Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse - By C. Gray Adams - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/04/19/fourth-horseman-of-the-apocalypse-by-c-gray-adams/
Last, but not least, the ‘Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse’ brings destruction on an epic scale to a planet that is already reeling from the rides of the first three horsemen. In fact, this pale-horse rider will bring utter devastation to, as John the Revelator put it, a fourth part of the earth:
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (emphasis mine)
While it is true that this rider kills by the sword, and by hunger, and by death, and with the beasts of the earth, there is another very important purpose of this horseman. His ride will force the narrative back to Babylon in the Middle East. Here we will expound on both the devastation and the ultimate purpose of the pale-horse rider.
The Pale Horse
As previously noted, the color of each rider’s horse holds a great deal of significance. In this case, the color is pale green. Robert L. Thomas has this to say about the color of this horse:
“The word to describe the fourth horse’s color, chlōros (“pale green”), is the color of grass and other vegetation in Mark 6:39 and Rev. 8:7; 9:4, but in the present connection, designates the yellowish green of decay, the pallor of death. It is a pale ashen color that images a face bleached because of terror. It recalls a corpse in the advanced state of corruption.”
Think about this statement; one can only imagine the terror that will overcome those who have missed the rapture and failed to repent up to this point in the Tribulation when they see the fourth rider and his companion approaching. Indeed, sheer horror will be the lot of the wicked as the fourth horseman, whose name is literally Death, rides his pale-green horse through their midst, along with his companion, the new abode of the slain, Hell. These two will slay those who occupy the fourth part of the earth they are given power over. Indeed, these two will kill ruthlessly. However, their ride must not be conflated with the first three riders even though their means are similar.
Sword – Hunger – Death – Beasts
The sword wielded by the second horseman represents war, and his special power is to remove peace from the earth, causing neighbor to kill neighbor. The sword used by the fourth horseman and Hell is representative of the brutal nature by which this dastardly duo slays those in their path.
By the time Death and Hell make their appearance, the famine of the third rider will have already caused great depletion of the food stores of the earth. However, the hunger that accompanies Death and Hell is hunger that causes death. Therefore, this indicates starvation to the point of expiring. Thus, one of the results of this ride will be the utter destruction of any remaining life-sustaining food.
The third listed manner of demise, ‘death,’ depicted in the fourth seal judgment, is better understood as pestilence or disease. Death from sickness makes perfect sense, as fatal diseases are already on the rise on this side of the rapture. It is not hard to imagine how pestilence and disease will flourish, especially with the rampant death associated with the rides of horsemen four, resulting in the presence of decaying bodies everywhere. One could even imagine many corpses going unburied for lack of laborers.
Finally, people will not be the only ones starving to death. As indicated in Revelation 6:8, the wild beasts will even begin to hunt and consume humans as their typical food sources are also depleted. Desperate beasts will resort to desperate measures. However, we must remember that Death and Hell are given the power to kill by these means. Therefore, these methods cannot be relegated to mere happenstance.
No, this ride will be conducted by supernatural beings directed by God Almighty, and they will not fail because He cannot fail. Death and Hell will, in fact, kill by sword, famine, plague, and wild animals. However, it is important to note that the fourth seal is the only one limited in scope. Indeed, the first three seals are worldwide (Rev 6:1-6), while the fourth is limited to one-fourth part of the Earth (Rev 6:8).
Over the Fourth Part of the Earth
As time passes, the reality of what this portion of Revelation 6:8 actually says becomes increasingly clearer to me. For as long as I can remember, people have conflated the fourth part of the earth with one-fourth of the population. Therefore, by their estimation, one-fourth of the population will be killed by the ride of Death and Hell. This would compute to roughly two billion people based on Earth’s current population. However, I will propose a different idea here based on the simplest reading of the text at hand. I will restate the passage for ease of study:
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Notice, the statement is, ‘over the fourth part of the earth.’ Not ‘over one-fourth of the earth’s population.’ This means this judgment is geographical. We will soon see why this idea is extremely plausible. In order to avoid reinventing the wheel, I am going to include an excerpt from an article I wrote last year about this topic. If you have not read this article in its entirety, it may behoove you to take a moment to do so before proceeding.
