Considering Emerging End-Time Signs: Part 1 - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/08/19/considering-emerging-end-time-signs-part-1-by-gene-lawley/
A collision of emerging signs of the end times is becoming more apparent each day as news reports verify the predictions of Bible prophecy. Much of my writing seems to be on this topic these days in one way or another. The rising of false doctrines based on faulty conclusions of early church teachers that lack that “rightly dividing the Word of truth” Paul wrote about to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:15).
In this Part 1 and following, we will explore what the Scriptures say about current events and how these considerations should enable us to “see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). First is the foundation of Scripture in both New Testament and Old Testament predictions.
The promise of the coming of Jesus Christ to “ingather” His body of believers of past and current numbers was actually made by Jesus, Himself. In John 11, when Lazarus died and his two sisters were mourning his death, Martha brought the timing of Lazarus’ resurrection to the end of the age when the great resurrection is to be. But Jesus, in his Son of God knowledge of the future, replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he is dead, yet shall he live, and he who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Paul takes up the topic in his first letter to the believers in Thessalonica. He wrote, “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Then he writes of the details of the Lord’s coming for them and future believers in verses 16-17: “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.”
That promise of Jesus in His giving the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is no contradiction to that ending promise in the prior passage, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” In Matthew 28:20, He says, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What happens then? We will then be with Him.
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul alerts them, and all future believers (see 2 Timothy 3:16), that a “falling away must come first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), saying, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition….”
Falling away from what, we must ask? It is from truth, honesty, moral integrity, justice for all, living lawfully, honoring the knowledge of right and wrong—these are principles of life that are being left behind by more of the world’s population and its political leaders.
High on the list is sexual immorality and its degradation upon society. Jesus said, in Luke 17:28-30, “…As it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
The account of that event is detailed in Genesis 19, and it tells us that the whole city was saturated with homosexuality, for every man and boy bombarded Lot’s doorway, demanding those two “men” (angels) that they might “know” them. Was Paul recalling that situation of sexual degradation in his letter to the Romans in chapter 1:18 and following?
There, he wrote of a time when people were turning man to man and woman to woman with their sexual lusts, saying, also, “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 1:32). The approval of sexual deviation is under the judgment of God, and many in governmental units are approving of the LGBTQ+ lifestyle though not participating. They are equally guilty before God.
This climate of approval of sexual deviation in all forms has been established by the nation’s president in the USA, even spreading to business corporations not wanting to miss out on increased revenue from that faction. The confusion of what is the correct pronoun to use for addressing those who claim “trans-gender” status. Not only is it a sexual deviation, it is bringing about the destruction of society.
It is a Satanic attack on the highest of God’s creation, that of man in God’s own image. That spiritual warfare has continued for centuries as Satan wants to see God dishonored by His highest creation. But God is sovereign over Satan, and He will destroy that one at the right time.
When the falling away reaches its climax so that the lawless one can be welcomed wholeheartedly by the world’s population, then Jesus will come and remove the One who restrains that evilness. It is that body of believers in Christ. This is God’s plan so that one, the Antichrist, may have authority and clear sailing to events of the coming seven years of tribulation recorded in the Book of Revelation. These Scriptures establish the New Testament fact of the coming of Jesus to “ingather” His body of believers. The Old Testament prophecies tell of these things as well. In Daniel 9:24-25, the prophet is told of a coming seven-year period when God’s punishment of the Jewish people will be completed—judgment for their constant disobedience and rebellion during those years after the exodus from Egypt. The angel told Daniel this:
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.” (These are weeks of years, a year counted as one day, thus one week would equal seven years.)
This was from the time of Ezra’s rebuilding of the temple and the city to the death of Christ would be 69 weeks of the 70 weeks proclaimed. This missing week will be the seven years of the tribulation told of in Revelation 6 to 19.
When Jesus comes for His saints, that 70th week will begin, all pointed to the Jewish people. The Christian church will not be there, as its absence is so obvious. No longer any Great Commission, but 144,000 Jewish “messengers” will take “the gospel of the kingdom” to every tribe, tongue and nation of the world, as we see John’s account in Revelation 7.
