IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
A More Careful Look at The Rapture, Part 1 of 4 - By Ron Ferguson - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/09/02/a-more-careful-look-at-the-rapture-part-1-of-4-by-ron-ferguson/
Just about a year ago, I wrote an article on the Rapture for this site, as many others have done over time. Those posts still continue, of course, as expected. I want to take another look at this and will use a good deal of the original concepts and material I have written, but I will expand with amendments and additions, increasing it by 50% or so. I am happy to do that because this is such an important subject, and the changes in the world in these past 12 months have been quite dramatic, further pointing to the imminence of the Rapture.
We do fight a battle when we teach on the truth of the Rapture because Satan opposes the truth. The opposition comes from the secular world and also from churches. I want to add this by way of quotations:
In an attack on the Rapture teaching, Joshua Rivera wrote, “In this, the rapture has become a uniquely American fear and a uniquely American hope. It’s both a widely known bit of Christian mythology – religious and secular pop culture alike have frequently depicted some manner of supernatural event that would cause many to disappear suddenly from the earth – and a controversial, often-misunderstood topic of theology. It’s a fairy tale used to frighten children and a lullaby for grown adults, including my own parents. I’m no longer waiting for the rapture, and yet I see it everywhere.”
That was a quote from CNN, which went on to say that in the Corinthians and Thessalonians passages, Paul was being dramatic and was using metaphorical language and was writing in poetic form. They used the old chestnut again by declaring this “falsehood” came from J N Darby. CNN found support from some church in Michigan. “The great problems Christians can’t answer are, it was not taught by Jesus, and the word does not occur in the Bible.”
The article finishes with, “Yet it’s amazing how scriptures get misused, and relatively new theological ideas – such as the rapture – get deeply embedded in certain circles. The rapture is really a plot device for popular entertainment and a bizarre theological teaching in fundamentalist circles, where it functions in a variety of ways. But it’s bad theology, and Jesus himself would have been astonished to learn that thousands of years after him, there were such notions afloat.”
I will use one more quote, this time from an article written by Jay Parini in association with the Illinois Catholic bishops whose spokesman is Joyce Donahue, and it is titled “Even Jesus wouldn’t buy ‘the rapture'” (updated 12:59 PM EDT, Sun July 6, 2014) – “. . . that denounced the Left Behind series as “one of the most attractively marketed recent false prophets” and as being both anti-Catholic and “in conflict with Catholic teaching. The Rapture ideology, the statement said, promotes “an unhealthy and immature belief in a harshly judgmental God.”
“The Rapture idea is based on creative but erroneous interpretations of three Bible passages (1 Thess. 4:13-18, Matt. 24:40-41, and John 14:1-2). In a desperate attempt to cling to a supposedly “literal” approach to interpreting the Bible, the proponents of the Rapture engage in an absurd “biblical hopscotch” by isolating and then re-assembling snippets from very different biblical books.”
“Many Catholics have interiorized this,” laments Donahue, the associate director of the Religious Education Office in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois.
A balanced and considered view might wonder why yet another general posting on the Rapture might be happening when there must be dozens submitted already to Rapture Ready. I can answer that in two ways. The first post from last year resulted from a question needing an explanation when one reader asked me to give him something on this subject (though there is plenty there), and secondly, I refer to this verse (NASB) Proverbs 15:22 “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counsellors they succeed.” I am applying that verse very loosely, but the amalgamation of many ideas gets one nearer to the finished goal. These are thoughts I would share from 60 years’ study.
Rather than précis the work of others, to explain the origin of the word “rapture“, I shall provide the meaning of the word in English origins, then quote from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.
ENGLISH ORIGINS > RAPTURE > c. 1600, “act of carrying off” as prey or plunder, from rapt + -ure, or else from French rapture, from Medieval Latin raptura “seizure, rape, kidnapping,” from Latin raptus “a carrying off, abduction, snatching away; rape” (see rapt). The earliest attested use in English is with women as objects, and in 17c. it sometimes meant rape (v), which word is a cognate of this one.
RAPT > As a Latin past-participle adjective, in English it spawned unthinking the back-formed verb rap “to affect with rapture,” which was common c. 1600-1750.
Before that, there was a verb rapt “seize or grasp, seize and carry off; ravish” (1570s), also “enrapture, transport as with ecstasy” (1590s). There also was a noun rapt in 15c. meaning both “rapture” and “rape.”