***Excerpt from: “Back to Babylon.”
Forcing the Focus Back to Babylon
Just as God, shortly after the flood, scattered the people to the far ends of the earth to keep them from doing things they ought not, He will force them back to the Middle East where all things began. Shortly after the rapture of the church, marking the end of the age of grace, God will restart the prophetic clock spoken of by the prophet Daniel concerning the seventy weeks of Israel. Sixty-nine weeks passed until the ‘cutting off’ of the Messiah, Jesus. The last two thousand years have been the marvelous mystery of a period of grace extended to all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for all who believe, and He was raised by the Father, and He will return soon to take His bride to the place He has prepared in His Father’s house (John 14:1-3).
Once Jesus concludes the age of grace and the prophetic clock restarts with one seven-year week remaining, the narrative will shift back to Israel, and God will use the forces of evil, which are currently coalescing in the Babylon region, to cause Israel to turn back to Him.
How will the return to Babylon happen? How will the city of Babylon become one that is so influential that the kings of the earth mourn her demise at the end of the tribulation period? (Rev 18:9). How is this possible when the United States is the reigning superpower with great influence in all areas of life? What is the simple explanation?
Most do not want to hear what comes next. The only thing that can explain the absence of the United States in Bible prophecy is the United States will indeed be absent from the world stage. This is not to say the United States will be completely destroyed. However, this once great nation will no longer be a superpower. The rise of world governance is one of the greatest indicators that the nationalistic United States will fall.
What if the information so many have sought for so long has been in plain sight all along? What if the United States is part of the earth that will become irrelevant in the closing moments of world history? Is it possible that the United States and other so-called Christian nations are suddenly made insignificant, seemingly overnight? Perhaps these nations are greatly impacted by two separate but closely related events; the rapture and the subsequent destruction of a fourth part of the earth brought forth by the seal judgments in the early days of the Tribulation. This study is not rapture centric; therefore, this biblical definition should provide enough clarity to continue the dialogue about the return of Babylon:
“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” (1 Thess 4:16-17).
One-Fourth of the Earth
When looking at the earth from the four-mile perspective or when looking at the earth from above, it becomes clear that one-quarter of the earth stands apart from the supercontinent that contains the Middle East. In fact, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia make up statistically one-fourth of the earth’s surface:
World Land Mass – 57,510,000 square miles – divided by 4 = 14,377,500
Canada – 3,855,101
U.S.A – 3,618,783
Mexico – 758,449
Brazil – 3,287,955
Australia – 2,969,906
Total – 14,490,194 – That is incredibly close to ¼ of the earth’s surface (14,377,500). Especially when adding in the remaining inhabitable islands of the earth.
What if the United States is in Bible prophecy? What if all of the countries listed above are greatly diminished by the rapture, then further abated by the chaos which will undoubtedly ensue?
Perhaps these once great nations will be so affected by the sudden removal of the good among them that they begin to succumb to the riders of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first being one who will conquer; the second removing peace from the world, causing those left on earth to kill one another; the third causing great famine; all culminating with the fourth horseman who, with Death as a rider, is followed by Hell, and they have authority to destroy one-quarter of the earth? John provided more detail:
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev 6:7-8).
Notice this passage does not say one-fourth of the population. Instead, it says, “the fourth part of the earth.” Ironically, the destruction of this part of the earth would have the effect of forcing the focus of world events back to the Middle East and for those who love this world, back to Babylon, the new seat of government, commerce, and religion.
With these things in mind, it is clear to see how the narrative would shift from Western-centric to Middle Eastern-centric. If ‘Death’ visits the aforementioned countries in the magnitude mentioned, they would become inconsequential to the last days narrative. One could even envision the complete annihilation of all inhabitants of these countries. This, however, would not affect the scenarios depicted in the book of Revelation in the least, as none of these countries are mentioned. In fact, this actually clears up many questions posed by theologians about the players involved or, perhaps better said, not involved in the last moments of history.
