Are You Prepared for the ‘Catching away’?

new heavenThe Apostle Peter sent this message to believers in his day that were suffering for Christ’s sake. But, the message is timeless and can also apply to believers in our day.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:6-9

When we are in a trial, sometimes we are tempted to give up and surrender but, don’t – it is a temptation of the devil. God will provide a way of escape for He has said –

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” – 1 Cor. 10:13

parable-of-the-sower 2God is just testing your faith to see if it is genuine and to strengthen it. Remember, when Jesus explained the Parable of the Sower to His disciples, He said about the seed that fell among the rocks –

“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” – Luke 8:13

Remember, Jesus also taught that many are called but few are chosen. Peter is writing to those who will be chosen. Today’s church is filled with members who are Christian in Name Only. Like the Biden’s and Pelosi’s of this world who use the name Christian because it is convenient but are sold out to the world. But, Peter is writing to those who will stand for the Truth regardless of the price. When they boldly declare the Name of Jesus, the world will hate them because it hated Jesus.

Peter says our faith will be tested by fire but I want you to know there is another fire coming at he REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! The Apostle Paul writes –

“since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” – 2 Thes. 1:6-10

Peter also refers to this fire –

“looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” – 2 Peter 3:12

2nd coming of JesusWhen the Lord is revealed from heaven, He will come riding on the clouds with the shout of the Archangel and the sound of the Trumpet of God and that Shout will raise the dead in Christ and then we who are alive and remain (Strong’s – have survived) will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and caught up to meet Him in the air, far removed from the earth as the Lord’s fire sweeps the earth, destroying the Antichrist, False Prophet and all who follow them.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” – 1 Cor. 15:50-53

“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.” – 1 Thes. 4:15-17

This is the salvation our faith has been waiting for that will come when Jesus returns. But, those who have rejected Him have only the fiery destruction to look forward to. For the momentary pleasures of sin they will have earned an eternity of suffering, because the soul does not die. This is what the Scripture means when it states, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”!  Please, I urge you to turn to the Lord right now, while you yet have time, and repent, calling on His Name for forgiveness. He will  hear you and forgive you, for Scriptura says –

“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Rom. 10:9

This has been a sobering message but, the time is so short, a sobering message is needed to wake us up.  the days of Elijah are upon us and all the hypocrites (play actors) among the Church need to cast off their lukewarmness and repent, turning back to the Lord. One or two hours a week, sitting in church as a spectator will not earn you the name of Christian any more. The Bride of Christ that will be caught up to meet Him in the sky will be one who is alive in the Holy Spirit; 24 hours a day, seven days in a week and they will not “forsake the gathering of themselves together.”

I am striving to become such a one and I hope you are too.

Preparing to Enter Rest

Big-Dipper-Littel-DipperIn the Book of Genesis when God created the heavens and the earth in six days, He rested on the seventh day and called it a Sabbath. But many have thought that God stopped working and that is not true, He just rested from the Creation. Jesus said this to the Pharisees when they accused Him about healing on the Sabbath.

“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”– John 5:16, 17 (NIV)

What is God working at? To establish and perform His word. He has said, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11).

Do you remember the story of Jehu? God raised him up to fulfill His word to Ahab given through Elijah that none of Ahab’s house or those who followed him would remain alive on the earth. After Jehu had Ahab’s 70 sons killed, he spoke these words –

“Know, then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” – 2 Kings 10:10

Jehu then proceeded to capture and kill all the priests and prophets of Baal in the land! Now this may seem to be bloody and radical to you but remember the word of the Lord, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Scripture says that on the Day Jesus comes back, the sword of His mouth will slay all the wicked and burn them up. The sword of His mouth is His word! 

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – 1 Thes. 1:7-10

Notice when the Lord Jesus returns (is openly revealed to the world), He will do two things: 1) He will give rest to those alive and to those who have died and 2) He will punish with everlasting destruction those that rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the verse before  this, Paul is speaking about those who are suffering from persecutions and tribulation in patience and he declares, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you”. Paul is speaking about the great tribulation they will go through. He is saying God will give rest to those who are alive and to those who have died in the Lord Jesus. This is exactly what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians –

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain (Strong’s: to survive) unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thes. 4:15-18

Worshiping_the_golden_calfYes, God is going to honor His word, all of it. He has promised us rest. But remember those who escaped the trials of Egypt could not enter that rest because of unbelief –

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” – Heb. 4:1, 2. 

So, don’t give up, persevere, the Lord is not done working to fulfill His word, all of it. God has also said –

“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.” – Isa. 62:1, 2

God has brought Israel back, He has brought them back to Jerusalem but her “righteousness” has yet to be “brightness” and “salvation as a lamp that burns” but, God is working by His Holy Spirit to bring it to pass. The ‘times of the Gentiles’ is nearly full. 

And there is another word that God is yet working on –

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” – Eph. 1:17-23

The Church, which is His body, is to be filled with Jesus. God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” and “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2). The true Church is seated with Jesus far above all principality and power and might and dominion of Satan. We are to live as those who have overcome Satan. As Satan seeks to destroy America’s Christian witness, we are to stand and in faith and resist the devil and his false philosophies. We are to pray for and against those who are trying to subvert America’s Christian heritage and history. And we are to evangelize America once again! 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” – Rev. 12:11

How do we prepare to enter the rest of God? By doing the word of God and praying always.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” – Eph. 4:30-32

This would be a good start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing the Times

rev 14 15In the Book of Revelation, Jesus gives a message to the Church of Philadelphia –

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. to test those who dwell on the earth. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” – Rev. 3:10, 11

There is a ‘hour of trial’ that is coming upon the whole world. Jesus said there is a “great tribulation” that is coming –

“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.” – Matt. 24:21

When will this tribulation begin? Jesus also gives that answer –

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 11:31; 12:11), standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), . . .” – Matt. 24:15

abomination-of-desolationSo we know this tribulation will begin when the Antichrist places the abomination of desolation in the Temple in Jerusalem. That also means the Temple must first be rebuilt! These are both things that have not yet happened but, we are to watch for them. But, when it does, the whole world will be affected. Jesus taught that “immediately after this tribulation” (the days of which will be shortened (Matt. 24:22), Jesus’ 2nd coming will occur with angelic shouts, the great sound of the trumpet, and His elect will be gathered from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other!

