can answer your questions over a cup of hot coffee. They started walking back down the street the woman lived on as the fog swirled in around them. The pastor stopped for a minute and looked at the fog all around then and smiling, said “You know the fog all around us is working to protect us at this point. Those crazy people out there don’t know where we are and as long as we keep quiet, I think we’re safe from them.”
Walking on they caught glimpses of people doing all manner of evil and violence within the fog as it swirled around them. They heard all manner of swearing and boasting and threats. All manner of unholy things were heard as the two walked on, but they picked up the pace a little as they wanted to get out of this fog and be safe. Nearing her apartment the fog did something new as it thickened even more and it became cold and wet. Wondering what this change in the fog meant they saw the door to the woman’s apartment. She started up the steps and looked as the pastor followed her up. They looked out over the neighborhood and all they saw was the dark fog swirling around. The fog grew colder and darkened as she opened the door and followed the pastor into the living room.
They looked at each other and they had a look of worry on their faces. The woman knew the fear was not for their safety as she knew God was protecting them. No, this was for what this meant for the world and all those people out there in the world as the fog closed in around them. She knew to use the fog from before, she understood it and why it was there, she had used it to hid her and some friends in the past, but the way the fog had changed as they walked back to her apartment was very different then before.
As she got the coffee on she looked at her pastor and asked “what does this all mean?” The pastor said “I think in this cold wet darkness coming off the fog we are seeing what God is doing. I think He used the darkness to help us and protect us. I think the cold wetness of the fog is God’s way of making them suffer being out in it. I think God also uses the fog to confuse them as well. He turned from looking out the window and told her, I think I know that’s what’s happening to the fog, but let’s sit down and have our coffee and warm up a little.
It took awhile but they got warm and a little more relaxed and the pastor said he would say a prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide them as they talked, to show them the things God wanted them to know. And to protect them and give them strength and wisdom to do God’s work. He prayed, “Dear Lord I pray the Holy Spirit guide us and show us the knowledge God wants us to know. Lord protect us and give us the strength to do Your work. Lord I pray thank you for using us for your work this day. I pray we are worthy of this work. Lord I pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”
The pastor looked up from his prayer and said “Tell me about your day and why were you out there this morning, when you seem to have saved me from that mob.” The woman put her cup down and cleared her throat eager to tell him the story. “Well,” she said looking up at the ceiling, “it all started with my neighbors fighting again upstairs that woke me up. They never did that until a few weeks ago and I think that’s odd. I hear them yelling about trivial things like why did you put your shoes on my side of the bedroom.”
Looking up again she said “It seems the things that get them mad anymore are so small. Today,” she continued, “is my day to shop and get what I need for the week ahead. I went out to the shops across the street and almost saw someone get run over for just crossing the street. I mean the man in the car looked like he was aiming at him. Well after the car stopped those two got into a real bad fight. I saw people behaving like I’ve never seen before. I finished my shopping and came home to get away from all that.”
“The thing I started to see as well was the evil in all their eyes. I saw something I think God showed me in my head. I saw through the driver’s eyes in the car this morning and saw down a long very dark cave-like passage and I could see at the end was this pit with fire in it all around. That fire and evil I think are burning them up inside and making them all act like they do! I know a persons eyes are connected to the brain, but I think spiritually God showed me what is happening. I think” she continued, “Satan is behind all this, and that’s why God is angry.”
“I had just about recovered from my shopping when the Lord came and talked to me. I felt He had something He wanted me to do, and that it was something to do with what is going on out there,”she said as she waved her hand at the window overlooking the street. “I was right. He told me He was going to show me what really was going on in the world. He told me He would protect me as He always does, and not to be afraid. I knew even then that I was’t afraid for my safety, no I felt very concerned for all those people out there,” waving her hand again at the window.
“From what I have read in the Bible those that do not fear the Lord are in big trouble with God. They should fear what He will do to them in the great day of judgement.”
“It says here in Psalm 1 ‘1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
“I don’t think anyone I saw this morning on the street is one of God’s children the way they acted and what I saw in their eyes, as well as the fruit you can see in peoples’ behavior and the way they talk. They all were behaving so badly I don’t think any of them have the fear of God in then.” She looked at the pastor and went on, “but I think there’s more. I know you and I feel something is different in the world but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think I can now. It seems the evil within people is different but it’s still not clear to me.” Looking up again she said “can you help put a light on it?”
The pastor finished his coffee while thinking on the question and what else she had said. The pastor looked up and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit on the matter.