***End of excerpt
Food for thought… February 16, 2023, marked the official opening of the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, a facility that currently houses a mosque, church, and synagogue. This makes the idea that the narrative will shift back to the Middle East all the more plausible. After all, they could have built this facility anywhere.
If I am right about this, the nations where Christ was most heavily represented will soon be set upon by unthinkable tragedy. First, they will lose all of those who had wisdom in the rapture. Next, the four horsemen will thunder out of heaven and plunge their once-enlightened lands into utter chaos and death. You may be asking why God, after sending such great destruction upon the world by way of the first three riders, would utterly destroy the fourth part during the ride of the last rider. The simplest answer could be that those left in these nations are exceedingly wicked because of their continued rejection of the truth heralded by the bride of Christ before her departure.
If the last statement is correct, an ‘urgent emergency’ is upon us, and Scripture encourages us to minister while there is still light to do so (John 9:4a). We can all sense the fact that we, the light of the world (Matt 5:14), will soon be removed from the earth, plunging those left here into the darkest night when no one can work (John 9:4b). Once this darkness falls, salvation will become very difficult for those who are not in the region near Israel. Why, you say? Think about it…
The Two Witnesses are located in Jerusalem. The 144,000 evangelists that minister during the Tribulation are Jewish, and this implies that they will minister in the Middle East, as well. Most importantly, we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). Therefore, the converse must be true also; faith does not come when there is no hearing of the Word of God.
This means that those who are to be saved in the aforementioned fourth part region may have only heard the gospel before the rapture. Making it very possible that those who do realize what has taken place at the rapture will quickly repent and become part of the Tribulation saints who are slain in the early moments of the Day of the Lord. This makes our mission all the more important on this side of our long-awaited departure. Therefore, we must be the salt and light until our very last breath (Matt 5:13-16), and apologize like never before.
Because these (post-rapture) Tribulation saints are located in the fourth part to be destroyed, they are also living amongst the most wicked people on earth; so wicked are these that they will slay any who do not agree with their reprobate mindset. Keep in mind that the first horseman will come bearing the rainbow flag, which is the ultimate symbol of the reprobates as it stands for pride. His ride will establish complete rebellion against God while at the same time demanding that all who will not submit to him must perish (Rev 13). The second rider will remove any semblance of peace on earth, and people will begin to kill one another. Since believers are not permitted to kill others, the Tribulation saints will likely be the ones killed during this period.
Perhaps, this is how those who repent in the early days of the Tribulation meet their demise. With this in mind, it is plausible, as seen in the opening of the fifth seal, that these are the very souls seen under the altar asking when God will avenge them (Rev 6:9-10). Though all of this seems so dark and dire, think about this for a second… those seen under the altar are amongst those saved during the Tribulation. Therefore, their physical death is ultimately inconsequential as they will spend eternity in the presence of the Most High, a fate far greater than what awaits Satan and all of those faithful to him, an eternity in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10-15).
By the way, take a close look at this passage and, in particular, those who will accompany Satan during an eternity of torment that goes on day and night forever and ever. The list includes the beast, the false prophet, death, hell, and all whose names are not found written in the book of life. Knowing this should make anyone less likely to follow any one of these rebellious ones.
The Good News
The good news is God is still trying to get men to repent far into the Tribulation. Indeed, He is even using these calamities to cause men to ‘cry uncle,’ if you will. This is because He would have none lost. His desire is that all would turn to Him and accept the great sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, each of these events is designed to judge the wicked and call those who will hear to repentance which leads to salvation. The following passage makes this clear:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (emphasis mine)
Jesus did His part perfectly; He died for you and me. In fact, He died if it had only been you or me. Believing is our part. We must simply believe that Jesus paid the full price for our redemption, and He is, therefore, the only one we should follow. John 3:16 proves that this is what God desires for man, that we believe in His Son, Jesus.
You can almost hear the thunder of the four horsemen as you imagine what their rides will look like. Fortunately, those who have chosen to live for Christ now will not see these minions of mayhem, at least not from Earth anyway. For we will be in Heaven with the bridegroom, safe and sound during the most horrific time ever to come upon the earth.