There, that great multitude of souls in white robes standing before the Lord are not resurrected saints but are those saved during that ministry. They “come out of the Great Tribulation, it says. They are those who do not take the Mark of the Beast in the last half of that 70th week. And the elder tells John that “many more must be killed.”
That will happen, according to Zechariah 13:8, which says, “And it shall come to pass in all the land,” says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it.” It is the time of God’s attention directly on the Jewish people, to begin once the believers in Christ are gone to be with Jesus.
Daniel 9:26-27 follows with the prophecy of events before those seven years. In those verses, we learn of the lawless one mentioned by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 and what he does right after the removal of the Restrainer. It also tells of the 70 A.D. Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and a future appearance of one who is an “abomination of desolation” who claims to be God as he stands in the new temple the Jews have been allowed to rebuild.
It says this: “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
So far, we have the Scriptural foundations for signs that are to come. As we look at looming signs, remember that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” that God “is not a man that He should lie or change,” that He knows all things ahead of their times, and that “knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Faith—believing—comes first, then understanding.
In Luke 21, Jesus predicts world conditions of turbulence in weather, social and political happenings. Here are some of them that He says will be current issues:
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:10-11 and 25-28).
It is true that many of these things have happened before, but have you noticed how they are bunched up into these few weeks of summer in this hemisphere? World conditions in other segments of the population and political concerns are showing signs of distress, perplexity, and fear, as Jesus predicted.
In the USA, there has been sweltering heat in one area and heavy rain with devastating flooding in another at a continual pattern for weeks. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption is drawing near.” In Part 2, we will look at major reasons why it is so.
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No More Natural Affection – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2023/08/21/no-more-natural-affection/
Lucifer’s drive to destroy humanity has, from the time he was found to be with iniquity, been his priority. His incessant drive to kill and destroy is his ceaseless endeavor. We are warned of his never-ending campaign to eradicate humankind in the following:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
We and others have many times looked at this all-consuming hatred Lucifer has for us. It seems that when God created us in His own image, it was more than the most gloriously arrayed angel could bear; he couldn’t stand that there was a creation more God-like than himself.
From this jealous rage, the mystery called “iniquity” flared within the mighty cherub, and the result, as we know, was the rebellion of one-third of the angels and their eviction from Heaven.
Apparently, a first hate-filled act Lucifer undertook was to plan a way to separate humans from their Creator, then destroy them.
Now known as Satan, Lucifer not only continues the assault against humanity begun in the Garden of Eden, but steps on the accelerator in his drive to destroy us during these times so near the moment when Christ will call believers to Himself in the Rapture.
Satan has increased his attempts at terminating humankind, having been at the center of the world’s two most destructive wars. Of course, we are told through Bible truth that wars come from the hearts and minds of fallen people, but at the nucleus of that war-making proclivity is the “father of lies”—the chief instigator of death and destruction, Lucifer.
Only God’s restraining hand has prevented the eradication of the human race. With the advent of atomic weaponry, Satan no doubt thought he had at his disposal the means of doing us in through inciting conflicts and, ultimately, total nuclear annihilation.
Satan knows Bible prophecy, but he, in his supreme arrogance and now total anti-God, reprobate mind, still believes he can defeat God’s foreknowledge. That foreknowledge has promised us, that through belief in His Son, Jesus, we will on one eternal day be in the Father’s house forever.
So the devil tries not only war-making but, more subtly, more deceptively, to take humankind down through, primarily, two other ways.
One of those ways is through the sin of homosexuality. He has worked feverishly to encourage the practice that guarantees, if carried to the full, that the human race will disappear. Homosexuality can never procreate, so the “lifestyle” fits Satan’s plans perfectly. This is really a “death-style, not a “lifestyle,” for the human race.