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matt. 24:30, 31

Jesus is saying that the ‘rapture’ will occur after the great tribulation! The Apostle Paul also writes about this.

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” – 2 Thes. 1:3-10

The saints will suffer and be persecuted at the hands of the wicked but they will be rewarded when Jesus is ‘revealed’ (openly shown to the world) and comes with His angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who do not know God. The elect will be gathered up but the wicked will experience the wrath of God! Paul writes further about this “gathering up” of the saints –

“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 (perileipomai = to survive)  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.” – 1 Thes. 4:13-18

The Greek word translated ‘remain’ is perileipomai, which means to survive! To survive the great tribulation! Saints will be here during the great tribulation and some will be alive when the Lord comes on the clouds and will be raptured, or caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

When will this happen? Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour, but only His Father (Matt. 24:36) but, He said we should know the season of His coming. He berated the multitudes because they did not discern the times –

“Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” – Luke 12:56

And He called the Pharisees hypocrites because they did not know the signs of the times –

“and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” – Matt. 16:3

Jesus wants us to know the signs of the time. We may not know the exact day or hour but, we are to know the season of His coming! This age, the age of the Church, is coming to an end and when Jesus comes He will usher in a new age, the age of the millennium. He has given us signs to know when this end is approaching.

  1. Luke 21:24 – “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” When the Church age began, the nation of Israel went into dispersion and Jesus said it would last until the Gentiles no longer controlled Jerusalem. This began to be fulfilled in 1967 when Israel took back Jerusalem and was fulfilled in 2017 when President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the eternal Capital of Israel and move the USA Embassy there.
  2. Rom. 11:25 – “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” This blindness is being removed. In 1970 Jews for Jesus was founded by a Jew and has reached thousands of Jews for Jesus. Sid Roth, a Jew, is heard around the world preaching to Jews. There are now over 70 Messianic Congregations in Israel. This blindness is being removed. The fulness of the Gentiles coming in is near.
  3. Matt. 24:13 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” With the advent of radio and television and the internet, the Gospel is now being preached to every nation and people on earth.
  4. Matt. 24:32-35 – “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”  Scriptures liken Israel to a fig tree. God said“When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.” – Hosea 9:10

We may not know the Day or the Hour but, we can know the season, in fact, Jesus expects us to know. It is time to watch and pray and lift up our head, for our Redemption draws near!

The author of the Book of Hebrews writes –

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Heb. 10:24, 25

2nd coming of JesusWhat Day? The Day of the Lord’s coming of course. Jesus said watch and pray, Paul says “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”. In other words, don’t hide your light under a bushel but instead be light and salt to the world. Press in and work harder to show the glory of the Lord.

Did you notice that when the spirit of Antichrist attacked us with the virus, one of the first things he did was shut down Churches? Satan knows who has the ability to comfort, encourage, and heal – the Church! Don’t be fooled, draw together even more and let the Holy Spirit edify you in fellowship.

Well, the signs of the Lord’s soon coming are all around us so, I encourage you to press in like the Philadelphia Church; keep the word of the Lord and don’t deny His name and persevere. God bless you.

Chapter 13: The Call

desert_blooms

In May of 2011, the situation in the Mid East looks anything but joyful and there is certainly not much to rejoice over. The nations are in turmoil over Israel and Jerusalem. So called democracy and freedom movements among the Arab nations have resulted in even more radical Islamic control. Pressures for war have increased with sides threatening to switch almost daily. The entire region is unstable and I doubt even the nations of the region know what they will do next.

However, God knows, for it is He alone that is in control. He is the One who, after the captives of Judah and Jerusalem are brought back to the land of Israel, will bring the nations down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat for judgment, because they tried to divide His land and scatter His people –

“I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.” – Joel 3:2.

(God has a LONG memory and when He says “all nations”, He means all nations, both historical and current!)

We Americans have a vital interest in remembering how the story of the Mid East all started. It began with a call from God and the faithful obedience to that call.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going. – Hebrews 11:8

Israel was founded on a call from God and as long as the Israelites followed God and looked to Him for guidance, they prospered. Through Abraham, Israel became the first, and only, Jewish nation. God promised that the desert would blossom and the wilderness would rejoice for them. And though it became a desert wasteland during Israel’s dispersal among the nations, now that they are back, the desert is once more blooming, almost as if the land itself is rejoicing at their return. Although many thought Israel was no more, God was not worried for His Word always comes to pass in His own time.

There is one other nation on earth that has a similar history – America. History calls its founders Pilgrims and Puritans but they did not call themselves that. They simply called themselves Christians. They came to America following the call of God, just as Abraham had done for Israel.  The Pilgrims already lived a life based on covenant relationship with God and each other but, as they were about to form a legitimate government, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, their covenant agreement with each other which stated:

“Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith and the honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by the presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid, and by the virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, sets, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony …”

John Winthrop Model of Christian CharityThis Mayflower Compact became the pivotal document in the development of constitutional government in America. The Puritans likewise came with a call from God. John Winthrop, in his sermon titled ‘A Model of Christian Charity’ made that famous statement of purpose: “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all the people upon us.” quoting Matthew 5:14. Winthrop spelled out clearly his vision for America:

“We are a company, he said, … professing ourselves fellow members of Christ … The end is to improve our lives and to do more service to the Lord … that ourselves and our posterity may be better preserved from the common corruptions in this world …. We must love brotherly without dissimulation; we must love one another with pure heart fervently.”

Because of them, America did indeed become the beacon to the world for freedom and liberty. They taught the only path to true freedom is freedom from sin through Jesus Christ. They not only taught this in their churches but also in their schools. Harvard was founded in 1636 for just such a purpose. The Harvard Rules and Precepts stated:

“The main end of the scholar’s life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life. Therefore, to lay Christ in the bottom is the only foundation of all sound knowledge and harmony.”