However, those who are left here will suffer unimaginably, and if I am correct, the fourth part listed above will be hit hardest in the beginning stages of the judgments of God. Indeed, these areas could be severely diminished if not totally destroyed by the fourth seal judgment.
Therefore, do not place your trust in your country or those who lead it. Your country will not become great again through a lasts days revival. Instead, pray for your leaders while placing your trust completely in God. Likewise, trust not those who would have you believe that the faithful must go through the Tribulation in order to become the glorious church that Jesus will come back to govern. No, Jesus will soon remove the faithful and only return after the earth is completely reshaped for the millennial reign that will commence when we return with Jesus at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
Assuredly, we are in the last moments of our time on Earth, and our energies must be expended on watching, warning, and winning souls. Most importantly, we must do all of these things while looking up and praying that we are found worthy to escape (Luke 21:28):
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
“But 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.” (emphasis mine)
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (emphasis mine)
Biden Has Abandoned the Middle East to China and Russia - by Con Coughlin - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/19578/biden-middle-east-china
The Biden administration may have lost interest in the Middle East, but it is not a sentiment that is shared by rival powers such as China and Russia.
While U.S. President Joe Biden has shown nothing but contempt for long-standing allies in the region, both China and Moscow have been quick to exploit Washington's wilful neglect to their own advantage.
By far the most startling change to the political landscape of the Middle East has been Beijing's role in negotiating the restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two countries that, until recently, were sworn enemies.
Relations have been strained between Tehran and Riyadh since the 1979 Islamic Revolution established the ayatollahs' deeply repressive regime, with Iran's clerical dictatorship regularly claiming that the Saudi royal family were unfit custodians of the two holy sites at Mecca and Medina.
One of the more outrageous Iranian attacks was a failed attempt to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubair, in a bomb attack on an upmarket restaurant in Washington DC in 2011, which was later found to have been organised by Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated dramatically in recent years after an Iranian mob stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in 2016 and set it ablaze, prompting the Saudis to cut diplomatic ties. Since then the two countries have been involved in a bitter proxy war in Yemen, with the Iranians providing funds and weaponry to the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition supporting the country's democratically-elected government.
Despite the intense hostility that exists between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which is exacerbated by their respective devotion to the competing traditions of Shia and Sunni Islam, Tehran and Riyadh have made the surprise move of restoring diplomatic relations in an initiative orchestrated by Beijing.
In the absence of any desire on the part of the Biden administration to support the Saudis -- for decades one of Washington's most important allies in the region -- China has moved quickly to fill the diplomatic vacuum to launch its own initiative to restore ties with Iran.
Following intense discussions between the two sides in Beijing last month involving senior security officials, the two sides agreed to a China-brokered agreement to restore diplomatic relations, whereby they undertake to reopen their respective embassies within two months and refrain from interfering in each other's domestic affairs.
Given the long-standing enmity that exists between the two countries, it is hard to envisage relations between Riyadh and Tehran moving beyond observing the basic diplomatic protocols so long as Iran's ayatollahs remain in power.
The only tangible gain that is likely to emerge from the deal is a lasting ceasefire in the Yemeni conflict, a move that has previously been thwarted by Iran using its influence over the Houthi rebels to scupper a deal.
Even so, the fact that the Chinese can pull off a diplomatic coup involving a country that was formerly a key ally of the US serves as a devastating indictment of the Biden administration's incompetence.
From Saudi Arabia's perspective, it is hardly surprising that the kingdom should seek new alliances after the high-handed treatment it has received since Biden took office, which was very much in evidence when the American leader visited Riyadh last July.
Having previously castigated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto leader, over his alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, as well as the Saudis' involvement in Yemen's disastrous civil war, Biden demanded that the Saudis increase oil production to ease the global shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the same time Biden made it clear that his main policy goal in the region was to resurrect the flawed nuclear deal with Iran, a move the Saudis responded to with utter dismay.
Unsurprisingly, Biden left Riyadh empty-handed, prompting the Saudis finally to cut their losses with the White House, and look for alliances elsewhere. This has resulted in the Saudis forging ever-closer ties with China, a country that is regarded as posing a major threat to the long-term security of the United States.
