Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2022/5/23/keeping-our-eyes-on-the-prize
Looking beyond the mess in this world.
As deception, government corruption, violence, and lawlessness increase in our world, it becomes difficult at times to hang on to our hope in Jesus’ imminent appearing. How do we keep our focus on the Rapture during these perilous times?
Although this may sound a bit bizarre at first, a story about Israel’s first king provides encouragement for those of us weary of waiting for our “blessed hope.”
Those familiar with King Saul know that he’s not a stellar example to follow. First Samuel 13 records his failure to wait for Samuel; his sin on this occasion became a critical turning point in his reign.
The excuses that Saul gave to the prophet in defending his impatience on this occasion, however, reveal where his thinking went awry and conversely provide us with valuable insight for the times when we become impatient waiting for the Lord.
I first wrote about this story many years ago during a difficult time in my life when I needed help in waiting for the Lord; I later included it in my book, The Bad Guys of the Bible. [i]
In just the past week, I began to see how the king’s lame excuses on this occasion reveal a thought process that we also must avoid if we are to keep our eyes on the prize before us, our “blessed hope.”
FOCUS ON CHRIST, NOT THE MESSY CIRCUMSTANCES
First Samuel 13:1-7 records the impossible circumstances facing Saul and the Israelites as the king waited for Samuel. The king had just six hundred men with him and to make matters worse, only Saul and Jonathan had a sward or a spear because the Philistines had taken them away along with their blacksmiths (1 Samuel 13:19-22).
First Samuel 13:5 tells us about the overwhelming threat the king’s small band of soldiers faced:
“Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude.”
In this dire situation, the Lord, through the prophet Samuel, had instructed the king to wait seven days. At that time, Samuel would offer a sacrifice and give him instructions regarding the peril that Israel faced. Saul, however, became impatient and offered the sacrifice before the prophet’s arrival.
Samuel confronted Saul’s disobedience with a simple yet probing question, “What have you done?”
In response, Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Micmash, . . . I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:11-12). As he waited for the prophet’s arrival, Saul fixed his attention on his deserting army, Samuel’s delay, and the huge force assembling against Israel.
Saul saw only his impossible situation. He did not consider the Lord or His purpose amid the dangers confronting him.
As we wait upon Jesus in whatever situation we find ourselves, we must also focus on Jesus rather than our messy circumstances.
We may face multiple dangers in the months ahead as the devil and his minions continue to exert more of their deadly control throughout our world. It’s easy, is it not, to focus on the various dangers looming in the future and become impatient wondering why the Lord has not yet come to rescue us?
I have found that the best antidote for my errant focus is Colossians 3:1-4. The words of this passage bring my focus back to the Lord and provide a welcome respite from the increasing perils and wickedness of our world. Verse 4 restores my focus on Jesus’ glorious appearing.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
AVOID THE FAULTY REASONING OF THE WORLD
Saul’s words in 1 Samuel 13:12 reveal another area where his thinking went far off course on that fateful day. The king thought the sacrifice itself would prevent more troops from leaving him and obtain God’s favor (see 1 Samuel 13:11).
In other words, he believed that the ends would justify the means. It was okay to disobey God because of its positive outcome in keeping the troops with him. Such thinking remains popular today in our world.
For those of us awaiting Jesus’ appearing, we must also avoid the reasoning of those around us. The world would have us questions our expectation of the Lord’s soon return; “It’s been two-thousand years, why are you foolishly expecting that Jesus will return in your lifetime?”
Those opposed to our hope would have us join in their way of looking at the perils before us and believe that today is just like any other time in history. “Things will eventually return to normal apart from the Lord’s return,” they tell us.
So many of those that lead our churches have also fallen for the defective reasoning of the world. I have often heard pastors of churches that claim to be “Bible-believing” preach a sanctified version of Joel Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now. Week after week they mimic the temporal perspective of the world by focusing the attention of the saints solely on this life alone with no reference to the eternal specifics of their hope for eternal life.
We live in the season of Jesus’ return for His church. We must trust the words of Scripture rather than our own understanding in these last days of human history (Proverbs 3:5-6).
HOLD TIGHTLY TO GOD’S PROMISES
The Lord’s command for the king to wait contained a promise: when Samuel arrived on the seventh day, he would bring the king guidance for the battle; he would tell him what to do in order for God to win the battle for Israel (1 Samuel 10:8). God had a plan to deliver His people from the Philistine threat.
Saul had another assurance from God that he could have relied upon that fateful day. In the process of selecting Saul, the Lord told Samuel that this king would “save my people from the hand of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 9:16).
The king disobeyed because he chose to ignore God’s specific promises.
In whatever situation we find ourselves, it’s essential that we know Scripture and hold on tightly to its promises.
During the dark years of my life as I experienced heartache after heartache, I discovered the value of a firm grasp on the promises of Scripture. It wasn’t enough for me just to know about the reassuring words of Psalm 27, I memorized them and read them every morning for months.
Such a firm grip on Scripture is also vital as we await the Lord’s appearing to take us to the place that He’s preparing for us. I have already read 1 Corinthians 15:20-58, Philippians 3:13-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, Titus 2:11-15, and Romans 8:18-25 many times this year. There’s something about seeing these words on the pages of the Bible that reassures me of Jesus’ imminent appearing and keeps my focus on what Jesus has promised regarding my future.