The second way, and even more egregious, perhaps, is through the evil of abortion. Through this wickedness, Satan has convinced those who should be the fiercest defenders of life within themselves to literally murder babies in their wombs.
This shedding of innocent blood–a thing God says He hates—fits perfectly, for example, within the designs of the human minions of Ephesians 6: 12 to achieve their goals for their so-called New World Order.
The plans for those who want to implement the Great Reset, those of the World Economic Forum and other one-world builders, include the intention to bring earth’s population down to five hundred million people or less. This was engraved on the recently removed Georgia Guidestones, you perhaps remember.
The following item encapsulates how Satan has convinced the child-bearing members of the human race to participate in his hellish scheme to seek and destroy all of humankind.
A Nebraska teenager was recently sentenced to 90 days in jail after she burned and buried the remains of her aborted baby, a case U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar called a “frightening violation of privacy and autonomy.”
Omar published a screenshot of a New York Times article about the case of 19-year-old Celeste Burgess, who was not charged “under Nebraska’s abortion law,” the article notes. At the time, Nebraska prohibited abortions after 20 weeks; that has now been moved up to 12 weeks.
Instead, she “pleaded guilty in May to removing or concealing human skeletal remains, a felony. Prosecutors agreed to drop two misdemeanor charges against her: concealing a death and false reporting,” the New York Times reports.
Burgess, 17 at the time, was “almost 30 weeks pregnant” in April 2022 when she used abortion pills obtained by her mother to terminate her pregnancy, according to the article. Her mother, Jessica, has pleaded guilty to violating Nebraska’s abortion restrictions along with providing false information to police and removing or concealing human skeletal remains, according to the Times.
Courthouse News reports that the mother and daughter tried to hide the remains, “at one point attempting to burn the remains with apple-flavored charcoal briquettes.” The baby was “buried, moved and reburied,” Courthouse News says.
Police obtained Facebook messages between Celeste Burgess and her mother where the daughter talked “about how she can’t wait to get that ‘thing’ out of her body,” according to the Associated Press. (“Omar expresses support for woman who burned and buried aborted baby’s remains. Courthouse News reports that the mother and daughter tried to hide the remains, “at one point attempting to burn the remains with apple-flavored charcoal briquettes.” Anthony Gockowski, Alpha News, 8/9/23)
Of all signals that this generation is bumping up against the very end of the age, it is the mounting evidence that many fall under Paul’s prophetic warning that gives proof:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be… Without natural affection. (2 Timothy 3:1, 3a)
There can be no greater “natural affection” than that of a mother for her child. But millions have been deceived into believing that the baby within is a thing that is to be gotten rid of from within their bodies, as the above tragic story of the young woman’s experience attests. This burgeoning, without-natural-affection slap in the face of God evil, like homosexuality, is surely a profound sign that God who created us in His own image is about to say, “Enough,” and begin the divine process of bringing back heavenly order.
But there is still redemption for those who will but turn to God’s way–the only way—to forgiveness and acceptance into His eternal family. Here is how to be forgiven, even of the sins of homosexuality and abortion:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
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Revelation 16: Death and judgment upon the waters - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-16-death-and-judgment-upon-the-waters.html
Sarah was a hardworking college student who received an email from her professor informing her that her final project was due on Friday. The message read, “Be sure to bring you’re A-game; failure is not an option!” However, Sarah took the professor’s statement figuratively. She assumed the professor was emphasizing the importance of doing well on the project. Rather than interpreting it literally as a warning about the consequences of failure.
Confident in her abilities, Sarah decided to focus on other assignments and leisure activities throughout the week, assuming her work would be adequate to avoid failure. She spent much time during the week catching up with friends, binging on her favorite TV shows, and neglecting the entire project.
As Friday approached, Sarah started to realize she may have misunderstood her professor’s intention. Panicked, she hurriedly tried to work on the project at the last minute, but it was too late. With limited time and a lack of preparation, Sarah’s work fell short of expectations. She ended up submitting a subpar project, and not meeting the required standards.