Nor is Saudi Arabia the only former American ally in the Middle East to review its diplomatic options as a result of the Biden administration's indifference towards the region.
According to details contained in documents allegedly stolen from the Pentagon that have subsequently been shared on social media, both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), countries that previously enjoyed strong ties with Washington, have provided support to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is said to have instructed his arms industry to make missiles to sell to Russia for use in the Ukraine conflict, while Russian officials were recorded boasting that the UAE had agreed to cooperate with them "against US and UK intelligence."
This is indeed a sorry state of affairs for two countries that once prided themselves on their close ties with Washington but, thanks to the Biden's administration's ineptitude, now find themselves seeking alliances with America's enemies.
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America, We Have a Problem: Apathetic Abandonment Of The True And Living God – By Tim Moore - https://harbingersdaily.com/we-tolerated-it-all-americas-apathetic-abandonment-of-the-true-and-living-god/
In part one of this expose on America’s fall from grace, we looked at America’s founding on Judeo-Christians morals and how much God blessed the nation for it. Now we will answer the question as to how the nation got to such a sad state.
There Rose Up Another Generation
Scripture plainly describes what happened in ancient Israel. “All that generation [those who had personally witnessed God’s faithfulness through the 40 years of wandering and the initial conquest of Canaan] also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, not yet the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
What a tragic indictment. Whose fault was it that the next generation did not know the LORD or what He had done for His people?
It is easy to blame “the next generation,” because they will always appear to be softer and less motivated than the ones who came before. But the next generation is raised by the previous generation. God was adamant in commanding His people to pass down their faith; pouring knowledge about the Holy One of Israel into that next generation.
Regarding His revealed words, the LORD commanded, “…you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall ask of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Writing those words on doorposts and gates and binding them to arms and foreheads was an outward indication of the call to imprint them on their hearts.
The point is that when Joshua uttered his challenge to the people of Israel, they wholeheartedly responded, “We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God” (Joshua 24:18). Yet only a few generations later, that fervent faith gave way to apathetic abandonment of the true and living God.
By the time Elijah was proclaiming the Word of the Lord, God testified that only 7,000 remained who had not bowed to Baal and kissed that detestable idol (1 Kings 19:18). Tellingly, when Elijah called on the sons of Israel to choose who they would serve, the LORD God or Baal (in a prophetic repetition of the choice Joshua posed just a few generations earlier), “the people did not answer him a word” (1 Kings 18:21). The pitiful atrophying of faith in the land was demonstrated by a deafening sound of silence.
Songwriter Neil Peart captured the implications of such apparent indecision: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” The people of ancient Israel, like today’s so-called “nones,” have indeed made a choice.
Perhaps the only thing worse than silence in the face of such a dramatic option is to falsely claim something that contradicts a person’s living testimony. Jesus called out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes when He said, “…rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men’” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Caught In a Raging Storm
Where are we today? Our society is caught in a raging storm of violence, chaos, and wickedness. Each month, I choose “signs of the times” to highlight in Christ In Prophecy’s bimonthly Lamplighter magazine, realizing that more outrageous examples will manifest themselves before we can even go to print.
The storm analogy offers insight. Mighty and destructive thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes begin as small atmospheric disturbances. What starts as a low-pressure weather event eventually morphs into a monster that cannot be controlled or avoided. The only thing people can do is hunker down and pray or flee to another location.
Over the course of the past century, disdain for moral norms was manifested in seeds of depravity being sown in the 1960s. And we tolerated it all. America’s moral compass was shattered by elected leaders who practiced deception to pursue selfish ambition and bankrupt policies. The spiritual foundations of our nation were undermined by Supreme Court decisions eliminating prayer and relegating Christian faith to the outskirts of society. The fabric of the family was irreparably torn by laws endorsing no-fault divorce and policies encouraging infidelity and single-parent child-raising.
In a headlong rush to push the boundaries of liberation, radicals are now proclaiming all Judeo-Christian values to be patriarchal and oppressive — plainly stating their rejection of the God of Scripture and His laws. In practical fulfillment of Psalm 2:2-3, our own elected leaders attempt to appease the restless masses by rejecting the LORD and His Anointed as they gleefully attempt to “tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
Like a fool who sails out of a safe harbor or casts himself adrift from a secure mooring, our nation is now being tossed about on a sea of moral relativity and swamped by waves of crime, anxiety, and despair.