You know the bird of prey called the RAPTOR. Well, its origin is this – raptor (n) > late 14c., raptour, “a plundering bird of prey;” c. 1600, “ravisher, abductor,” from Latin raptor “a robber, plunderer, abductor, ravisher,” agent noun from past-participle stem of rapere “to seize,” or snatch away.
Ryrie’s Basic Theology > [Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin verb, “rapio,” which means to seize or snatch, in relation to an ecstasy of spirit, or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the Church means the carrying away of the Church from earth to heaven.
The Greek word from which this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation (Vulgate) of this verse used the word “rapturo.” The Greek word it translates is “harpazo,” which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus, there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.]
WITNESSES TO THE COMING RAPTURE
Not too long ago, I read a post on RR that explored something I had never heard anyone propose before. After that, I went looking and read more on it. Those proponents of that idea do not believe in a secret Rapture and believe all the world will see the Christians “going up.” The more I think about this, the more I reject it.
Let’s look at what evidence these people give. They allude to the “going ups” in scripture. Elijah ascended, and Elisha saw it. Next, the disciples saw the Lord ascend into clouds. They probably believe a similar thing happened with Enoch. Because it happened this way in those passages, the proponents think the Rapture will be the same. Actually, some don’t use the word “rapture” at all.
What are the arguments against that view? I see two arguments. The first one is that in the cases cited above, any who witnessed the ascensions were believers, NOT unbelievers. That is how the Rapture will be. It is not for unbelievers to see. The second argument – and we will see that further in the expression “in the twinkling of an eye” later on, is that the Rapture event happens instantaneously. The whole process happens so quickly that even if unbelievers could see it, which they won’t, then the eye would not catch it. In the ascension of the Lord and Elijah, they ascended slowly, a whole different situation.
I don’t know why we would make such a fuss about it. Over such issues, we don’t become legalistic. We are going to be caught up to/with the Lord; that is our focus, and it is all about believers.
[A]. A NEW TESTAMENT MYSTERY:
The Rapture is exclusive to the New Testament and was a mystery that God allowed Paul to expound. Before that very time, the idea might have been known in a general way or not known at all, and we can say that because Paul uses the word “mystery” in revealing this truth. The Greek “μυστήριον” (mystērion) (mystery) meant a fact or truth or concept not previously known, but at a certain point in time, God chose to reveal it, and the New Testament mysteries are all unique to the New Testament. There are a number of these mysteries in the New Testament, with two of them termed “great mysteries.”
Here is Paul’s declaration of the mystery of the Rapture – 1Cor 15:51 “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . . .” To my surprise, I also realized that one writer does not accept the Corinthians 15 passage as referring to the Rapture. That is the first time I have ever heard that. I also went off to explore that one too and will do all that later on.
[B]. DID THE LORD TEACH THE RAPTURE?
The answer to this is, “No,” but I know some will be uncertain about it. Matthew 24 and 25 are NOT the Rapture, and I posted on that last year in a 2- or 3-part series; their interpretation lies with the Second Coming, relating to the Jews of the Tribulation period, and in no way can they be applied to the Rapture. I know people do it all the time and love to take the signs like “earthquakes” and then apply it to our time. It creates confusion, and I wish it was not done. There must be a clearer delineation between the Rapture and Second Coming, but I do not think that is taught by a lot of pastors and even in bible colleges.
There is a hint of rapture in John 14:3, “and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am, there you may be also.” This has application to Christ receiving the disciples to Himself after the resurrection, but the coming for the Church, for ALL disciples, can also be included. Other New Testament writers make general references with words such as “coming,” “appear/appearing,” but none of them deals with it as does Paul.
[C]. WHERE IN THE BIBLE IS THE WORD “RAPTURE”?
The word itself is not in our Bibles, but the concept is well cemented. Refer to the Introduction above. I know some, more to the point, “a few” who reject the Rapture merely because the word is not a biblical one. Well, the term “appropriated righteousness” is not a biblical term, but the concept certainly is.
[D]. WHAT ARE THE NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES FOR THE RAPTURE?