After some time he looked at her and said, “I was shown the list Paul made while in prison that answers your question I think. But the thing is he was talking about the last days, you know what we call the end times these days.”
The pastor opened the woman’s Bible laying on the table next to him and read in 2 Timothy 3: 1-9 “1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”
Finishing, he looked up and said “there’s more”, and read on.
In 2 Timothy 3: 12-17 “12 Yea, and all that will live in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which in in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
“Interesting” he said as he finished reading out of 2 Timothy. “Do you have some paper I could use” he asked the woman as she sat watching him.
“Sure,” she said as she got up and found some in her living room.
Handing it over she said “Here you go, what are you going to use that for?”
He smiled and said “let’s wright that list down, the list Paul wrote in 2 Timothy.”
Finding a pen in his shirt pocket he said to himself “let’s see,” and began writing.
“Men shall be…..
Lovers of their own selves
Disobedient to Parents
Without Natural Affection
Despisers of those that are good
Lovers of pleasures more then God
Having a form of goodliness, but denying the power thereof
Creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins
Lead away with divers lust
Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”
Finishing, he said out loud, “Wow that’s some list.” The woman agreed as she looked over the list. But she added “thinking about this morning, how come they attacked you out there this morning?” The pastor rubbed the bruise on his head as he said, “I was trying to give a group of them the salvation message but they reacted violently for some reason today when they heard me say some of them may not be saved and will not go to Heaven when God calls us all to judgement.”
“You see the list shows us they are the blasphemers, unholy, without natural affection, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more then God, Some may have a form of Godliness but deny God and His power. And you need to remember Paul told us that in the last days perilous times shall come. You see he said it’s all in that warning in 2 Timothy 3:1-9.”
The woman saw things on the list that applied to those people that attacked her friend. But she said “What did you say to them that upset them so much?” The pastor told her, “I was preaching from Romans 10:14-15,” ‘14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? 15 And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
“I didn’t get pass that when they started yelling at me and threw me to the ground. I never have seen it like this in all my years as a pastor.”The woman asked the pastor “what he would do next?” He smiled at her and said without hesitation, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Finishing he looked at her and said, “That’s Isaiah 40:31 I think that’s what I’m going to do.” Seeing the woman didn’t understand he added, “it means God not only has strength, but He gives that strength to His people. The standard on which He judges us worthy of this strength is how well we wait upon the Lord for it. I’m going to wait and see what He wants me to do next. But I know I’ll have the strength to do what ever it is God wants me to do.”
The pastor told the woman God had taught him that lesson some time ago and told her he would never forget it. She shook her head in agreement and thoughtfully said, “you have a lot of wisdom and understanding about God and His words in you.” The pastor laughed and said, “God just reminded me of another lesson I’ve preached from time to time from the Bible. In Proverbs King Solomon tells us about wisdom and understanding.”
Proverbs 8: 1-36
“1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? 2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. 3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. 4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. 5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. 6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. 12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: 21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”
“You see”, the pastor pointed out, “from those verses from Proverbs we see wisdom has been around since the beginning of creation and that understanding comes from having wisdom.”
As the two talked about the virtue of having wisdom and understanding in their life they heard a knock at the door. Their eyes turned to the door as curiosity rose up in them. Looking at the pastor the woman asked,”Do you think those people out there found us?” They hear the knock again, The pastor said as he stood up, “let’s find out” and went over to the door and said a prayer and opened the door.
The woman outside the door looked at him with surprise but recognized the man as her pastor and said, “Oh pastor I didn’t expect you here. Hearing her friend the woman came to the door and welcomed her friend Ariel in. Walking into the living room Ariel looked at her two friends and said “I’m glad you’re here and safe from all the evil I’ve seen out there in the world today.”
Standing in the living room she walked over and sat down in a comfy chair and continued, “I understand the fog from what you two have told me and what it means and does to people of the world, but this is so much more! Pastor what is going on?” The pastor satdown across from her and told her what happened to him this morning and how their friend the woman standing behind him, helped save him from the mob that attacked him. The woman still standing behind the pastor looked at Ariel and asked, “What brought you over here, is everything all right?”
Ariel looked at her two friends and said “I’m fine but what a day I had”, and told her story. “The day started off normal” she said, “and I got myself to work. I saw the fog again and knew it was going to be a bad day at work.” She went on, “I really didn’t see anyone because of the fog but as I got closer to the store I saw my boss trying to open the front door. But there were a lot of people pressing in around him at the door. He tried to unlock and open the store but those people just kept pressing in on the front door and him.