A Light in The Darkness
The only way to escape the self-destructive path we are on is first to recognize our plight. Like the Apollo 13 astronauts, we must grasp the bleak reality that “we have a problem.” Counselors will tell you that is the hardest part of changing the trajectory of someone addicted to alcohol or drugs. In their self-delusion, self-destructive people refuse to accept that they have a problem.
If our society — from our national leaders to everyday citizens — will first recognize our spiritual problem, the next challenge is to understand that self-sufficiency is not an absolute virtue. Our political leaders are quick to tout our ability to overcome any challenge, reaching within and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But such an attitude is pointedly unbiblical. We need God.
Even if our nation turned from denial, accepted a biblical self-awareness, and recognized its own need, would the overwhelming majority turn back to Christ? The rebellion has become so widespread and the prioritization of ecumenicalism so entrenched that our cultural drivers will embrace any spiritual fad before they revere the true and living God and the revealed Word.
Though I am convinced that America’s self-inflicted wound is incurable (Jeremiah 30:12-13), we faithful Christians strive to act as salt and light — working for the welfare of this pagan land. As Jeremiah told the exiles living in Babylon, “in its welfare [we] will have welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7). We seek the welfare of our nation, and the state and city and neighborhood in which we live, in order to support conduits of blessing to people near and far.
As we do that, we must contend with another problem.
Enter Through the Strait Gate - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever been travelling in an unfamiliar area and got lost? What did you do? Maybe you stopped somewhere and asked directions, or pulled out a map. In today’s world most people check their GPS. The point is, there’s always a way to find your way. Being lost is a very bad feeling. The same is true of finding our way in life. As we travel through life we will come to many crossroads and get confused as to which is the right way to go. The best thing to do is to seek direction. Pray for guidance; God will never steer you wrong. There was a time when a pastor could be trusted to give Biblical directions, but many are turning from sound Bible doctrine and turning to seeker friendly apostasy. Instead of being Biblically correct they are politically correct. Instead of guiding the confused and lost to a firm foundation built on Christ, many pastors embrace the world. These are false teachers who will lead you away from God’s truth. They don’t teach the Gospel because it might offend someone. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
You may take issue with me using this verse which speaks of the Gospel being hid from non-believers, and equating them with false teachers, but if the preacher doesn’t believe God’s truth enough to teach it in full, then what does he believe? Jesus warns against false prophets. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”. Matthew 7:15-16.
Many Christians have been following a broad road that leads to destruction. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.
We know from Scripture that all sin will be forgiven by Christ if you earnestly repent. Too many people leave it at that. They are truly sorry at the moment, but then continue in the sin of which they’ve repented. Only God knows if they are saved, but if there’s no fruit of a changed life, it’s questionable if they’ve truly been saved. “Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Ephesians 4:26-28.
That means to use Christ as your example and don’t continue in sin. Jesus loved people. He forgave a prostitute but told her to stop sinning, He forgave her sin, but she needed to change her lifestyle and leave the broad way that leads to destruction. Why don’t we hear pastors speak out against sin? They are following the wrong path, and many of the congregation are following them without question, or sleep through sermons while the pastor babbles on.. What happens if you follow the broad road? Jesus says it leads to destruction. It’s the strait and narrow gate that leads to life. Be sure you’re on the right path.
How can you be sure you follow the road that leads to life? You must study Scripture. You will have a hard time discerning truth from lies if you don’t know God’s truth! The Apostle Paul wrote letters of encouragement and instruction to young pastors. These letters give instructions on Christian life, and encouragement about how to lead the flock to find the strait gate that leads to life. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
It’s not only pastors who need to study, but every Christian. We all need to beware of false teachers. If you’re listening to a pastor who avoids teaching Scripture, or has the idea that people are different today than in Biblical times and therefore Scripture must change, leave that congregation. That’s a false teaching. Scripture says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. It’s up to us to change to honor Christ instead of changing Christ to honor us. We face a lot of challenges to our faith, but God’s word never changes. When you enter through the strait gate, you will follow in the footsteps of men who surrendered their lives to Christ. They followed His truth no matter what the world proclaimed as truth. Only Christ is the way to life. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Jesus is the strait gait. That’s important for every Christian to understand. Christ is the only way. Allah, Buddha, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, and all other cults and false religions will only lead you to destruction and an eternity in Hell. Follow Christ faithfully, and you will find peace.