The two best-known ones are 1Cor 15 (must use the entire chapter) and 1Thess 4:13-18. Also, there is Rev 4:1 and John 14 v 1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am, there you may be also.” I have already mentioned “I will come again” in Part B. The “I go to prepare a place for you” is an interesting one. A considerable number of people have the notion that the Lord is preparing heaven for us and building mansions. This is so wrong. The preparation was the cross, for, without redemption, there would be no hope beyond that point for us.
END OF PART 1
Will Vaccine Passports Create Two-Tier Society? Canada Is About to Find Out – Patrick Carroll - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4936
Of the many terms we've become accustomed to over the course of the pandemic, "vaccine passport" is perhaps one of the more ominous ones. Although the idea was initially dismissed as little more than a conspiracy theory, many people now believe that "showing your papers" is a reasonable prerequisite for participating in normal public life.
Indeed, New York City has already implemented a vaccine passport, and many other municipalities are also considering it.
Two years ago we would have called this dystopian. Today, we call it a public health measure.
Canadians in particular have embraced the idea of vaccine passports, and two provinces (Quebec and British Columbia) have now announced plans to implement vaccine passport systems in the coming weeks.
Quebec was the first to announce that they would be implementing the policy.
"People who have made the effort to get their two doses must be able to live a somewhat normal life," Premier François Legault said in the announcement on August 5. "We will give certain privileges to those who have agreed to make the effort to get their two shots," he continued. "Some non-essential services will be available only to vaccinated people."
The system, which comes into effect on September 1, will apply to places with high capacity and a high rate of contact, including festivals, bars, restaurants, gyms, and training facilities.
Drawing on Quebec's example, British Columbia recently became the second province to introduce a vaccine passport. Their initiative, which goes into effect on September 13, will likewise restrict access to high capacity areas for unvaccinated people.
The list of restricted areas includes indoor concerts and events, movie theatres, gyms, and restaurants (including patio dining), as well as "organized indoor events" which include weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, and workshops.
Though Quebec and British Columbia are currently the only two provinces planning comprehensive vaccine passport systems, other provinces have also introduced vaccine-related privileges in recent months.
Manitoba, for example, has an immunization card which exempts vaccinated individuals from the self-isolation requirements upon entering the province and allows them to visit loved ones in personal care homes and hospitals. Prince Edward Island has also introduced a pass offering similar privileges.
Federally, things aren't looking much better for the unvaccinated. On August 13, the government announced that it will soon require that all federal public servants, some 300,000 people, be vaccinated as a condition of their employment. They also announced that all commercial air travelers, passengers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on cruise ships will have to be vaccinated.
Taking these measures as a whole, it's hard to deny that Canada is well on its way to creating two classes of citizens, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Activities that were once considered basic human rights, such as assembling in various social settings or boarding a flight, have now become "privileges" that are reserved for the vaccinated class alone.
In many ways, these policies are eerily reminiscent of the laws that were used to target marginalized groups in the past such as women, blacks, and jews. Of course, the oppression in those cases was often far more egregious. But the moment we concede that some people should have more rights than others, we are operating within the same paradigm. The differences between those historical injustices and the present-day treatment of the unvaccinated are merely differences of degree, not kind.
Indeed, the principle of equal rights and equality under the law really is the crux of the matter here. If a private business wants to discriminate against someone based on their vaccination status, that is their right.
But when the government gives legal privileges to a certain group and systematically discriminates against another group, it has crossed a major line. Make no mistake, this is how you get second-class citizens. This is what subjugation looks like.
Now, in theory, one of the ways to prevent this kind of unequal treatment is to create a constitution that enshrines certain universal human rights. Canada, being a liberal democracy, naturally has such a constitution, and one of its most important features is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is essentially the Canadian version of the Bill of Rights.
The relevant section of the Charter is section 15, which states the following.
"Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the purpose of section 15 is to prevent "discrimination against groups suffering social, political and legal disadvantage in Canadian society." At first glance, it might seem obvious that vaccine passports constitute legal discrimination, and are thus unconstitutional. But while there's certainly an argument to be made there, the counter argument is that the Charter doesn't actually protect these rights in an absolute sense. Note the language in section 1.
"The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."
So are vaccine passports unconstitutional? It's hard to say. But as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't actually matter. To borrow language from Lysander Spooner, "whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain--that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
The point is, the constitution has failed to uphold equality under the law. Whether it failed by impotence or by design is an interesting legal question, but practically speaking it hardly makes a difference.