Well I was afraid for him and went to help my boss get out of the crowd. I managed to grab him and move along the front of the store to the ally on the side and lead him to the back of the store. We couldn’t figure out why these people were there or what they wanted. It seemed funny they didn’t follow us, they just stayed in front of the store and yelled at each other about getting into the store. About an hour later we saw the crowd had given up and just left the front of the store so we went around and got the store open.
Not knowing what to expect next we both prayed for protection from the evil, chaos, and confusion in men’s hearts today. We saw people starting to come in now that the store was open and they started to shop like nothing had happened before. But I did notice they all looked agitated and nervous, they looked around at each other and us like someone would attack then or something. They mostly had short tempers and were impatient. I did notice they all had wide wild looking eyes I’ve never seen before. Well after a while a few fights broke out in and around the store and we closed the store early before someone got hurt.
Well as I was leaving the store early I thought I’d come over and see how you made out shopping today after what I went through. I hoped you were all right. And now I find our friend the pastor was assaulted on the street for nothing more then preaching the gospel to people. And you told me how bad it was when you went shopping this morning,” looking at the woman still standing behind where the pastor was sitting. The woman added how she was warned by God of the evil out in the world and He wanted to show her first hand.
“Well.” Ariel said, “what does this all mean?” Standing, the pastor cleared his throat and spoke up. “God,” he said “has spoken to me as well and I have a special service tomorrow to give all my flock. So I hope to see you two there tomorrow morning. Moving to the door he said, I think it’s safe out there now, so I’ll be off. I’ll see you two in church tomorrow morning, God willing”, he finished and left the apartment.
Ariel asked as she watched the pastor leave, “I hope he will be safe?” The woman came over and said “let’s pray for his safety. Lord I pray a prayer of protection for our pastor, Your servant. I pray he gets home and is safe from the evil in the world. Lord watch over him and keep him in Your grace. Lord I pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
After the pastor had safely left, Ariel and her friend went over and sat down on the couch and talked about what happened today. They could see by the light coming through the windows it was getting late and Ariel said, “I feel like not being alone tonight, could I stay here?” The woman smiled a big smile and said enthusiastically ‘Yes, I’d love having some good company tonight. It would be a good excuse to celebrate and have something good for dinner tonight.” The two friends cooked and had good fellowship and fun together that night and got to sleep early.
Rising early the two friends had coffee and a good breakfast together. They were both very curious about the pastors sermon this morning. Looking out the kitchen window they saw the fog was very thick this morning, not a good sign. They spent some time doing their prayers and each of them spent some time with God. The woman spoke a prayer of protection for them both before they left for church this morning. “Dear Lord” she said,” I pray a prayer of protection for Ariel and I as we go to church this sabbath day. Watch over us and all Your flock. I pray our worshiping pleasesYou and You bless us this day. Watch over us and keep us in Your grace.
The two women left the apartment and went out into the fog as it grew thicker, darker, colder and felt wetter by the minute. Thinking about it, “the fog seems to be worse on Sundays” the woman said to Ariel as they walked down the street. People appeared out of the fog in front of them like they were surprised the two were there with them and disappeared as they passed by.
Sometimes the people would look at them with an evil look, their eyes betraying the evil within them. A few even cursed at them as they passed by but did nothing to them. Ariel noticed for the first time that looking into peoples eyes she could see the good or evil in people, Ariel thought comparing her friends eyes to those of the people appearing within the fog this morning. Telling her friend this Ariel looked over at her through the fog and said, “in Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus told us ‘22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.”
Smiling the woman told Ariel that was great pulling that out of the Bible like that. Ariel smiled back and said “I can’t take credit for that, God just spoke that to me.” Walking on, the fog had gotten higher then they could see above and feared they would get lost.
They found their way with help from the Holy Ghost guiding them right to the church doorsteps. Inside the church the two women looked around and saw most of the people who belonged to this church were already here. Ariel saw her boss and his family to her left and waved. Looking eagerly for today’s service the two looked to see if the seats they liked were taken. The two women found the seats they were looking for up front right by the center isle, their usual seats.
Settling down the organ music stopped as the pastor came to the pulpit to begin. Looking around he saw his two friends and smiled. He looked down at his Bible and began to speak. “I have a special sermon today that I think is appropriate for the times we are living in. As you see the fog is thicker then ever but it seems evil is growing and changing into something we haven’t seen before.
Men’s hearts are growing darker, colder and there isn’t a fear of god in them. We are seeing the sins mentioned in the Bible as being in the end days happening. No one knows exactly when those days will be but the Bible tells us to watch for certain things to happen in those days, so we can know and be prepared. I think we may be seeing the beginning of those days. Let me show you why I think this. I ask you to turn to 2 Peter 1: 12-21 and read along with me.”