Years later, this truth was still strong in the minds of those early Americans:

noah-webster“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
– Preface by Noah Webster in his 1828 Dictionary

So here we have two nations being formed out of a call from God. One epitomizes the Old Testament and one epitomizes the New Testament. But, the purpose of God is to bring the two together in Christ Jesus to form one – Ephesians 2:15, the ‘one’ being the people of God, made up of both Jew and Gentile believers.

God deals with them much the same: He prospers them when they follow Him and He punishes with natural and man-made disasters when they turn away from Him. History teaches us how Israel ceased from being a nation for a time because of consistent sin and rebellion. Is there any reason to think that will not be true for America as well?

The Holy Spirit is saying to us, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.” – Revelation 2:4, 5

As we have just had our national Day of Prayer, we should remember what we were like when we first started as a nation. But, I want to say to you, ‘No nation is any stronger than the individuals in it! And no church is any stronger than the members in it!’ Matthew Henry, who wrote the well known Bible Commentary of yesteryear, commented “If you don’t first have church at home, you will not have it when you come together either.” As we witness the decay of our nation, we cannot, indeed we dare not, trust to some government leader to give us “hope and change”. When we return to the way we were when God first called our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers, then we will get the leaders that can lead us into greatness.

Please, Oh please, remember what Jesus taught, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Abraham was called and our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers were called, but they were also chosen because they were faithful to obey the call.

We must take this message PERSONALLY and not think someone else will do it. God is calling to YOU. Will you obey and answer the call?

Here ends Chapter 13.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

countdownNot much has changed in our nation since I wrote this book, except the time. The time is now much shorter than when I first began warning. We should all heed the last call and warning from the Book of Revelation

And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. – Rev. 22:10-12

In other words, ‘he who is filthy, go on, live it up, you don’t have long! He who is righteous, let him go on to be more righteous for I am coming soon!.

Chapter 12: Is the Restrainer being Removed?

daniel's visions

Daniel interpreted a dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar in which the Gentile kingdoms that were to come were revealed. It is clear that God has ordained these various kingdoms and empires that will come forth in history. While Satan tries to use these empires for his own purpose, God always uses them to achieve His own pre-ordained goals. He can even change a king’s heart to do this as He did with Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus.

Toward the close of these Gentile kingdoms they will change from world-wide empires such as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome into smaller kingdoms greatly influenced by socialism and democracy, as represented by the feet and toes made of iron and clay in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. As Nebuchadnezzar watched “a stone was cut out without hands” and this stone struck the feet of iron and clay and smashed the whole statue. These kingdoms and nations will be the setting for God’s final acts in man’s history which will bring back the nation of Israel and will finally result in the ‘everlasting kingdom which will never be destroyed or left to other people’ Daniel 2:44. At that time the ‘times of the Gentiles’ will be fulfilled as Jesus taught in Luke 21:24.

God has used these kingdoms and nations to fulfill His purposes and one of His purposes is to honor the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Throughout history the devil has wanted to destroy Israel but God has always had a kingdom or nation to thwart him. Sometimes, they were used without their realizing what was happening. I believe God will have a kingdom or nation, influenced by His truth, which He will use to restrain Satan and thus aid Israel in ushering in His everlasting kingdom. Whenever Satan is gaining too much power and control God raises a nation to challenge him. WWII is an example; when Hitler and his Axis tried to rule the world and destroy the Jewish people, God raised up the Allies to defeat them and their plans. For the last 50 years the United States has been this ‘restrainer’ against the forces of lawlessness of communism and Islam. But the time will come and may be soon here, when this ‘restrainer’ will be removed to allow the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ one last chance to defeat God and His Anointed One.

And now you know what is restraining, that he (the antichrist) may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. – 2nd Thessalonians 2:6, 7 (emphasis mine)

At this point in history God has been using the United States to restrain the work of Satan to destroy the Jews. But the time will come and may be soon here, when this ‘restrainer’ will be removed to allow the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ one last chance to defeat God and His Anointed One.

If I am correct in my opinion, what conditions will result in the removal of this ‘restrainer’? Paul gives us the answer as he details the actions that will cause this nation or people to fall:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, for this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,  wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. – Romans 1:20-32

The conditions that cause a nation or people to fall are;

  • God, the Creator, is denied – the rise of the doctrine of evolution,
  • They stopped being thankful and begin attributing their blessings to their own ability and wisdom – schools that were founded to honor God will turn and deny Him, and
  • They lose the fear of God and there is nothing to restrain their wickedness.

We can see the evidence of all these conditions growing in America today.

  1. The decline of Christian morals – the main influence of the Christian moral is not the number of church goers, but the number of functioning, stable families. As Mathew Henry wrote, “If you don’t have Church at home, you will not have it in your fellowship.” God described Himself as a Father and He instituted marriage for the purpose of begetting “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). In America today the “percentage of married households with children has plummeted from 44.3 percent to 20.2 percent since 1960” Over 50% of America’s children today live in single parent or foster families. This is exactly why God says He “hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16), it destroys families and ultimately society. The very first obligation of families is to honor God and second is to train up your children to honor God. All other functions of society are dependent upon these two. When these two fail, the others will soon follow.
  2. The rise in violence – while there has always been some violence it has now escalated to a level uncontrollable by law enforcement. Chicago is being swept with violent uprisings even as I write this article. This was documented in an article titled, Third World America 2011: Forget “Fast Tracking to Anarchy” We’ve Arrived. Of course, most liberal commentators attribute this rise in violence to lack of welfare relief programs. They never seem to get the true reason for the lawlessness – rebellion against God. We kill the most innocent among us (approx. 56 million aborted babies) and then wonder why a spirit of murder has been released upon us as a nation. I live in a small village of 1000 population – this would amount to killing 56,000 such villages! Our news media reports the number of deaths our soldiers suffer in places like Iraq and Afghanistan with alarm, and it is tragic, but, there are more murders committed every year in the United States and they do not seem alarmed about them!