Constitutions and Cultures
Sadly, this isn't the first time the Canadian constitution has failed to uphold human rights. It has also been failing since the beginning of the pandemic at upholding freedom of assembly, despite describing that right as a "fundamental freedom" in section 2 of the Charter.
So for those who still look to the constitution as a safeguard of liberty, the lockdowns and now the vaccine passports ought to be a wake-up call. Clearly, something is not working. If the constitution was designed to uphold individual rights, it has failed miserably. And if it wasn't designed to that end, then there's little reason to have it in the first place.
The lesson we ought to take from this is that constitutions by themselves do not actually protect people's rights. They are just pieces of paper. What really matters is the culture, and specifically, the degree to which people in society value liberty.
Consider the fact that many totalitarian regimes also had constitutions and bills of rights (such as the Weimar Constitution in Nazi Germany). These documents were undoubtedly held in high esteem, but they likewise proved to be powerless when the prevailing culture became tyrannical.
So while some say that we can preserve liberty if we just get the right law, constitutional amendment, or supreme court ruling, this is a false hope.
Liberty lives and dies by the culture. If the culture hates liberty, no government edict can preserve it.
Then again, if the culture loves liberty, no government edict can take it away.
Blessing Nations - By Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/09/02/blessing-nations-by-terry-james/
The Psalmist was given this to write by God the Holy Spirit:
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)
Despite America’s current condition, most Christians who are spiritually attuned to what the Lord of Heaven has to say about the peoples of earth know this has been, since its inception, a God-blessed nation. While we look around at the national and world landscapes today, we can say that America’s blessings look to be headed in the opposite direction.
Just considering the conditions that have resulted from the political chaos, the so-called pandemic, and now the complete disaster that the Afghanistan withdrawal seems to be producing, it is not difficult to reach the conclusion that the nation has been “weighed in the balance and found wanting.” It is being asked in such spiritually attuned quarters whether we are now seeing the “handwriting on the wall.”
While most believe the Afghanistan cut-and-run decision to be terrible error by a commander-in-chief who is of diminishing mental capacity, a more prophetically specific take piqued my interest recently.
Some geo-strategists—former clandestine-service types I heard—caused me to think in another direction than the mental incapacity slant.
These were pointing out that whoever is directing the current American presidential administration is using the diminished mentality matter as a ruse. In actuality, these say, what is happening is the global reset being carried out.
The whole Afghanistan matter, they believe, is to pile on America’s inevitable fall. The Afghan debacle is one more part of the globalist blueprint. First it was the stolen American election. That followed the years-long internal assaults by the US intelligence services, news and entertainment media, some top military people, and the extreme left ideological wickedness. Then burst onto the scene the pandemic with the masks, vaccines, and all the rest of the efforts to control. It was and is all part of bringing on the global reset we’ve heard about now for several years.
That strategy is being implemented by the evil powers and principalities (both human and demonic) of Ephesians 6:12, I believe. Seems Satan’s blueprint in that regard is at the center of the accusations by the collective, American patriot, geopolitical thinkers I heard putting forth their theory.
Again, that theory is that this president’s quickly diminishing mental capacity is being used as a ruse to, the minions hope, implement their global reset. The whole Afghanistan debacle was preplanned and is being implemented. What we’ve been witnessing in Afghanistan is not an egregious error in presidential or military planning.
It makes sense, to me. The Afghanistan travesty has, many believe, greatly weakened America in the world’s view, and it has given our chief nemeses such as China, Russia, Iran, and others thoughts that the US is in a vulnerable condition.
The following excerpt from an article written many months before the Afghanistan withdrawal catastrophe explains the globalists’ mad rush to implement its reset at its core.
Conservative Americans in particular have been a thorn in the side of the globalists for generations, and it really comes down to a simple matter of mutual exclusion: You cannot have an openly globalist society and conservative ideals at the same time in the same place. It is impossible.
Conservatives believe in limited government, true free markets, individual liberty, the value of life, freedom of speech, private property rights, the right to self-defense, the right to self-determination, freedom of religion, and the non-aggression principle (we won’t harm you unless you try to harm us). None of these ideals can exist in a globalist world because globalism is at its core the pursuit of a fully centralized tyranny.
