IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
How Bad Will the Tribulation Be? - Dr. David Jeremiah - https://www.davidjeremiah.org
Our culture has embraced the idea of suffering for a cause, but it has cheapened the concept of martyrdom in the process. Terms like social change martyr, digital martyr, work martyr, and political martyr have expanded the meaning of martyr to include any inconvenience resulting from expressing an opinion. But in order to understand just how bad the Tribulation will be, we need to know what words like martyr mean in their biblical context.
What Does It Mean to Be a Martyr?
Revelation 6:9 makes the meaning clear: "When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held." Slain is a sacrificial term that means "slaughter, butcher, murder." God's people have always experienced persecution in parts of the world, and many have sacrificed their lives for the Gospel throughout the centuries. As the world's end draws near, persecution will rise to unprecedented levels, and many will be martyred—murdered—for their faith.
When the fifth seal is opened, every Christian, whether dead or alive, will have been raptured to heaven at the beginning of the Tribulation. This suggests the martyrs in Revelation chapter 6 will be new converts to Christianity during the Tribulation period. In a world dominated by evil, their faith will lead to a bloody massacre. Jesus described their suffering in His Olivet Discourse: "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other" (Matthew 24:9–10, NLT).
There will be no room for lukewarm Christians during the Tribulation. For many believers, following Christ will demand the ultimate sacrifice. For every believer, following Christ will require carefully counting the cost. The Tribulation martyrs will weigh their earthly suffering against the greater spiritual suffering of denying Christ, and they will arrive at the same conclusion as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who was hanged during World War II:
[Messengers of the Gospel] must not fear men. Men can do them no harm, for the power of men ceases with the death of the body. But they must overcome the fear of death with the fear of God. The danger lies not in the judgement of men, but in the judgement of God, not in the death of the body but in the eternal destruction of body and soul. Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men.1
Why Will Believers Be Martyred?
The apostle John says the Tribulation martyrs will be killed "for the word of God and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9). Armed with the truth of God's Word, the martyrs will preach repentance and warn of the judgment to come. In 2 Corinthians 2, Paul describes the Christian life as a fragrance that smells like a sweet perfume to God and other Christians. But to "those who are perishing," the aroma smells like decay and death (verses 14–16).
During the Tribulation, there will be few believers around to appreciate the fragrance of righteousness. Most people will have hardened their hearts and will reject the message of salvation. With the Antichrist firmly in control of world politics and religion, society will react violently to any trace of Christianity. Many will be called upon during the Tribulation to love God more than their very lives (Revelation 12:11; see also Psalm 44:22).
Why Won't the World Listen?
A story from the Old Testament helps us understand how humans, who were created in God's image, could hate someone for serving Him. Two kings, Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah, were preparing for war. Jehoshaphat insisted on consulting one of God's prophets. Ahab, who worshiped false gods, summoned four hundred prophets who readily agreed with the kings' battle plan. Jehoshaphat wasn't fooled and again asked for a prophet of the Lord. Ahab finally admitted there was one godly prophet, Micaiah, who could be consulted. Before calling the prophet, Ahab explained his disregard this way: "I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil" (1 Kings 22:8).
Ahab rejected truth because it did not conform to his expectations. He preferred the flattery of pagan prophets to the sincerity of God's prophet. In 2 Timothy 4:3–4, the apostle Paul warned Timothy that a time would come when mankind "will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." Ahab's attitude is typical of what happens in a heart that has turned away from God.
The Digital Age has made it possible for people to select which news they hear and how it is reported. Universities have created safe spaces where students can insulate themselves from unwelcome ideas. Recent court cases have threatened the civil liberties of Christian business owners who try to conduct their businesses according to biblical standards. When Christianity in practice arouses the dormant conscience of a non–Christian, the response is to "kill the messenger." That is why Christians have been persecuted throughout history and will be increasingly persecuted as the Day of the Lord draws near.
How Will God Punish the Martyrs' Persecutors?
The apostle John describes the martyrs as crying out from under an altar contained inside the fifth of seven seals on a scroll (Revelation 6:9–10). Each of these seals represents a separate judgment upon the earth. This means the world will be judged, among other things, for the blood of the martyrs.