Sarah keenly felt the consequences of her misinterpretation as her professor returned her assignment with a failing grade, seriously impacting her overall performance in the course.
In hindsight, Sarah realized her egregious mistake. If she had only taken the professor’s statement literally, understanding that failure was not an option, she would have undoubtedly approached the project with more seriousness and dedication.
Sarah’s experience could serve as a parable for making the error of interpreting some parts of Revelation figuratively when they should be taken literally. To fail to judge them literally can result in failing to take some of the prophetic events described with necessary seriousness and dedication. For some, it could even mean being insufficiently prepared for Christ’s return.
In his commentary on the book of Revelation, the late Dr. M.R. DeHann wrote:
“Observe the rule of literal interpretation. The greatest curse of the Christian Church is the evil of spiritualizing the Bible. Although there are many symbols and signs in the book, as in every other book and our daily conversation, the context indicates whether a passage is to be interpreted literally or symbolically. Interpret literally, except where the context or grammatical structure clearly indicates that the reference is a symbol or a sign.”
One strong argument for interpreting the seven plagues of Revelation chapter 16 as literal is that the biblical text itself describes them in vivid, concrete terms. The book of Revelation, which often is filled with symbolic language presents these plagues as specific events with clear cause-and-effect relationships. Each of the seven plagues is described in some detail, such as “malignant sores’ (v. 2), “the sea … became like the blood of a corpse” (v.3), and “the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire” (v.8). These unambiguous prophetic descriptions indicate each of them should be taken plainly.
Moreover, the plagues in Revelation 16 align with similar plagues that are described in the Old Testament, particularly the plagues of Egypt mentioned in Exodus. These plagues are depicted as tangible, real, historical events that affected the physical world and had significant consequences for those involved. Therefore, it is only logical to interpret the plagues in this chapter of Revelation as literal occurrences of things to come.
Here is what the Bible says about a second and third plague among seven that God has ordered for an unbelieving world in its final days. These plagues have to do with the sea and the freshwater supply.
“Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood. And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying, ‘You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was because you have sent these judgments. Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward.’ And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just’” (Revelation 16:3-7).
This is a horrific scene almost beyond imagination. It’s hard to conceive of life without the glory and beauty of the sea.
Herman Broch said, “Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” Certainly, someone who would have agreed, Jacques Cousteau said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
Nevertheless, according to Revelation, the majestic expanse of the ocean, once so vibrant and teeming with life, will in the end stagnate as an unnerving tableau of desolation, mirroring the pallid hue and stillness that permeates the blood of a lifeless being.
In his book, Revelation, the late Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote about this text:
“The illustration vividly depicts a dying person wallowing in his own blood. Under the second trumpet, one-third of the sea creatures died (8:9); now the destruction is complete. The stench and the disease this will bring, especially along the shores of the seas of the earth are unimaginable.”
One of the worst marine disasters in recent history took place in April of 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by BP, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident resulted in the largest marine oil spill to date, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the ocean over an extended period.
The disaster had devastating consequences for marine ecosystems in the region, leading to extensive damage and the loss of countless marine organisms. The spill contaminated the surface and deep underwater, killing a wide range of marine species, from small zooplankton to large fish, marine mammals, and even birds.
Following the oil spill, the water’s appearance was profoundly affected by the accumulation of dead organisms, other marine life, and oil residue. This, in turn, led to changes in the ocean’s color that resulted in a reddish hue.
Red Tide is a natural phenomenon caused by blooms of microscopic algae in the ocean, particularly a type called dinoflagellates. These algae produce quite rapidly and generate a reddish discoloration in the water, hence the name “red tide.” The blooms release toxins that are very harmful to marine life, including fish, shellfish, and marine mammals. These toxins have negative effects on the central nervous system of animals, leading to illnesses and death. Red tides also deplete oxygen in the water, which causes what are called “dead zones” of countless marine life.
North Carolina, my home state, has had its challenges from red tides before. It can occur in both saltwater and freshwater environments. The regions most known for red tide, however, include the Gulf of Mexico, the coast of California, the Caribbean Sea, and certain parts of Asia, Europe, and South America.