There are people on this planet that are not satisfied to merely live their lives, take care of their families and make their mark peacefully. They crave power over all else. They desperately want control over you, over me, over everything, and they will use any means at their disposal to get it. I would compare it to a kind of drug addiction; globalists are like crack addicts, they can never get enough power, there is always something more to take. (Brandon Smith, “Globalists Will Need Another Crisis In America as Their Reset Agenda Fails,” Lewrockwell.com, April 19, 2021)
The writer of the above article predicted last April that if the global reset failed, the minions would concoct additional crises to bring America down. This makes the theory of the collective patriots I mention quite believable.
However, again, what is left out of all this is the restraining power of the Holy Spirit. I believe the problems these globalist resetters are experiencing in their nefarious efforts is their evil being exposed by that restraining Influence.
God will continue to frustrate these agents of the devil until He calls the Church to Himself. For Americans who are Christians—as well as all true believers throughout the world—that restraint we are seeing is indeed a blessing.
We are, in my view, in the end times described by the Lord—“like it was in the days of Lot” (Luke 17: 28-29). Despite all the evil literally bursting all around us—like that which the much-vexed Lot experienced—it is still business as usual; we’re buying, selling, planting, building, etc. The economic collapse all the doomsayers are predicting hasn’t been allowed to happen yet. Neither has the “great reset” yet been allowed.
These judgments are no doubt coming, but God the Restrainer has promised the following, and the promise is a true blessing for America and the world this side of the Rapture.
And now ye know what withholdeth [the Restrainer] that he [Antichrist] might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he [the Holy Spirit as Restrainer] who now letteth [Restrains] will let [Restrain], until he [the Restraining Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way [in the Rapture]. And then shall that Wicked [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:6–8)
Where is God? - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Tough times are nothing new. Whether in your personal life or in the general troubled times in the world, a common gripe is “Where is God in this mess?” Whether or not we see Him, we can be sure He’s right there on His throne. We can also be sure we matter to Him. Remember, God knows the end from the beginning. He will sometimes allow turmoil because the bumpy road may be the only way to get to the final destiny. It also might be the only way to get our attention. Pride may get in the way, and we don’t hear His voice leading us. Instead of following His lead we do things our own way, which never works out for the best. When that happens, God allows our misdeeds to serve as lessons that mold us. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:19. Let’s take a look now at the story of Jacob’s twelve sons. The sons were a bit unruly. Their sibling rivalry probably came from Jacob having sons from 4 different women. Ten of those boys brought much trouble to Jacob, but not Joseph. He was Jacob’s favorite and was a bit spoiled. Joseph was the son of the woman Jacob loved, which was the reason behind the favoritism.
God knew there would be a drought, and His chosen people needed protection, He allowed things to occur which would eventually prove to be fortunate. The older sons were away tending the flocks, and Jacob sent Joseph to check on them. “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.” Genesis 37:18. They despised their younger brother. Only Reuben stood up for him and said not to kill Joseph, but throw him into a pit. They decided to sell him to a group of Midianites. Joseph was sold to them for twenty pieces of silver, and off he went to Egypt. The brothers had taken a special coat that Jacob had given to Joseph, dipped it in goat’s blood, and told Jacob they had found the coat. Jacob was heartsick at the thought that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. Jacob mourned for many days. If only Jacob could have seen beyond his grief and trusted God to have a greater plan, he may have found some comfort. “And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.” Genesis 37:36. This would prove to be a blessing. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. When things look bleak, remember those words, and remember to love God.
Jacob’s sons continued to disgrace him, but Joseph’s life was better than he could have hoped for. “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” Genesis 39:2. Joseph may have been spoiled by Jacob, but he had also been taught to honor God. Even though he was in a land where pagan gods were worshiped, Joseph only served God Almighty. Potiphar saw that the God Joseph served allowed everything Joseph did to prosper. We can learn from that. No matter where we live, if we honor Jesus, others will see our faith. “And Joseph found grace in his sight and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” Genesis 39:4. Potiphar gave Joseph, a slave, a high honor. From that time on, the LORD blessed Potiphar’s house because of Joseph.