Beginning in Revelation 8, John describes seven trumpet judgments that declare the Lord's final intervention on earth. They present a picture of the world ruined by man. The final trumpet blow reveals God's final seven judgments upon the earth, which are the bowl judgments detailed in chapter 16. The trumpet judgments present the world ruled by Satan. The bowl judgments present the world reclaimed by God.
The prayers of the saints crying out for justice become the punishment of the sinners. The third bowl judgment, turning freshwater to blood, declares God's retribution against those who have martyred His people. Here are the words of the angel who pours out this judgment:
You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due. Revelation 16:5–6
Why Will God Wait to Punish the Persecutors?
In the words of 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (NLT).
In Revelation 6, the martyrs' cries for justice were answered with white robes and encouragement to "rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed" (verse 11). As in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, God will delay His judgment until every willing soul is preserved (Genesis 18:32). Now in Revelation 16, the cries are answered with the Lord's vengeance.
Freshwater rivers and lakes will turn into bloody water when the third bowl is poured. Once again, the altar is the focus of this message of retribution because the souls of the slain are held under the altar. The angel declares God's justice in judging His enemies. This bowl pours out the judgment requested by the martyrs.
As terrible as the Tribulation will be, it is only a small taste of what awaits those who reject the Gospel. The days of the Tribulation are limited to seven years, but anyone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord will suffer forever.
Some people dismiss the reality of hell by thinking it's where their friends are going so they might as well go there too. Jesus disproved this idea with a story he told in Luke 16 about a godly beggar named Lazarus and an ungodly, unnamed rich man. Lazarus died and was taken to heaven, but the rich man died and was tormented in Hades. The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family—to testify to them about the reality of heaven and hell—because he did not want his brothers to end up in the same awful place.
Abraham refused to send Lazarus to the rich man's family saying, "They have Moses and the prophets" (Luke 16:29). Like the rich man, God has told us everything we need to know about heaven and hell and how our decisions will lead us to one place or the other. He waits patiently today for each person's decision, but one day the verdict will be final. "The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty" (Numbers 14:18).
How Do the Bowl Judgments Affect Christians Today?
If you are a Christian, these judgments will not affect you. You will not be on earth when they occur. But, as with all Scripture, there is an application to be made, for the signs of the coming of the Lord are evident. If the Lord Jesus Christ returned today, the events described in Revelation 15—16 would probably take place no later than seven years from now. Who do you know who is young enough to still be alive seven years from now? Do they know Christ? If the Rapture occurred today, would they be left behind to endure the seven bowl judgments?
1Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1963), 242.
Nearing Midnight: Europe’s Finances Are a Mess – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Over the years, I’ve paid heavy attention to the US economy because the vast majority of RR’s readers are from North America. The financial situation in Europe is so dire, I think it needs special attention. The COVID-19 virus has generated massive budget shortfalls among EU members.
From 2000, Eurozone debt has risen from €5.2 trillion to €12.04 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, representing 97.3% of the euro area GDP.
Over the last year, the greatest debt to GDP increases were in Cyprus at 22.9%, Italy at 17.4%, Greece at 17.3%, Spain at 16.6%, and France at 16.5%. The EU economy is drifting into a deepening slump, so there is no way for it to grow out of these ever-expanding debt loads.
Europe is now back into its third lockdown, and it appears that 2021 will be no better than 2020 as central governments print vast amounts of money to provide stimulus checks to unemployed Europeans.
The EU vaccine program has been an absolute disaster. It is a classic example of how socialism gums up the workings of the capitalist economic system. While the US has 38% of its people vaccinated, the EU has only 12% of its citizens vaccinated.
On 27 January, officials raided AstraZeneca’s facility in Brussels, following production problems that had reduced the amount of its yet-to-be-approved supply to the EU. The Commission’s president threatened to invoke Article 122, allowing the EU to seize AstraZeneca’s factories and ban vaccine exports to the UK. Because AstraZeneca is a British firm, the concern about the safety of the vaccine seems to be more the result of political infighting than pure science.
Germany’s decision to hit the brakes on AstraZeneca’s vaccine came at a terrible time, setting back the vaccine rollout just as Europe confronts a new wave of infections that have led countries to reimpose or extend the restrictions.
All the nations that needed a bailout following the Great Recession are back into hot water: Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, and Ireland. Greece has had three official bailouts since 2010, but it has credit extended to it at least eight times. With Greece’s debt at 200% of GDP, a fourth bailout is only a matter of time.