    Our 2nd President, John Adams stated. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion (and at that time, ‘religion’ meant Christianity). Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

  3. The rise in crime – not only is crime on the increase, a new type of crime has now emerged, “Mob robberies”. One very disturbing trend that is on the increase is the number of “flash mob robberies” that we are seeing around the United States. Large groups of youths are storming into retail establishments, looting whatever they want, and storming right back out.  They co-ordinate their robberies on Twitter and Facebook, meet at the selected location and go to looting! The reference footnoted here are examples that are happening nation-wide. The video reference shows what is becoming known as “Flash Mob Robberies”.

    These actions have recently started becoming violent, In one episode over 100 were shot and 17 died. They gang the streets, stop cars, pulling people out and beating them, for no apparent reason. In some cases gang cars drive down a busy street and start shooting at pedestrians.

  4. The collapse in the economy – all the major economic indicators 1) housing market, 2) job growth, and 3) unemployment are now at or below those seen during the Great Depression of the late 1920’s. If we calculated unemployment and inflation the same way that we did back during the Carter administration, then the Misery Index today would actually be higher than at any point during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

    Misery Index = rate of inflation + Unemployment rate

    The present Democrat government has changed the way they calculate inflation and unemployment, leaving out large segments of data to make the figures look better. A recent article named 50 things every American should know about the collapse of the economy highlights this fact in great detail. The liberal news media is trying desperately to shore up the Obama presidency with rosy lopsided reports but, no one believes them, especially when 44 million Americans are on food stamps! 59% of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another and the tension between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is about to boil over.

  5. Political correctness amuck – has led us to accept lesbians and homosexual lifestyles as normal. Homosexuals have blackmailed major corporations into giving them large donations rather than be labeled “Homophobic”. Now the public school system is training our children to believe it is an acceptable and normal lifestyle. Fox, Disney, and Google have endorsed a multi-million dollar campaign supporting the homosexual lifestyle that targets children as young as 10 years old. God absolutely condemns this lifestyle and those who support it, as Saint Paul wrote in Romans 1:26, 27, and 32.

    We are told that the higher number of blacks in prison is proof of racism but why isn’t it just proof that more blacks commit crimes? Today it seems one cannot disagree with President Obama’s policies without being called racist because he happens to be black. We cannot profile Muslims for terrorism even though the overwhelming majority of terrorism is committed by Muslims! We give special preference to minorities in school placement tests even though other students who happen not to be a minority score higher on their entrance tests. This is not only unfair to those who worked hard to get the higher test scores but also to the minorities who are assumed to not be as smart because of their race. Political Correctness is exactly what Paul was describing when he stated that “God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting”.

  6. When the Church fails to be the ‘salt’ and ‘light’ it was meant to be, there is nothing to stop the downward spiral into a total collapse of the society. Only the true Church has the power to withstand the evil deception of Satan. But, if the Church ceases being the standard of moral truth in a nation, that nation is doomed. The American church is in danger of having its lampstand removed as Jesus warned the churches of Revelation 2 and 3. Sadly, the American church has lost its moral authority on marriage and divorce and now is on an equal footing with the world outside the church. It now accepts the homosexual lifestyle and even ordains them as ministers. 60% of evangelical Christians voted for Obama in 2008 even though he actively promoted abortion. They foolishly thought they could separate political life from moral life.

    Now there is a movement to recognize “many ways” to salvation, even though Jesus said He was the only way to the Father. Some evangelical ministers are preaching that Jews have their own way to salvation, apart from Jesus.  Others are promoting “Chrislam” saying Islam is equal to Christianity in finding God. In June of 2011, 77 churches in 33 states celebrated Chrislam in their Sunday Services.

chrislam-in-america
This is exactly what Malachi was rebuking in the priests of his day:

Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The LORD’s holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god. – Malachi 2:11

God loves His ‘holy institution’, the Church, and He views joining it with the false god of Islam as an abomination. Malachi prays that the ones who do this will be cut off from the tents of Jacob, in other words be ejected from the true Church!

These conditions indicate that the United States is about to collapse. Its leaders are trusting in their own abilities and wisdom instead of trusting in God; indeed they have rejected God and His Son, Jesus Christ as our only hope. It is only God’s grace that has preserved us this long but our leaders refuse to recognize this truth. God has been restoring the nation of Israel and they have now come home but, they have been trusting in the United States like they used to trust in Egypt in Old Testament times. Now God will show them that they can rely only on Him as He allows the Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 wars to break upon them. The time has almost arrived for the ‘restrainer’ to be removed allowing Satan to do his worse and to prove to Israel that their only hope is God Himself.

This scenario does not bode well for the United States. If there is not a major, wide-sweeping repentance in the American Church, there is nothing left but the judgment of God on this nation.

Here ends Chapter 12.

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While this analysis was written while President Obama was in office and we had a brief respite under President Trump, The spirit of Lawlessness was not cleansed from this nation. Democrats and many Republicans still hung on to the immoral and rebellious ideas listed above. Just as it was after 9/11, there has been no genuine repentance of the nation. Now another administration has arisen and it’s directives are even more socialistic and disastrous than under Obama. The moral decay has only increased and now is threatening even our children in their schools. The Nazi-like media does not know the definition of the word Truth and has become just a propaganda machine for the spirit of Antichrist.

A small remnant of Christians has repented and turned to the Lord but, they are battling against the full forces of hell; politically, socially, news media wise, and even church-wise. We need help from on high to overcome and return this nation to it’s foundations in the Lord. Let us all pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a ‘latter rain’ if you will as the prophet Zechariah called for –

“Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.” – Zech. 10:1

Chapter 11: Israel Established

desert_blooms

Isaiah prophesied that when Israel returned to the land, even the desert would blossom (Isaiah 35:1), and it has. The land that was barren and waste is now re-forested and Israel is the leading producer of fruit and vegetables in the area. Many prophesies of their return have been fulfilled; for example, the promise of a restored language (Zeph. 3:9), and going into captivity as two nations, Judah and Ephraim, but returning as one nation (Jer. 3:18 and Ezek. 37:22). Ezekiel also prophesied they would become a very great army (Ezek. 37:10), and we have witnessed that as well. As Israel prospered, her neighbors became resentful and have attacked her without ceasing. The nation of Israel began with a war, the war of 1948, and has continued on in the midst of repeated wars; 1956 Sinai War, 1967 6-day war, 1973 Yom Kippur war, 1982 Lebanon war. All of these wars were started by Israel’s Muslim neighbors but won by Israel, and in each of them Israel gained land, almost recovering the land promised by God to Abraham. This too, was prophesied by Isaiah 11:14 –

But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

Just substitute the modern word for Philistine – Palestine – and you can see prophesy happening before your eyes! And this verse may not be finished yet.