Here’s the way The Tampa Bay Times described a red tide that plagued the Gulf from the border of Alabama to the Florida Keys in 2005:
“The impact on sea life was so catastrophic that it created a dead zone — an area of the gulf devoid of oxygen and sea life … The algal bloom thoroughly decimated everything on site that year. It killed everything from bait fish and crabs to rays and dolphins. The final death toll included thousands of fish and birds that fed on infected animals.
“Red Tide was the leading cause of death of the endangered manatee that year, killing 93. It also slew more than a hundred sea turtles.
“Tarpon Springs sponger Jeff Love, the owner of Rock Island Sponge Co., told the then – St. Petersburg Times … that the Red Tide snuffed out everything it touched.
“‘Every plant life, every vertebrate, everything on the bottom is dead,’ he said. ‘It’s bare rock — and it was the lushest area we had.’
“From June to September … Pinellas County [Florida] alone picked up 732 tons of dead sea animals from its coastline. That’s nearly 1.5 million pounds of rotting marine flesh. Local governments had to pay overtime and hire more workers to remove the reeking carcasses.
“The water smelled like rotten eggs.”
It seems unlikely any single oil spill or red tide event could destroy the entire ocean. The Earth’s seas are vast bodies of water covering more than 70% of the planet’s surface, and these bodies of water are remarkably resilient. Natural processes such as evaporation, precipitation, and movement of ocean currents help maintain the balance and health of the seas.
Nevertheless, one must remember this bowl poured out by an angel on the sea is because of God’s wrath, and anything is possible with God. In his wrath, more specifically, in this certain event, which is more than catastrophic but apocalyptic, God shows not the slightest scintilla of mercy, for those days are over.
But then, the Bible says a third angel pours his bowl on the fresh waters (the rivers and the springs) and they become like blood, too.
Someone once said, “Amid troubles upon troubles, life feels like a dark tunnel, with no sign of light at the end.” Indeed, and here again, God sends more trouble and those who have despised him are catapulted through a tunnel of darkness where there is no light at the end — only the outer darkness of Hell.
The world is firmly in the talons of Hell on Earth at this point.
This is hypothetical but it seems reasonable to think the situation might go something like this:
Still mourning the death of the sea, the news of the worldwide freshwater contamination will start to spread almost immediately afterwards. Panic, no doubt, will set in. People will likely rush to the grocery stores, hoping to stockpile as much bottled water as possible, but the shelves will empty quickly. Desperation will fill the air, and chaos ensue.
Scenes by the rivers and springs, once filled with families having picnics, and people swimming, will be abandoned and appear eerie. The flowing streams will have turned into stagnant pools of murky red, emitting the foulest of odors. Wildlife and aquatic creatures will struggle to survive, their habitats devastated.
The lack of uncontaminated water resources will place immense strain on healthcare systems, sanitation facilities, and agricultural practices, escalating at almost lightning speed public health crises and food shortages.
There is a strong possibility long lines will form in major cities outside makeshift water distribution centers. People clutching to empty containers, hoping to receive even the most limited quantities of uncontaminated water. Water becomes a precious commodity, coveted by everyone, rich and poor. Wasting water will become unthinkable; bathing will hardly be possible anymore, and clean laundry a rare luxury. Industries reliant on water, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and energy production, will face severe disruption or have to shut down. The economy, forgive the pun, will go in the tank, and job losses will be on a massive scale.
Some hoping to reach deep underground reservoirs will dig provisional wells, while others set up rudimentary filtration systems with the objective of purifying the putrefied waters. Still, others will have adapted systems to catch rainwater or harvest clouds.
Some of these efforts may be somewhat successful, but ultimately, they will fail. The fate of this unbelieving world is to be like that of the rich man in Hell, whom Jesus said, in his torment, asked for just one drop of water to be given him in his agony, but there was none (Luke 16:19-31).