The Greeks have no incentive to balance their budget. The European Central Bank is so sensitive to rising bond yields that it is determined that they are kept as low as possible. The degree of suppression is illustrated by a Greek 30-year bond selling at a yield of 1.93% — half a percent less than the US Treasury equivalent. It is plainly wrong for a country with a deteriorating government debt to GDP ratio of 200% and an appalling track record.
What’s different this time around is that Italy, Spain, and France have joined the list. These three nations are massively larger than the four other countries, and they have total debts equal to $7.5 trillion. Italy’s national debt equals $3.1 trillion, which is 154% of its GDP.
The Germans are going to be the ones who will need to approve this new credit. The strong work ethic has made Germany Europe’s financial powerhouse. After endless rounds of bailouts to its fellow EU members, the Germans are probably starting to feel like someone who has a joint bank account with a heroin addict.
The German government may not be able to play Santa Claus much longer. Germany had seen its national debt declined as a percent of GDP for nearly a decade. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Germany’s debt has soared from 60% to 83% of GDP.
Since many European nations owe Germany trillions of dollars from all the products they’ve purchased from their neighbor, Berlin may have no choice in voting for more bailouts. France alone owes Germany $1 trillion.
I think it’s by design that every major economic power on planet Earth has a major problem with too much debt. The day will come when central banks will lose control and panic will sweep the globe as it did in 1929. Then will come a man who has all the answers to the world’s financial woes.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18).
Hordes Of Demoralized Police Officers Are Quitting Their Jobs, And America’s Streets Are Less Safe As A Result - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/hordes-of-demoralized-police-officers-are-quitting-their-jobs-and-americas-streets-are-less-safe-as-a-result/
The United States has never faced a more severe law enforcement crisis than it is facing right now. All over the nation, police officers are quitting in droves, and many of those jobs are going unfilled because of the difficulty in recruiting new applicants. Since the death of George Floyd, police officers have been relentlessly demonized by the corporate media, police budgets have been dramatically slashed in major cities all across the country, and many prominent politicians have publicly expressed disdain for their local law enforcement authorities. In such an environment, serving the community as a police officer is not an attractive option, and it makes perfect sense why so many officers have been throwing in the towel on their once promising careers.
In Portland, 115 officers have either retired or resigned since July 1st.
Exit interview statements are not mandatory for police officers that are leaving the force in Portland, but those that have filled them out have been quite frank about their reasons for leaving…
In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out.
“The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What’s worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly,” one retiring detective wrote.
I can’t understand why anyone would still want to be a police officer in Portland at this point. There has been endless civil unrest in the city for months on end, and most of the politicians are far left radicals that are clearly on the side of the protesters.
Another officer that left the force stated that he has “never seen morale so low” among officers in Portland…
“What the city council has done to beat down the officers’ willingness to do police work is unfathomable,” he wrote. “I have never seen morale so low. Officers leaving mid-career and sometimes sooner to go to other agencies. Officers retiring when they would have stayed longer if the situation were different.”
He said he knew it was time to go because he stopped looking forward to work that he once loved.
“It is no longer a fun place to work. … There is no end in sight and the negatives far exceed anything positive … hate what Portland has become.’’
He is not alone in hating what Portland has become.
It should be one of the most beautiful cities in America, but now it has literally been transformed into a crime-ridden hellhole.
Seattle is another city that has seen over a hundred officers leave, and those that have moved on have also expressed very bitter feelings in their exit interviews…
Over 175 pages of exit interviews from more than one hundred SPD officers stating their reasons for leaving their jobs. The same handwritten complaints–often including the same phrasing–can be seen repeatedly. KIRO-7 obtained the exit interviews after a public document request.
One cop wrote: “I refuse to work for this socialist City Council and their political agenda. It ultimately will destroy the fabric of this once fine city.”
Another outgoing officer cited: “An unwinnable battle with the City Council. It will be the downfall of the city of Seattle.”
When I was growing up, working in law enforcement was considered to be a noble profession, and young people were taught to respect the police.
But now they are severely underpaid and are treated like trash in many parts of the country.
Sometimes a political decision can prompt a mass exodus. In Colorado, a new law that was signed by Governor Jared Polis prompted over 200 police officers to turn in their badges…
More than 200 law enforcement officers across Colorado resigned or retired in the weeks after Gov. Jared Polis enacted sweeping police reforms by signing Senate Bill 217 into law on June 19, according to state data.