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Since that time, a new era of diplomatic war has been entered into; a war in which the nations of the world turn against Israel, demanding that she give up land for peace, a peace the Muslims do not want. The only peace that will please the Muslims is the peace of death for Israel. Since they could not win in all-out war, the Muslims have resorted to terrorism, until they are strong enough for another war. Meanwhile, they train their children to hate Israel and prepare for war.

The scenario goes like this: Muslims commit an act of terror against Israel, Israel responds and the United Nations condemns Israel for its actions. Of the hundreds of UN resolutions in the last few years, nearly all of them have been against Israel for actions most reasonable people would consider self defense. Now, over a hundred nations are demanding that the PLO be given a state of its own and of course, Israel must give the land to accommodate it! But these nations do not understand the terrible price tag for such actions –

I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. – Joel 3:2 (emphasis mine)

The valley of Jehoshaphat means the valley of judgment! Those nations who divide up the land will all perish, and the reason – they tried to divide the land of Israel. In other Scripture God says He will make Jerusalem a ‘burdensome stone’ and all who try to lift it will injure themselves (Zechariah 12:3). History proves the veracity of this curse by God.

God is using the Israeli wars for two purposes: 1) They will humble Israel and bring her back to God, and 2) They will bring judgment on the nations that have earned it. There are at least two more such wars prophesied that you can read about yourself: 1) the war described in Psalm 83, every nation described there is a Muslim nation, and 2) the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 which I believe tells of Russia at the head of a Muslim coalition. These may represent one war or they may be separate. Then finally, there will be the battle of Armageddon in which Satan and the antichrist will marshal the nations of the world against Jerusalem in one final attempt to destroy all God has planned. They will fail and the everlasting kingdom of God will be revealed to the world for a thousand years – Revelation 20:6.

As we watch and pray about these events, we need to understand that God is doing exactly what He said He would do – purifying His own and giving all (Jew and Gentile) a chance to set their lives right with Him. All through this time one Scripture is true – “All who call upon the Lord shall be saved.” It is our job, as watchmen, to be a witness for Him.

daniel's visionsWe are living near the end of the Gentile nations shown to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and Daniel in vision (Daniel 2 and 7). Fear and turmoil will reign in the land as all man’s established rules and governments disintegrate. These will all come crashing down and the everlasting kingdom of God will finally be established.

What are we to do that will enable us to survive these events? Malachi was given the answer from the Lord –

But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. . .

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”  Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him. – Malachi 3:2, 16-18

No one can endure these days by their own strength or goodness but, the grace of the Lord will be extended to those who fear the Lord, do what He says, and live in the fellowship of His body, the Church. This does not mean a one day per week for several hours’ fellowship. It means daily fellowship around the Word of God and the Communion Table and with the Holy Spirit.

Here ends Chapter 11.

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Remember, Israel is God’s flag, waving to the nations to get their attention. “Wake up, the end is nearing, you don’t have long!” As we see the pressures increasing in the Mid East, tensions are rising and nations are choosing sides. Iran is building its strategies and strengths, supplying its vassals with money and arms, getting them ready to attack Israel. They are surrounding Israel with Hezbollah in Lebanon on the North and Hamas on the Southwest and Arab terrorists on the South in the Sinai Desert. Iran is also moving into Syria setting up bases from which it can attack Israel.

Beirut explosion leading to its failureThe nation of Lebanon is about to fail. It doesn’t have food for it’s citizens and can supply only a few hours of electricity per day. This all began with a huge explosion in Beirut caused by explosives Hezbollah was storing in Beirut’s port. Meanwhile, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon grows stronger and is a threat to take over the Lebanese government. 

Hamas seeks to control all Arabs within Israel, thus taking over the PLO. But, it’s ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel, not peace, not a two-state solution, and not just Jews in Israel but in the world

Sadly, America has now elected pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah Representatives to the US Congress, Omar Ilhan of MN and Rashida Tlaib of MI. Both lobby for these anti-Israel groups within our Congress and make anti-Semitic remarks, and Speaker Pelosi fails to censor them

BDS movementWe in the Church should be aware of these things because the Word of God tells us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” But sadly, even some in the Church are aiding these anti-Israel movements in such organizations as BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). Two main evangelical churches bodies, the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC), have joined this movement

All these happenings are just signs that God is moving to fulfill His promises concerning the nation of Israel. If you are wise, you won’t oppose Him, rather you will prayerfully support Him and pray for Israel.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 10: The Return of Israel

Revelation chapter 12 tells a fascinating story of Israel’s history and of the warfare arrayed against her. The reason for her persecution is that she will bring forth a Son that will rule the world and destroy Satan’s kingdom. After she brings forth her son, who is caught up into heaven, she is driven into the wilderness where “she has a place prepared by God”. This is the Diaspora that Israel suffered. But, even in this trouble God provides ways to protect her-

But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle . . . . So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. – Revelation 12:14-16

God uses nations and even the earth to be her protection. We also see revealed here the rise of Christianity –

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. – Revelation 12:17

Christians are the “the woman’s offspring” and we as Christians have an unbreakable tie to the nation of Israel and all God intends to do with her.

As we consider what the world will look like at the 2nd coming of Jesus, we need to remember what Peter wrote –

. . . but as He who called you is holy. you must also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’, and if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear. – 1 Peter 1:15-17

That being said, we also need to say that no one knows exactly when the Lord will come back but, we are given signs to look for. One of these signs is the return of Israel. Jesus taught,

web pictures 128 Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things, know it is near – at the doors. – Matthew 24:32.

Israel is often referred to as a fig tree. God said, “When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.” – Hosea 9:10. I believe Jesus was referring to the nation of Israel being re-established.