Perhaps many will read of this forthcoming judgment and declare it overly stringent, excessively severe. But lest anyone lay that accusation against God, the angel with authority over the waters says this judgment is unprejudiced and fair. God is holy and everything He does is ethical and reasonable, says the angel.
The angel adds that those who embraced a self-centered life, ignored God’s sovereignty and grace, engaged in immorality, lived without integrity, characteristically ignored God’s law, despising those who lived opposite to the way they lived and murdered them, making their blood flow as deep and as wide as the sea, the rivers and the streams, should have to drink blood. They thirsted for the blood of God’s people and they should have it to drink.
Then a voice comes from the altar, declaring a sort of celestial, “Amen,” saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just” (Revelation 16:7).
The late R.C. Sproul, the incomparable American theologian, pastor, author, and educator said:
“The Bible is meant to be taken literally because it is the ultimate authority from which we derive our understanding of God’s will and path to salvation.”
Are you on the straight and narrow highway? Perhaps you might pray a prayer like this one:
“Lord Jesus Christ, remember me. Open my heart and my mind to you. Save me now, in this day of opportunity, worth more than all the gold and precious possessions in the world. Be merciful to me now, forgive me, and cleanse me from my sins. May I be numbered among those who enter into your kingdom? Give me the gift of eternal life. Spare me of your wrath, which is to come. Amen.”
Plea For Discernment — A Necessary But Lacking Element In The Church Today – By Skip Heitzig - https://harbingersdaily.com/plea-for-discernment-a-necessary-but-lacking-element-in-the-church-today/
Remember the story of the three pigs and the “big, bad wolf”? The hungry wolf went to each pig’s house in turn and said, “Little pig, little pig, let me in.” When they refused, he said, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!” He might have succeeded if he’d been more subtle!
In Matthew 7:15, Jesus talks about another kind of wolf: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
A false prophet is a wolf in disguise, someone with a self-appointed ministry. And they can lead folks astray. After all, when someone says, “God spoke to me directly,” it can intimidate some people. Their response is, “Well, I don’t want to oppose God…” and so they open themselves to false teaching.
But remember the curse that Paul pronounced in Galatians 1:6-9 on anyone who would pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ!
In Revelation 2:18-29, Jesus warns the church at Thyatira against one who “calls herself a prophetess.” He labels her “Jezebel,” a reference to the evil wife of Ahab in 1 Kings, who mixed the true worship of God with the worship of Baal, which included gross sexual immorality.
Today, some mix Christianity with occultism: New Age churches, crystal churches, etc. And some have mixed in Eastern religions, like, “It’s OK to be Christian and be a Zen Buddhist, or to worship Christ and use transcendental meditation.” It’s all part of Satan’s effort to deceive.
So I want to make a plea for discernment. It’s a necessary but lacking element in the church today, when the lines of distinction between truth and error are fuzzy, or almost obliterated. The Bible reminds us, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the “discerning of spirits,” the ability to tell between things that are spiritually true and false, the ability to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
We must “learn to discern.” I’m not saying to be judgmental; I’m saying don’t be gullible! Just because some guy wears a collar, or is on radio or TV, or writes books, or has charisma doesn’t mean he’s right on spiritually! False teachers may talk about God and Jesus Christ, or quote scripture. After all, Satan used scripture when he tempted Jesus!
False prophets don’t come as wolves, they disguise themselves as sheep. They don’t growl, they say, “Baa!” They claim to come “in the name of God,” and they speak Christian-ese.
So how can you tell if someone is a false prophet? Here are three simple tests: Number one is the test of character. Paul spoke of having the “fruit of the Spirit.” This is evidenced by the character of Christ, produced by the Spirit of Christ, in the life of a follower of Christ.
Second is the test of creed. That is, what do they teach, especially about Jesus Christ, His Person and His work? Many will teach that there is no narrow road that leads to life. Or they might try to broaden it, preaching Jesus AND Eastern teachers, or Jesus AND Scientology, etc.