Though it’s unclear how many of the separations are the direct result of the new law — with its striking implications that include officers’ personal financial liability for their actions — interviews with chiefs of police and union officials suggest a number of them are, and the state’s largest police organization has launched a survey to find out.
As police departments struggle to fill scores of vacancies, crime rates have surged from coast to coast.
According to CNN, homicide rates rose by an average of 33 percent in major U.S. cities in 2020…
Major American cities saw a 33% increase in homicides last year as a pandemic swept across the country, millions of people joined protests against racial injustice and police brutality, and the economy collapsed under the weight of the pandemic — a crime surge that has continued into the first quarter of this year.
A 10 percent increase in one year would be cause for alarm.
A 33 percent increase in one year is catastrophic.
Our society is literally coming apart at the seams all around us, and it is difficult to know who to trust.
These days, just about anyone could be a murderer. For example, a 54-year-old woman went to buy a fridge from a 26-year-old man that was advertising one on Facebook, and she ended up getting murdered…
Investigators say a woman who was found stabbed to death in Geistown Tuesday was killed by a man whom she met on Facebook Marketplace to buy a fridge for her boyfriend.
Authorities say 26-year-old Joshua Gorgone was arrested Tuesday and has been charged with criminal homicide in the slaying of 54-year-old Denise Williams.
She just wanted to buy a fridge.
Sadly, the increase in violence in our society is causing people to keep their distance from one another more than ever. There is such a reluctance to interact with “strangers”, because the next “stranger” that you meet could be a sex predator or a violent criminal.
I have written extensively about the moral crisis in our country, and it really matters on a practical level.
At this point, a large chunk of the population no longer cares about basic morality, and many people have quickly come to the realization that they can no longer trust others on a fundamental level.
The thin veneer of civilization that we all used to take for granted is rapidly dissipating, and crime rates are increasing dramatically.
In the old days, we could trust the police to restore order when things got out of hand.
But now police officers are quitting in droves, and America is headed for a very, very uncertain future.
Lessons on the Road to Emmaus - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
When things don’t go like you think they should, do you get discouraged? Disappointments can cause us to ask many questions. That’s what happened with those who had followed Jesus and believed He was the Messiah. Jesus had done much good for people, He preached Good News, and He stood up against the Pharisees. The disciples knew Jesus was special and they were sure He would be the one who would redeem Israel, a nation which had suffered much persecution and oppression. Many believed that Jesus would stop the Roman occupation of the land God had given to Abraham and his seed forever. Actually, Jesus came to accomplish a much greater mission. By His shed blood, Jesus would make the only way for all people of the world to find eternal life through faith in Him. “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17. Those were the words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, a Pharisee who was seeking truth. Jesus didn’t limit salvation to Israel, but to anyone who believes in Him. It only takes faith to find salvation through Christ.
While Jesus walked this earth, He preached to all who would listen, He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and cast out demons. People followed Him, but there were 12 who were His chosen disciples. These men were given special teachings, but didn’t fully understand all that Jesus taught. These men followed Jewish Law, but they weren’t scholars. Nevertheless, they followed Jesus and listened to what He taught. Then, their hopes and dreams were shattered. Jesus was crucified. They watched Him carry His cross, they saw the blood dripping from gaping wounds which exposed His bones, and they saw the crown of thorns that had been forced upon His head in mockery. Their hopes that Jesus was the longed-for Messiah were shattered as the nails were driven into His hands and feet. Then it was over. Jesus was dead and his body was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb. A large stone was rolled over the entrance and it was securely sealed. Roman soldiers were stationed there to make sure nobody stole the body. There was nothing left for the disciples to do but to grieve and worry about their own safety. Because they had followed Jesus, they could also be arrested and put to death. Jesus had spoken of these events clearly, but the disciples didn’t understand the bigger picture of what Jesus was to accomplish. “And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.” Matthew 17:22-23. They heard the words, but didn’t want to believe Jesus meant what He said. Jesus also made reference to prophecy seen in Jonah. “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:39-40. Jonah (Jonas) was a prophet and his plight with the whale was a prophecy of the Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection. It’s important to study prophecy.