2 Peter 1:12-21
“12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Looking up the pastor turned a few pages and said, “please turn to 2 Peter 2: 1-22 and read with me.”
2 Peter 2: 1-22
“2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbade the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
The pastor paused and his face tensed up and he became more serious as he looked up and said in a more serious tone, “if you would turn to
Matthew 24: 1-51 and we will see in Jesus Christ own words from His Olivet Discourse of what things will come in the end days.
Matthew 24: 1-51
“1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The pastor closed the Bible and pulled a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and unfolded it. Holding it up in his hand he said, “I made this list yesterday with the help of God in God’s own Words in 2 Timothy and a few good friends, and I think this further demonstrates the times we are living in.
This list comes from 2 Timothy 3: 1-7 as Paul tells us, ‘this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.’
Men shall be…..
Lovers of their own selves
Disobedient to Parents
Without Natural Affection
Despisers of those that are good
Lovers of pleasures more then God
Having a form of goodliness, but denying the power thereof
Creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins
Lead away with divers lust
Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”
Looking up the pastor put the list down and went on. “I know in the past you could put a check mark next to some of these sins which people do commit, some might argue most of these sins on this list people do, but I never have seen or read of a time when all these sins you could put a check mark by them. The Bible is telling us through these words spoken by Jesus Christ that in the end times most all of the people living will live without God in their lives, and men, women and children will behave like they are right now. Christ is trying to warn us so we can prepare ourselves and to help those not saved come to the Lord before it’s too late.
These same warnings are mentioned in Mark chapter 13 and in so many other places in the Bible, it would take me until dinner this evening to mention them all. God is trying to tell us something here.” That got a few nervous laughs from the flock who thought he might just be right.
Smiling, he said “I want to finish up with some good news, and of course the responsibility’s we have for living a Godly life. We will see in the book of Luke that the growing rejection by the religious leaders of the day prove once again Jesus Christ is a true prophet and truly the Son of God. The rest of the Sermon shows us the attitudes and actions of those who are followers of Jesus Christ.”
“So folks” the pastor said, “let’s turn to Luke 6: 20-49 for some good news and how God expects we His children to behave. This chapter will explain why people who do not know God and live in this world treat us children of God so badly, as they do to God as well.”
Luke 6: 20-49 “20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
“Here is something else to consider. In Luke 17: 20-37 it tells us the jews of that time were looking for the kingdom of God to come with signs and miracles. Jesus told the people and His disciples that God’s kingdom is not observable by looking at signs and miracles. No, Jesus Christ told of His offer of the kingdom was meant that the kingdom was already within the world through Jesus Christ.
These are the teachings of Jesus Christ, in His own words, Through the gospel of Jesus Christ men never had heard words of anyone telling them to turn the other cheek to their enemy. And to give them that hate them anything they might need or want. In these teachings Jesus tells us how to judge one another, and how to be judged by others. It shows us how to tell good from bad, it’s easy just look at the fruit of what they do and say. It may take some time but you will see the truth come out over time if you’re patient. Jesus is telling us to have a very good foundation in our faith in God, so we can stand up to the storm growing stronger by the day in the world.”
The pastor continued, in John 3: 16-21 “ 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
“This last scripture from John 3: 16-21 shows us that those who will be cast into the pit will go there because they chose not in God and His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, no, they chose evil and a life of sin themselves. You see here today outside this the house of God the fog that is growing thicker all the time. It is the chaos and confusion in the world today. Just remember, first comes the fog, then the smoke, and then the eternal fire will surly come. We the children of God need to stand firm on our foundations and help one another as we weather this storm, until Jesus Christ comes for us and takes us home. Amen.”
At that moment a bright light lit the inside of the church and bathed those within. Everyone in the church felt the Holy Spirit come upon everyone there. Everyone just looked up and around and at each other as they bask in God’s glory. The pastor raised his hands and said, “God be praised for this miracle.” Everybody in the church raised their hands and shouted out praise to God as the Holy Spirit came upon them. From down in their hearts they all knew God would look after them and provide for them and they would be with Him sooner or later.
They all left the service renewed and as light as air. They walked through the fog as if it wasn’t even there. They could see other people walking around in the fog not seeing where they were going or were they were standing. The cold, dampness and darkness they were suffering didn’t bother those walking on what seemed like air, held up in Gods mighty hand.
All glory to Godliness
His humble servant Lee M Buchanan