Things seemed to be good for Joseph, but Satan always wants to make trouble for anyone who serves God Almighty. In Joseph’s case, Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and tried to seduce him. Joseph refused her advances and she wasn’t pleased. She continued trying to seduce him and he continued to refuse. Eventually, she accused Joseph of trying to rape her, and Joseph was sent to prison. Where was God in all this trouble? “But the LORD was with Joseph and shewed him mercy and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Genesis 39:21. Joseph probably couldn’t see any great plan of God in his life, but he still did his best for those in authority. In this case, the keeper of the prison put Joseph over all the other prisoners. Once again, under Joseph’s hand, all went well. Eventually, the king’s butler and baker managed to get thrown into the prison. One night, each had a dream. They both thought their dream was prophetic, and Joseph said he would interpret the dreams. Joseph said the butler’s dream showed he would be released from prison and returned to his position in Pharaoh’s house. Joseph asked the butler to remember him when he was restored. The baker’s dream wasn’t so happy. The baker would be hung and birds would eat his flesh. All of this might seem insignificant, but these dreams as interpreted by Joseph, came true. The butler did remember Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams, but only after two years had passed.
Pharaoh had dreams that upset him. He dreamed of seven fat cows and seven skinny cows. The fat cows fed in the meadow, but the skinny cows ate the fat cows. Then he dreamt of a stalk of corn with seven ears on it. Then seven thin ears also grew and devoured the healthy ears. Pharaoh wanted to know what the dreams meant. None of the magicians of Egypt could give a good answer. “Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker: and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.” Genesis 41:9-13. During those two years, did Joseph wonder “Where is God”? Instead of feeling sorry for himself or getting mad at God, Joseph just kept on serving the LORD. So should it be with us. We may think God has forgotten us, but if we continue to serve Him faithfully, we will eventually understand that He’s always been with.
Joseph was taken from prison and led to Pharaoh. When Pharaoh told him that he had heard Joseph could understand dreams, Joseph showed no false pride, but gave glory to God. “And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Genesis 41:16. The dreams were told and Joseph interpreted the dreams as warning about a coming famine. There would be seven good years followed by seven years of famine. God was showing Pharaoh what would soon happen. Joseph went on to tell Pharaoh that he needed to plan for the seven years of famine by choosing a man to oversee storing grain so that when the famine hit, they wouldn’t starve. “And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” Genesis 41:38. Joseph had faithfully served God, and now even Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God in Joseph. God always knows the bigger picture. There was a bigger reason for all of this than protecting a pagan nation.
I wonder how many times Joseph had felt as if God had abandoned him. God hadn’t. In fact, Joseph had an important reason to be where he was. He would save God’s chosen people. Because Joseph did all things to honor God, everyone recognized God in him. Now, Joseph was second only to Pharaoh in power. Joseph had learned humility and that power didn’t go to his head. He continued to do his best. “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41:46. He accomplished a lot in thirty years, and all was for God’s glory. The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams was correct, but because Egypt was prepared, they had more than enough food to help other countries. “And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.” Genesis 41:57. Are you beginning to see that God was with Joseph and had His hand over his life? God foresaw everything and Joseph was the one chosen to save nations.
The wonders don’t stop there. Jacob and his family were also hit hard by the famine. He had heard that Egypt had corn to sell, and sent Joseph’s ten older brothers to buy some. Pharaoh had changed Joseph’s name to an Egyptian name, Zaphnathpaaneah, which means “treasury of the glorious rest”. When the brothers came to buy the food, they didn’t recognize their brother after so many years and his Egyptian name was unrecognizable. Joseph was shocked to see them, and didn’t make his identity know right away. He did get even with them a bit, but eventually he had a feast prepared for them. When Joseph entered to join them at the feast, he asked about Jacob then saw his brother, Benjamin, who Joseph insisted be brought to Egypt. He had to leave the room in tears. Joseph was full of emotion. Had he felt anger towards the ten who had sold him to slavery? Seeing Benjamin was overwhelming. The next things that happened are very complicated. Joseph gave them food, but planted a cup in Benjamin’s sack. He said that Benjamin was a thief and was to be his slave. They begged for Benjamin to be set free, admitted the evil they had done to Joseph, and said it would be too much for their father to lose another son. Joseph had enough. He sent all of his servants out then revealed his true identity to his brothers. It was a very touching family reunion. Joseph is a great example of seeing God’s hand working in circumstances that seem bad. “And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall either be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God and He hath made me a father to pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 45:4-8. God used Joseph to preserve the nation of Israel, and the whole world has been blessed. It was through that nation that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was born.