After Jesus was taken from the cross and hurriedly buried, the disciples had a lot to think about. Had they paid more attention to prophecy they would have looked forward with expectation to what was about to happen. As soon as the Law permitted, some of the women arrived at the tomb early. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3. Their tears of grief turned to confusion and fear. Jesus’ body was gone, but two men were there. “And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:5-7. The disciples wouldn’t have been confused about what was happening if they would have studied prophecy. They also should have believed what Jesus taught rather than believing what they thought He meant. Like them, we read the words but try to tweak them to say something that we can wrap our minds around. Nobody had ever left an empty tomb before, so the disciples hadn’t understood that Jesus meant exactly what He said. How often do you read Scripture but tweak it to justify a sin you hold on to or interpret prophecy based on human understanding rather than God’s greater knowledge? After hearing the women’s news, Peter and John raced to the tomb and found that the women were right. The body was gone but the grave clothes were still there. If someone removed Jesus’ body, why would they leave the burial clothes? Something miraculous had happened. Christ conquered death!
After this discovery, two of the disciples departed from Jerusalem to go to a town called Emmaus. “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs.” Luke 24:13. It was about 7.5 miles, and by foot it would take a while to get there. They had a lot to talk about. As they walked, they tried to make sense of all that had happened. “And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” Luke 24 15:16. There is some speculation as to why they didn’t recognized Jesus, but we’re just told “…their eyes were holden…”. Does Jesus listen in on your conversations? Yes, He does, so be careful of the words you speak and the thoughts you have. Jesus allowed the disciples to tell Him what they knew. “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad?” Luke 24:17. Jesus knew why they were sad and confused, but He cared enough to listen to what was troubling them. “And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?” Luke 24:18. Their words are a little amusing since we know who they were speaking to. Who better than Jesus knew of the events of the last few days? Remember, when you’re troubled over anything, you can talk to Jesus in prayer. He knows what the answers are, but will allow you to lay your burden upon Him and He will guide you to answers.
The events of the last few days were fresh on the minds of these two men. They were willing to share with the “stranger” what had happened. “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests had our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.” Luke 24:19-20. By allowing them to talk, Jesus allowed them to focus their thoughts. “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.” Luke 24:21. That’s what perplexed them most. They thought Jesus would redeem Israel. They couldn’t see the bigger picture. Jesus died for all people, not just the Jewish nation. Not only that, but the redemption He offers is eternal. “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.” Luke 24:22-23. The two men had poured their hearts out to Jesus and finished by telling of the empty tomb.
Now, it was Jesus’ turn to talk. Jesus listens to us, but it’s important to listen to Him. “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke 24:25-26. His words must have shocked the men. They probably expected this stranger to feel sorrow over the death of the one that was thought to be the redeemer of Israel. After all the facts they had related, Jesus’ words were to rebuke them for not believing all that the prophets had spoken. That rebuke is as true today as it was those many centuries ago. Today, we are facing many world events that have struck fear into the hearts of many people. Yet, if we study prophecy, we can see that we live in exciting times. Prophecy is being fulfilled daily and it’s clear that we’re nearing the end of time. God won’t withhold His judgement much longer. Before His judgments begin, Christians will be called Home in the Rapture. That’s exciting, but if you don’t study prophecy, you’ll just see things through the eyes of the world. That’s a bad way to see things. God breathed the words to the men who wrote Scripture, so if you don’t study prophecy you’re ignoring much of His word. Jesus said these men were fools for not believing the prophecies that had been fulfilled in the past days. He then went to Scripture to open their eyes. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27. That must have been a wonderful Bible study. Too many preachers today don’t teach verse by verse through the Bible. Instead, they quote secular sources and false teachers. In so doing they tickle ears and skip over very important Scriptural teachings. Many preachers don’t take the time to study prophecy, and therefore are ill equipped to teach it. These men lead the flock astray. If you’re waiting for your pastor to teach prophecy, you’re making a mistake. Study for yourself. There are many knowledgeable prophecy teachers, but don’t forget to study Scripture for yourself. The Bible study which Jesus taught on the road to Emmaus is found in your own Bible.
It was evening when they arrived in Emmaus, so the disciples asked Him to stay and have a meal with them. It was at that meal that the disciples finally knew who had been teaching them. “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” Luke 24:30-31. The upset and confusion they had felt was replaced by joy. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:32. Jesus opened the scriptures to them and they finally understood the events of the previous few days. They immediately returned to Jerusalem and found Matthew, James, John, and the other disciples and told them what they had experienced. We also need to share the Good News with the doubters of today.