In a letter written to Titus, another pastor whom Paul encouraged, Paul is clear about how Titus should choose men to guide the congregation. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Titus 1:9-11.
Although this warns against men who were trying to bring Christian teachings in line with Jewish ways, it’s a warning against any wrong teaching that deceived people bring to the congregation; add nothing to the pure word of God. This verse makes me think of the pastors of some megachurches. They put forth false teaching in order to sell books they’ve written and preach a different Gospel than found in Scripture and “…teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”. There are many false teachers on television and if you watch any of them, be wary. Be sure you’ve studied Scripture so you won’t be duped. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work, reprobate.” Titus 1:16. Don’t follow these false teachers down the broad road that leads to destruction. Follow God’s truth through the strait gate that leads to life.
It's easy to be deceived if you don’t follow the correct guidelines. The congregation in Corinth was very “tolerant” of sin and that was a great concern. False teachers were leading the congregation to destruction and teaching a different Gospel than what is God’s truth. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him… For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ”. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 & 13.
False teachers may appear to be Bible scholars and have degrees from colleges and seminaries, but if they deviate even a little from Scripture, then go to them and rebuke them. If they refuse to listen, then you need to find a new place to worship. The fact of the matter is our foundation must be built on Jesus Christ, holding the Word of God as our standard and the final source of authority for all matters of faith. Scripture is our guide through life.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the apostasy we see from Bible teachers. Scripture tells us that apostasy will abound in the last days. Your pastor probably avoids teaching prophecy so you may not understand that we are living in the final days of earth’s history. There are many signs found in Scripture and these signs are all making news headlines. The war in Ukraine is Russia’s stepping stone to the Middle East and specifically Israel. All nations seem to be turning against Israel, but God will not allow the destruction of His chosen people. Jesus said the end times will be like the days of Noah, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought they sold, they planted, they builded; But, the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:26-30. The days of Noah and the days of Lot are happening today. In Noah’s day, genetic manipulation of the human genome and all of creation, was Satan’s way of destroying humanity. He almost succeeded. The people weren’t paying attention to the evil caused by the fallen angels and were just blindly living life as if nothing was wrong. That’s very much like today. Only Noah and his family were paying attention and following God’s directions. They entered through the narrow gate (the door into the ark) and were protected from God’s judgment.
We also see the lifestyle found Sodom during Lot’s lifetime happening today. Homosexuality was the common practice, and today we see it happening again. God is serious about our sexual choices. As soon as Lot was removed from Sodom, God’s judgment rained down and destroyed Sodom and the surrounding cities. Lot was saved, not because he was a perfect man, but because he chose to believe God. He lived in Sodom but wasn’t part of the lifestyle there. Do pastors teach about these things? Most don’t because it isn’t politically correct and it might upset someone in the congregation. Beware of false teachers who are leading you along the road to destruction. “… broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction”.
We are drawing very near to the Rapture, and Scripture discloses that false teachers will abound. Sadly, so-called Christians will not only tolerate, but encourage those voices of deception. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The congregation will only listen to what they desire to hear. They aren’t happy if they are taught that sin is sin, and they only want to listen to how their sin is forgiven, but don’t want to turn from their sin to honor Christ. Do you only accept false doctrine? This is a sign of the times “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
The lies and hypocrisy will only lead down the broad way to destruction. A time is coming in the very near future when you will understand that your choices in life, and the path you choose to follow will matter. Death is permanent, and the choice you make in this life will determine where you spend eternity. If you choose to listen to false teachers and follow the broad way that leads to destruction, you cannot blame God, false teachers, or anyone but yourself.