Then there is the test of converts. By this I mean their influence: What is the effect of their teaching on their followers? Sometimes falseness is not immediately apparent; you need to wait until the fruit appears. Paul wrote, “And their message will spread like cancer” (2 Timothy 2:17). That is, it will erode people’s walks with Jesus Christ.
Look through the peephole of discernment and identify the wolves trying to gain entry to your spiritual house. Don’t listen to them, and don’t let them in!
Daily Jot: The power of false narratives - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
The power of the false narrative of COVID continues to wreak havoc on people long after the medical emergency has ended. The Ohio Medical Board, for example, has indefinitely suspended Dr. Sherri Tenpenny’s license and fined her $3,000 after she criticized COVID vaccines in testimony before Ohio lawmakers in June 2021. Specifically, the board alleges that Dr. Tenpenny didn’t properly respond to its investigation of some 350 complaints after her testimony which raised concerns about mRNA shot side effects such as heart inflammation. Never mind that the government has now admitted that myocarditis, pericarditis and blood clots are caused by the shots. The narrative is more important.
Couched in the suspension is the technicality that the medical board determined that Dr. Tenpenny didn’t cooperate with its investigation into her responses to the complaints. The complaints, according to the suspension documents, centered around requests for evidence that the COVID shots were not injecting a real virus, but genetic materials, and patients were suffering from abnormal bleedings, myocarditis, strokes, and neurological complications. The complaints also sought evidence about her claims that the shots were causing people to be magnetized, creating interface with 5G towers and that some metropolitan areas were liquifying dead bodies and pouring them into the water supply. Now that last claim is really hard to believe, but the medical claims have been confirmed by the CDC and FDA.
Kimberly Lee, the medical board’s hearing examiner, said in the suspension letter, “In short, Dr. Tenpenny did not simply fail to cooperate with a Board investigation, she refused to cooperate. And that refusal was based on her unsupported and subjective belief regarding the Board’s motive for the investigation. Licensees of the Board cannot simply refuse to cooperate in investigations because they decide they do not like what they assume is the reason for the investigation.” Notwithstanding, the board documents the responses by Dr. Tenpenny’s attorney Thomas Renz, but determined that the responses were neither timely nor cooperative.
There were many strange claims about the COVID shots. Testimonies before legislative bodies were for the purposes of information gathering about the effects of the shots and the constitutional violations that were being rammed down the throats of Americans by unelected administrative agencies. The fact is that the shots have caused myocarditis, pericarditis, infertility, abortions, blood clots and more. The FDA and CDC were well aware of these side effects because they were in the submissions from the drug companies’ lab trials. Proverbs 6:17 says the Lord hates “A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood.” Federal and state agencies are certainly guilty of such. The power of false narratives lives long after the lies have been exposed.
Daily Devotion: God’s Unending Favor - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. —1 Timothy 6:6
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/gods-unending-favor/ - Listen
Without question there is more joy in the Christian life than in any other life.
Jesus said, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:9–10 NLT).
But the rich and satisfying life that Jesus spoke of consists of more than mere happiness. And it isn’t necessarily a long life, though it may be. Nor is it a life that is free from sorrow, heartache, and tragedy, because even Christians experience all of that.
Some people have the idea that Christians are supposed to be constantly smiling and laughing. But that isn’t the abundant life. There are times to laugh, of course, but there are also times to mourn (see Ecclesiastes 3:1–8).
The life that Jesus wants to give us is the contented life. And this contentment comes from the knowledge that the Good Shepherd is always looking out for our best interests. It is His great joy.
The psalmist David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength” (Psalm 23:1–3 NLT).
Have you ever gone to the beach and watched the constant crashing of the waves on the shore? It goes on all day and all night. Granted, some waves are better than others, as surfers would attest. But the waves keep coming and never stop.
That is a picture of the rich and satisfying life Jesus spoke of. It’s a life in which we’re content knowing that God’s grace is more than sufficient for our needs, that nothing can suppress it, and that God’s favor toward us is unending.
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