When trouble comes your way, do you question God or get angry with Him? As we read about Joseph, we can clearly see God’s hand leading all the way. We don’t always see how troubles in our own life can possibly work for good, but if God is honored, you can be assured that God is working everything for good. You might ask “Where was God” as a pandemic is destroying lives. Where was God when the US abandoned Afghanistan and we watch as pure evil comes to power and people are being tortured and killed. I have no idea what good can come out of it, but I do know that God hasn’t turned away. Prophecy is moving forward, and it won’t be long until God calls all Christians Home in the Rapture. Put your faith in Him today and honor Him in all you do. Even if you question “Where is God”, if you believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can rest assured that God is with you in all things
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Horse poop in the foyer - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
There was quite a horse community at my high school. We lived in a rural area and many of my schoolmates participated in horse 4-H. We competed against one another at horse shows. And though we were from different backgrounds and townships and were fierce competitors in the show ring, we were good friends and a happy go lucky bunch that enjoyed a good prank on one another now and then. I was always joking around in class, asking the teachers trick questions and hoaxing unwitting classmates. In all of that, we had a known circle of “horse” people at school and among them were a couple of ornery tricksters, of which I was identified as chief among them, tight roping between mischief and trouble.
Our school had a main entrance where the busses picked up and dropped off students. A lot of us had hour-long bus rides to school because we lived in such a rural area. This heightened the freedom of finally getting off the bus each morning to stretch our legs and move again. The school foyer was large with a library on one side and a small auditorium on the other. It was a meeting place and the first area anyone saw when entering the school. It was actually part of an expensive addition for which the school board and administration had fought for years to get funding. So you didn’t mess with the foyer. This is where the story gets interesting. Art students Barb Grudosky and Melody Wood created “Patches,” a life-sized paper-mache and plaster of paris horse. They won a special award at an art show for their excellent work.
The administration allowed Patches to be on display in the school foyer. Everybody walked by and petted Patches. He was a big deal. My future wife Chris got the big idea of making Patches even more lifelike. One morning she went out to her barn and scooped up some horse poop into a brown paper grocery bag and brought it with her to school. She got off the bus, walked by Patches, dumped the bag of poop behind him and kept on walking. She later returned to observe the reactions from afar. You can imagine the uproar this caused among students, and the “Administration” was none too happy to see their precious foyer defiled like that. An announcement over the loudspeaker blared, “The person who put the horse poop behind the horse in the foyer must report to the office immediately.”
Of course, no one knew who did it. But guess who got the blame for it? Classmates started rumors. I was questioned by the principle. Nobody believed me. Chris never told. And it was a mystery for years, but there was a clue. In her Senior Spotlight story a couple of years later she was asked about her time at the school. She replied, “I enjoyed it, as long as I can cause trouble and not get caught.” No one caught on. She revealed her mischievous secret some years later at a class reunion. As Christ said in Luke 8:17, “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed.” In time, this is true. But I’m sure somebody out there is still convinced that I did it because sweet, innocent little Chris would never do anything like that. Uh huh.
Daily Devotion: Recognizing the Signs of the Times - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near —Luke 21:28
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/recognizing-the-signs-of-the-times/ - Listen
If the sky is filled with dark clouds, you don’t have to be a meteorologist to predict that it will rain. Often, I can figure out what the day is going to look like by just looking out the window. (And by the way, bald men are always the first to know when it’s raining.)
It’s the same way with the signs of the times. We can look at events taking place in our world today and essentially see signs that are telling us the return of Christ is near. In fact, many Americans are wondering whether the coronavirus is a sign of the end times.
I think it’s a wake-up call. My friend and Bible prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock wrote in his book Corona Crisis, “prophetically significant events we see today, such as COVID-19, are not fulfillments of specific prophecies but are setting the stage for events that will begin to unfold after the rapture.”
We know the Bible tells us there’s a world leader known as the Antichrist that will come on the scene. He’ll initially be a man of peace with global solutions and economic solutions, but then he’ll require that no one can buy or sell without the special mark that he will give them.
I think we’re seeing things that will ultimately lead to that moment, but I don’t think it’s happening quite yet. I do believe, however, that we’re getting close.
Therefore, we have two choices at a moment like this in history: We can look up, or we can freak out. Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 NKJV).
We shouldn’t be looking for the Antichrist; we should be looking for Jesus Christ. That’s where our focus should be right now.
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