Israel was re-established as a nation in 1948, against all odds. Many Bible scholars were teaching that the Church had supplanted Israel in God’s promises and that Israel would never again exist. They are still teaching that false doctrine today, which is known as Replacement Theology. However, God has proven them wrong. God said He would use Israel as an “ensign to the nations”.

web pictures 001And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. – Isaiah 11:12.

The re-gathering of Israel is a sign to the nations. They went into captivity as two peoples – Judah and Ephraim, but they will return as one nation – Israel. After they return they will fly upon the shoulders of the philistines … (Isa. 11:14), which speaks of the series of wars they have had since 1948. Each time the Arab nations attacked them, Israel won more land, coming closer to the borders promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is interesting that the modern word for ‘philistine’ is Palestine.

Jeremiah even describes how they will return – without faith. Zionism is by in large an agnostic movement – without faith.

Return, faithless people,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I am your husband. I will choose one of you from every town and two from every clan and bring you to Zion. – Jeremiah 3:14.

There are signs of revival in Israel.  They have re-established the Sanhedrin. They are training Priests to minister in the Temple and are producing their ceremonial robes and ministry utensils. Israel now has over 60 Messianic congregations throughout the land. They are preparing to re-build the Temple. The fig leaves are getting tender, and the devil knows it! God will use him and the nations that follow him to purify both Israel and the Church.

The fact of Israel is like God waving a flag to get the attention of the nations (Gentiles), and the message is – You don’t have long, get right with God and ‘kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little!’ – Psalm 2:12.

Here ends chapter 10.

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Prophesies often have several applications and such is the prophesy of Revelation 12. Israel is back in the land, the fig tree is blooming. But, humans often tend to think in natural terms; Israel is reclaiming the desert, it now has forests, is a world provider of fruits, is a leader in technology inventions, has a large army, is a leader in medical advances, etc. While God does bless in natural terms, He is more interested in spiritual terms and there is a movement of the Spirit going on in Israel now. Leading Rabbis are recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. In 2006 Rabbi Kaduri, the oldest Rabbi in Israel at 108 years old, left a note naming the Messiah which was to be opened one year after his death. The following video gives the story –

Since his death Orthodox Rabbis in Israel have been trying to disprove the note but they cannot and it has led to a major turning of Orthodox Jews to the Lord.

Sanhedrin dedicates AltarThere are also other signs of spiritual awakening in Israel. The Jewish Sanhedrin has been reestablished and they are training priests for the coming Temple. They have also held the first sacrificial offering on the rebuilt altar at Hanukah. Their goal is to replace the god-hating UN with a God recognizing UN.

Many believe that for Israel to fully return three things have to happen: 1) a return to the land (has happened in 1948), 2) a return of Jerusalem (partially happened in 1967 and fully happened in 2017 as Donald Trump moved US Embassy to Jerusalem and declared Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel), 3) the Third Temple rebuilt. (The planning for this is proceeding even as I write).

I mentioned the prophesies can have several applications, God’s word is always true, and Revelation 12 is no exception. The ‘woman being in the pain of birth as she prepares to bring forth a Son’ also represents Israel struggling to accept Jesus as Messiah which will complete the Church as Paul wrote –

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the twothus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” – Eph. 2:14-18

Israel yet has to face one more dispersal as Revelation 12 also predicts. As the forces of Antichrist attack her, she will again “flee into a wilderness” that God has prepared for her on the wings of a great Eagle where she will be for 3½ years. Then the Lord will come and deliver her and lead her out of the sheep folds of Bozrah. (I have written about this in a former article named Yet to Come).

There are many more signs of Israel’s return but, these should be enough to convince you that the fig tree’s “branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near”, as Jesus said. The Lord’s coming is indeed near, even right at the door. The End Days are upon us and can conclude quickly so, take seriously this warning and prepare. Get right with Jesus. God asked Jeremiah –

flooding in Germany“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” – Jer. 12:5 (KJV)

In other words, get prepared now or you will not be able to stand when the real trouble comes!

Chapter 9: The Harlot of Revelation Rides

“And the dragon was enraged with the woman (Israel), and went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Christians) – vs. 17

Coptic Christians FleeThis verse is from Revelation 12, which tells the end-time story of the devil’s war with God and His children, the Jews and the Christians. While there are many elements to this story, persecution of God’s people is certainly one of the main ones. The Apostle Paul wrote – “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2Timothy 3:12). This is as true today as when he wrote it. The world and all who are of it can never be a friend to true Christians. It will always be as James declared –

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity
with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
 – James 4:4.

Even though many Christians don’t seem to understand this, the world does!

harlot48Revelation 17 gives us a vivid picture of this principle. Here we are shown the picture of a woman arrayed in religious garments, rich in her splendor, riding on the back of the beast of Revelation, which represents the final revelation of Satan’s kingdom on earth. This “Mother of Harlots” represents the apostate church. She has compromised herself with the world, even to the point of persecuting the true saints. But, in the end the beast turns even on her – “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” Here is wisdom: It is better to suffer for righteousness’ sake than to compromise with the world and then suffer the world’s wrath anyway – and God’s besides!

Nations are not much different than people except in one point; individuals will face the throne of God for judgment but nations are judged here and now. Certainly one point of judgment will be what we did with God’s people, both Jews and Christians. As I wrote in the article Beware the Trojan Horse, our country’s leaders are making decisions for which our country will pay a heavy price. They purposely sold out Egypt’s President Mubarak to radical Islamic forces, not only resulting in the turning over of advanced military weapons to terrorists, as is also happening in Libya, but also causing further persecution of Christians in Egypt.

Their actions are also strengthening Iran’s grip on the region and increasing the likelihood of an Islamic war with Israel. President Obama seems content with allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons, allowing radical Islamic groups to take control of Egypt, Lebanon, and Libya. He is much harder on Israel for wanting to build needed homes for Israelis on Jewish land  than he is on the radical Islamic groups who rant and rave that we are the ‘Great Satan’, and who celebrate in the streets at every misfortune of America!