Only Scripture is God’s word. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Allow the Holy Spirit lead you and you’ll find understanding in these trying times by studying prophecy. If the disciples had a deeper understanding of prophecy, they would have understood the times in which they lived. If we study and believe God’s word, from Genesis through Revelation, we will have more peace in these wicked days in which we live.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: The Outhouse – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
When you live on a farm that has been in the family since around 1818, there are a lot of upgrades that happen over the years. Starting out as a 1 ½ story, three-room cabin homestead built with 4-inch thick planks pegged together as walls for protection against weather and hostiles, the house was added onto over the many years. By 1949, the farmhouse had a second story, living room, two additional bedrooms and a very crude 2-bare-wire electricity snaking through the house across porcelain insulators. Once in a while, a mouse or some other varmint, would climb across the electric wires and meet its end, leaving behind a very definable stench. One thing that had not been added by 1949 was indoor plumbing.
We had several wells out an about on the property. A couple of them are still good even to this day. But the water would be carried from these wells for use in the kitchen. I remember my mother telling stories of how shocked she was when she and Dad were first married in 1940 and she moved to the farm. There had been no woman there since around 1928 when my father’s mother, my grandmother, was killed in a car accident. The overall welfare of the farm was left to my grandfather and father for maintenance and care-taking. I only can imagine from what I was told that these two men were not much interested in housekeeping. A heap of cans and general trash formed a natural pile within throwing distance of the back porch. Years later, in my teens in the 1970’s, Dad and I built a corral where that old trash pile once was.
We were picking up cans and pieces of glass rising to the top for years. It was great incentive to never get thrown from a horse in that corral. Mom became a clean freak, and I can only guess the job she faced when they were first married. In 1949, with two young boys (I didn’t come along until 1955), it was becoming increasingly difficult to live in a house with no indoor plumbing. But one thing for certain, the Wilson’s probably had one of the nicest outhouses in the township. It was a two-seater with a nice door, a vent, painted white with red trim. Mom and Dad were really proud of that outhouse. We didn’t have many pictures of them posing in front of the house, or the barn, or the garden.
But we do have old picture of them in front of the outhouse–Mom dressed in her Sunday best dress, dress shoes, and fashionable 1940’s wool coat, and Dad in a big 10-gallon cowboy hat, checkered flannel shirt, dress pants and galoshes; both of them smiling from ear to ear with “Carl and Thelma Wilson Circa 1949” hand-written on the back of the photo. Around the time I was born, Dad organized a crew to put in a septic system in the cover of darkness (to avoid paying the county for a permit) and overnight we had indoor plumbing. Zechariah 4:10 says, “For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.” I don’t know about seven rejoicing, but I’m sure my mother was elated to see the plumbers lining up to work on that indoor bathroom and kitchen sink.
Daily Devotion: What Does “Blessed” Really Mean? - by Greg Laurie
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. —Luke 12:32
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/what-does-blessed-really-mean/ - Listen
When I’m with my grandchildren, I love to do things for them. I like taking them out for ice cream or buying a little toy for each of them.
In the same way, God loves to bless us, and He wants to bless us. Isn’t that a great thing to know? Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 NKJV).
However, we throw the word blessing around a lot. We might say, “You’re such a blessing” or “Wasn’t that a blessing”? Sometimes we even use it to end a conversation that has gone too long, as in, “Okay, I’ve got to go. God bless you!”
Even our secular culture may try to hijack the word, but non-Christians really have no idea of what it means. It’s something that only the child of God can experience, because blessing is a spiritual word.
It’s worth noting that Jesus loved to bless people. Even the beautiful Beatitudes, part of His Sermon on the Mount, begin with the word blessed.
We sometimes describe these statements of Jesus as the “be happy attitudes” because another way to translate blessed is “happy,” which comes from the Greek word makários.
God wants you to be blessed and happy. In the opening chapter of Genesis, we read that God created man in His own image. And the next verse begins, “Then God blessed them . . .” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV).
This blessing that God gives to us is something He wants us to experience. It’s also independent of our circumstances.
You might be going through a time of struggle, but you still can be happy. It isn’t about where you are geographically; it’s about where you are spiritually. It isn’t about what you have; it’s about the One you know.
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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