You must choose to follow Christ today, before death and before the Rapture, in order to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Everyone will live forever, but it’s your choice to live eternally in the Lake of Fire, or to live eternally in Heaven. Choose to “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.
There is no other way to eternal life than that strait and narrow gate. How do you find that gate? Jesus Christ is the strait gate that leads to life. Make your choice today, reject false teachers, and live for Christ.
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: Democracy Hypocrisy - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
The simple definition of democracy is majority rule. Nowadays it appears those most ardently demanding democracy are cross-ways of the majority and on the slippery slope of tyranny. A most recent example is the trans craze. One would think that everybody is rushing out to get their children’s sex changed. There are biologically born men competing against women, and quite frankly, beating them like a dusty rug. There are politicians, like Joe Biden, claiming that every child should have the opportunity to change their gender and that no one should stand in their way. There are school boards ignoring parents and, pursuing agenda of sexual predation promoted by the LGBTQ+ crowd. Then came the beer fiasco.
The venerable Budweiser beer brand, long known for its all-American image of Clydesdale horses at Christmas and blue-collar work ethic, went all out trans-woke. Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, hired transgender social media personality Dylan Mulvaney as brand ambassador. Mulvaney is a biological male, claiming to be a woman. Mulvaney announced: “This month I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever—a can with my face on it…Check out my Instagram story to see how you can enjoy March Madness with Bud Light and maybe win some money too. Love ya. Cheers! Go Team! Whatever team you love, I love too!” The announcement came on April Fool’s Day, but Anheuser-Bush soon found out it was no joke and the company was the fool.
In fact, within two weeks Anheuser-Bush lost some $6.5 BILLION in market cap as Bud Light drinkers across America refused to drink the trans-Kool Aide. From blue collar workers to bar owners to beer distributors, the masses woke up, got up, and ordered a different brand. The reaction was so swift and decisive, Anheuser-Bush CEO Brendan Whitworth woke up to such swift and decisive public backlash, he had little alternative but to issue a fall-on-his-sword statement two weeks later on April 14. He said, in part, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.” The hypocrisy in all this is that if Joe Biden and his ilk were so concerned about democracy, they would see that the vast majority of Americans don’t want the LGBTQ+ agenda jammed down their throats.
Yes, protect their rights under the law, but don’t let them groom and prey on our kids, or let men compete as women against women in sports, and don’t force this perversion on Americans. How many times to parents have to protest schools for allowing this sexual predation? How many suicides among confused teens need to take place? How many victims of sexual perversion need be made before it is recognized by the democracy hypocrites that the majority doesn’t want any part of the agenda? As in Jude 1:7, “as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Democracy is speaking. Anheuser-Bush has seen it first-hand. Too bad the democracy hypocrites don’t get it.
Daily Devotion: In the Heat of the Battle - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil —Ephesians 6:11
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/in-the-heat-of-the-battle/ - Listen
Have you ever been humming along in your life as a Christian, feeling good about your walk with God, when suddenly you were facing all kinds of temptations, attacks, trials, and difficulties?
You thought, “What is going on? Have I done something to deserve all of this?”
No, it’s called spiritual warfare.
Instead of trying to find a comfortable foxhole where we can wait out the battle, let’s take clear steps as believers to move forward and go on the offensive spiritually.
Fear has paralyzed some Christians. They worry about the devil doing this or that. But we need to stop worrying about his next move and instead let him worry about what we are going to do under the command of Jesus Christ.
There are two things that we need to understand about the spiritual battle. First, we will win in the end. And second, our adversary, the devil, moves in relatively predictable patterns. Therefore, we can prepare ourselves.
If we want to prevail in the field of spiritual battle, then we need to know about the spiritual armor that God has made available to us. The apostle Paul identifies it for us in Ephesians 6.
Paul had a lot of time to study armor, because on more than one occasion, he was chained to a Roman soldier. No doubt he asked some questions about the various pieces and how the soldier used them in battle.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are in the heat of battle—a spiritual battle, that is. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10 that “we are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons” (verses 3–4 NLT).
Let’s make sure that we put on our spiritual armor, because the battle is raging.
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