Japan’s government recently took a public stand against Israel demanding that they give up land given to them by God. Japan doesn’t believe God is real. Japan suffered a major earthquake and tsunami the week following this announcement and the disaster is not over yet! Is there no one in America’s leadership that fears God enough to reverse course of their anti-Israel actions?

I think the answer to that question is, NO! Therefore, we must prepare to stand for God in spite of the persecution that is coming. We must not be discouraged even though it may come through those who call themselves Christian. Remember Jesus’ promise to the Philadelphia Church – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” – Revelation 3:10.

Here ends chapter Nine.

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Sadly, after a decade of years and two Presidents our leaders have not yet got the message – to not mess with God’s chosen peoples, both Jews and Christians! While under President Trump there seemed to be a turn back to God, the next administration has done it’s best to undue all he did and is right back on the track that leads to God’s judgment. I could list many anti-God and anti-Israel actions this administration has taken but, one will do. This administration is once again opening Iranian negotiations which will allow Iran to complete it’s nuclear ambitions.

This move alone greatly increases the chance for war as Israel and other Arab states will likely feel pressured into taking things into their own hands to stop Iran from going nuclear. Meanwhile, in the face of this administration’s apparent weakness all the other players (Russia, China, and Iran) are making war-like moves to threaten Israel and the United States.

“Rear Adm. Mike Studeman, the top intelligence officer, or J-2, for the East Asian command, said this last week that they are warning that “it’s danger on all fronts” in regards to Chinese military aggression and that it’s not just Taiwan that U.S. officials are concerned about.”

Meanwhile, this administration is ‘tweaking’ the Russian Bear and continuing to sleep over the Iranian and China threats.

Chapter 8: Not a Time to Sleep

GideonThe Apostle Paul wrote –

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

This age is coming to an end at some point. Those who think God is just a myth live as if things will continue on forever. They may believe America will have economic problems or other minor disruptions such as political change, but, generally they espouse the idea that we will continue well into the future. “Peace and safety” is their motto. Paul writes that we know the Lord’s coming will be unexpected to them, like a “thief in the night”. Those kinds of people have always been around. But what is really disturbing is when those who are supposed to be “children of light” are also living as if everything is “peace and safety”.

The prophet Ezekiel warns “if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” – Ezekiel 33:6

congressional BibleSince the early 60’s America has left her Scriptural roots in Christianity even though any who care to search will see that our Founders were Christian and they wanted every American to have a Holy Bible. The U.S. Congress even commissioned a Bible to be printed for that very purpose. Now, thanks to a godless education system and a Church that is asleep, we have several generations of citizens who don’t know our spiritual roots as a nation. If you don’t know your rights, they can be taken away without you even knowing it. That is why the false principle of ‘separation of church and state’ could ever take hold in America.

The ‘beacon of light’ that God set in this country, the Church, was largely asleep during this time. They were not being ‘salt and light’ and within a few generations were removed from being the godly influence they should have been. When God sent prophets to them, they denied them, relegating the precious gifts of the Holy Spirit to the past only. I personally can remember prophets warning with dreams and visions of an invasion of our country from China. For the most part, the Church looked on them as fanatics. But now, China is our main competition and is openly threatening us financially and militarily.

chinesemilitary0305The Chinese Defense Minister was recently quoted:

“We must prepare ourselves for two scenarios. If our biological weapons succeed in the surprise attack [on the US], the Chinese people will be able to keep their losses at a minimum in the fight against the U.S. If, however, the attack fails and triggers a nuclear retaliation from the U.S., China would perhaps suffer a catastrophe in which more than half of its population would perish.

“That is why we need to be ready with air defense systems for our big and medium-sized cities. Whatever the case may be, we can only move forward fearlessly for the sake of our Party and state and our nation’s future, regardless of the hardships we have to face and the sacrifices we have to make. The population, even if more than half dies, can be reproduced. But if the Party falls, everything is gone, and forever gone!

“It is indeed brutal to kill one or two hundred million Americans. But that is the only path that will secure a Chinese century, a century in which the CCP leads the world. We, as revolutionary humanitarians, do not want deaths. But if history confronts us with a choice between deaths of Chinese and those of Americans, we’d have to pick the latter, as, for us, it is more important to safeguard the lives of the Chinese people and the life of our Party.

“That is because, after all, we are Chinese and members of the CCP. Since the day we joined the CCP, the Party’s life has always been above all else!”

Packestani burning US flagThis is just one threat facing us because of our rejection of God. Islam is another with aspirations of ruling the world and if anyone bothers to listen to what they are regularly saying, The United States and Israel are highest on their hit list. It should be mentioned that the Islamic nation burning this American flag has nuclear weapons! It is Pakistan.

But these threats are nothing compared to the one we are facing because of our stand over Israel. In that one we are standing against God Himself! God warned in Joel;

I will gather all nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (judgment); and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. – Joel 3:2

I would rather face China, Russia and the Islamic nations all together than God!

Last week Israeli Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi said, “The admission of Palestine as a member of the United Nations has become an inevitable reality in September next.” The UN declared on last Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority is capable and ready to function as an independent state, and is only being held back by the “Israeli occupation.” The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed with the UN. “US President Barack Obama wants a Palestinian state and although the US is not interested in a unilateral declaration, it would be hard for it to stand alone in the General Assembly and vote against it”, an Israeli official recently stated. Sides in the contest are being chosen and there are only two sides, the world and God’s! However, God is not surprised –

For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. – Psalm 83:3, 4

The real issue is not Israel against the Palestinians. The real issue is Satan and his kingdom against God and His kingdom.

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” – Psalm 2:2, 3

If you are a real Christian, a real follower of Jesus Christ, then take to heart what Paul wrote, “let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” Let us watch (pray) and be sober (alert), for unless we can bring about a change in this nation’s course, we are headed for disaster.

Here ends chapter 8.

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trumpmay012017For a few years this scenario began to change as we elected President Trump and he began to take a strong pro-Israel stand. But, the devil couldn’t have that and so he orchestrated a fraudulent election to unseat Trump. And during this time where was the Church? It was asleep and largely unaware of the enemies tactics. Some of it was actually against Trump! They were completely deceived!

Now, the Chinese Communist Party’s hidden war against the USA is being revealed but, it may be too late as it’s tentacles have spread throughout our society: from government to financial organizations to educational systems to our news media to our health industry. Only a vast awakening of the Church has the power to stop it.

Oh Church hear the cry of the end times prophet Malachi as he sees the end time attack by the spirit of the Antichrist –

“For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the LORD of hosts.” – Mal 4:1-3

The prophets are all speaking and the LORD is releasing His angels to do their work on behalf of the faithful. All wickedness is going to be revealed and judged. And the righteous, those who fear the Lord, are going to rise up and march to the drum-beat of the Holy Spirit. He is calling now – WAKE UP OH CHURCH! Do you hear the call?

Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Today

web pictures 146God is speaking today; by His Word, by His creation, by signs in the heavens and on earth. But, to His own body, the Church, He speaks also by the Holy Spirit. He has not withdrawn any of the empowerments He gave to the original Church to overcome the devil and to preach the Good News of His salvation.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away; for we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. – 1 Corinthians 13:8-10

Many Christian ministers say the gifts of the Spirit were done away with after the first century and they quote this verse, but, if this verse is for today, why are they still having Seminaries and bible schools because this verse also says “knowledge will vanish away” as well. Obviously, “that which is perfect” is speaking about the time when Jesus comes back and sets up His kingdom on earth. That has not happened yet and we still need all of the Holy Spirit’s help! (There is a Scripture that does fit these folks!)

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. – 2 Timothy 3:5

There are many Christians today who try to live the Christian life intellectually – in the power of their mind, however, it cannot be done. From the very beginning of the Church it was supernatural. The wisdom of man is foolishness with God, then and now. Man today is not any smarter than the Jews of 2000 years ago were, and it is arrogance to think so. Men needed a supernatural work by the Holy Spirit then and we need it now. We cannot repent by feeling sorry, but only by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We are “born of the Spirit”, not by the will of man but by a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot just ‘decide’ to accept Christ. He is made real to us by revelation from the Holy Spirit. And we cannot follow Christ by our intellect alone – we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jude teaches –

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 1:20

The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but how do we hear something that is spiritual in nature with natural ears? By the Holy Spirit! Jude tells us we can strengthen, or ‘build up’, our holy faith by praying in the Spirit, not by praying with our intellect. Paul makes it very clear that ‘praying in the Spirit’ involves praying in tongues.

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupies the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understands not what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. – 1 Corinthians 14:14-17

Is praying with your intellect (understanding) wrong? Certainly not. Is praying in tongues wrong? Certainly not. There is a place for both, but to pray only with your understanding is like trying to work with one hand tied behind your back. God gave us two spiritual hands so why not use both?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

It is strange how men today want to do away with tongues, with prophesy, or with mysteries saying “love is better.” But, the same passage also says love is better than having knowledge or doing works of charity and they do not want to do away with those! That is because they think they can control works of charity or the gaining of knowledge, but they cannot control the gift of prophesy or the gift of tongues. The truth is none of these gifts are done away by love, only enhanced.

There are many kinds of tongues; tongues of men (some of which are dead, forgotten to mankind) and tongues of angels. The Holy Spirit is not limited and He knows all things – that includes every tongue ever spoken by man or angels. But we must remember one thing: all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given for one purpose – to build up the body of Christ. So, when you are alone in your prayer closet, you can pray in tongues. You may not understand what you are praying but God does and you will still be ‘built up in your most holy faith’. But in the church we should act in a way that edifies all present.

Therefore if we bring a message in tongues, it should be interpreted, so all can understand it. This ‘bringing a message in tongues’ is a gifting as well that not all are used in. It is separate from the tongues we all receive when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We may all pray and sing in tongues, but the Holy Spirit does not give all of us a message in tongues for the body gathered together. When we let the Holy Spirit have His way in our meetings, all will be done decently and in perfect order. It is when man tries to manage the work of the Holy Spirit that we get into trouble.

Some ministers teach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today, because they are not used this way. But there is no Scripture that ever says the Holy Spirit ever stopped giving His gifts to men. Their attitude is like saying dreams and visions stopped because they don’t have any. Maybe the problem is with them and not with the Holy Spirit? Or maybe, the Holy Spirit in His wisdom just decided not to use them in a particular gifting. However, Paul teaches that “you can all prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31) and he also declares “I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all: …”(1 Corinthians 14:18).

Paul’s conclusion is to use all the arsenal of Holy Spirit weapons which He has given to build us up, only “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Here ends chapter seven.

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Peter preaching on PentecostOn the day of Pentecost when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in the Church, Peter quoted the prophet Joel to explain the happening.

“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” – Joel 2:28, 29

But Joel’s prophesy covers much more than just Pentecost. He is also prophesying the Day of the LORD, when Jesus returns a second time! There will be great trouble for the land of Israel and the armies of the Beast shall assail them and Israel will cry to the Lord –

Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ – Joel 2:17

God answers with a promise to restore them. He also promises something else –

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel 2:23

God sent the ‘former rain’ at Pentecost and He now promises to send the ‘latter rain’. One translation speaks of the latter rain being seven times stronger than the former rain. And we will need it as we face the spirit of Antichrist in the end time days! We won’t need less of the Holy Spirit, as some would say, but more – much more! Scriptures warn us to ask the Lord for this ‘latter rain’ –

“Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.” – Zech. 10:1

As we see the darkness becoming even darker, we will see the light becoming even brighter. The grey is disappearing. You can no longer live with one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom of God. You must become ‘all in’ or ‘all out’. Last year, 2020, began to show us who is a real Christian and who is not. It is becoming easier to tell the differences. The ‘latter rain’ is about to fall and God is waiting patiently for its harvest of souls to come.

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” – James 5:7

The prophet Malachi said God would send Elijah before the “great and dreadful Day of the L:ord (Mal. 4:5) and remember what Elijah said on Mount Carmel – “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.” Another leader also spoke the same words to Israel as they were about to enter the Promised Land – Joshua.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Jos. 24:15

At that time, the people chose wisely to serve the LORD and put away all other gods, In these days, as we are about to enter the days of God’s promise, will you make the same choice?