As our world grows increasingly perilous by the day, it’s not enough just to know about eternal life; it’s essential that we hold tightly to the biblical promises concerning the specifics of our amazing hope. Jesus will not fail to keep His promises regarding the event that we refer to as the Rapture. Of that we can be absolutely certain.
TRUST GOD’S PERSON, NOT RELIGIOUS BEHAVIOR
For a long time, I wrestled with another aspect of the excuses that Saul offered to Samuel for His impatience. Something was amiss in his faulty attempt at worship; but at first, I couldn’t identify it. Suddenly it occurred to me that the king was treating the Lord as though He was a good-luck charm rather than a living and personal Being.
Saul’s excuses reveal that his hope for success rested in the sacrifice itself rather than in the One to whom he was seeking to worship. Saul trusted a religious exercise to deliver Israel rather than God Himself. He didn’t stop to consider that victory rested solely with the very One he was disobeying.
The king treated God as though He were a vending machine. Do the right things for a predictable outcome just like putting money into vending machine and receiving a candy bar.
Activities such as prayer, Bible study, and worship are of course essential for our walk with the Lord. However, when the tragedies and afflictions of life beset us, it’s the Lord, the object of our worship and faith, who provides the needed strength and comfort during these dark times.
We are already His precious children; we do not need to force Him to lovingly act on our behalf with our “religious behavior.” He’s already doing that each and every moment of our lives!
The same is true in regard to our waiting upon the Lord’s appearing. He’s committed to bringing us safely to glory; He will not fail to do so. As we wait, we can relax knowing that His timing will be perfect.
The majority of church leaders today place their hope in things other than Jesus imminent return. One group falsely teaches that their efforts to pray 24/7 will itself enable the church to rise up and become triumphant throughout the coming Tribulation period and bring in the Lord’s kingdom.
Even in churches that claim to be “premillennial,” it seems as though pastors have become impatient in waiting for the Jesus’ appearing and lift up the church itself as the hope of the saints. Is this not also a form of trusting “religious activity” such as King Saul did long ago? I think so.
The church is not destined to become a “shining city on a hill” in the midst of adversity during these last days of human history as we know it. The Bible tells us that our ultimate deliverance from this evil day will be the Rapture, not a triumphant church. Yet I have heard this false hope often from the pulpits in America.
What do all the above points have in common? Jesus.
Jesus is the One we are waiting for. It all comes down to trusting Him, His timing, and His promises to us.
Bible study, prayer, worship, and corporate gatherings of the saints are of course essential as we wait, but these things are meant to draw us closer to the Savior and never become the means for us to force our agenda on the world or even our timing on the Savior.
I know how easy it is to copy the faulty reasoning of King Saul. I began studying him because I found that I had become a lot like him as a young pastor and wanted to avoid his disastrous mistakes.
For far too long, I erroneously believed that the Lord would automatically bless me because I went to seminary and followed His leading into the pastorate. It was a rude awakening for me to discover that such was most definitely not the case. However, after taking me through many years of hardship and affliction, He has blessed me in ways I never could have imagined.
Regardless of where your suffering takes you, please remember that eternity is your ultimate hope. There we will all share in glories that will far surpass any earthly outcome we can imagine. And this glorious time begins with the Rapture. It’s our deliverance!
Our future is all about Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him and His return. Trust His timing!
Maranatha!! Come soon, Lord Jesus!
My new book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is now available on Amazon.
Note: Please consider signing up for my newsletter on the home page of my website at https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/ . It will greatly help me in reaching more people. Thanks!
[i] The main points of this article come from my book, The Bad Guys of the Bible – And What they teach us about Walking with God. This is a self-published book and is available only on Amazon. This book looks at the lives of several men in the Bible whose temporal focus on life caused them to make bad decisions.
The Level of Evil In Our Society Is Off The Charts - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/the-level-of-evil-in-our-society-is-off-the-charts/
What in the world has happened to our society? Every day I scour dozens of news websites as I do research for my articles and upcoming books, and every day I am horrified by all of the evil that I encounter. We are a deeply, deeply sick society, and more symptoms emerge with each passing day. For example, what would cause an 18-year-old to walk into an elementary school and start gunning down young children? When I was growing up, I never once imagined something like that could possibly ever happen in any of the public schools that I attended. But now this sort of thing is becoming a regular occurrence in America, and the great tragedy that we witnessed on Tuesday quickly made headlines all over the nation…
A gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde on Tuesday, killing 18 students and one teacher, Gov. Greg Abbott said. The gunman, identified by law enforcement as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was also killed, Abbott said. Ramos was reportedly a student at Uvalde High School or was a former student, Abbott said. Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo said it appears that Ramos acted alone.
It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were wounded, but Arredondo said there were “several injuries.”
It is also being reported that Ramos actually shot his own grandmother before going over to the school…
The suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother before entering the school and again opening fire, Abbott said. He did not say anything further about her condition.
Decades ago, this sort of incident would have been talked about for years.
But most Americans will forget all about this shooting a few days from now, and that is because school shootings have become incredibly common in our day and time.
In fact, this was the 27th school shooting in the United States so far this year.
How many of them can you name?
Our schools are not safe anymore, and this is one of the big reasons why so many parents are turning to homeschooling.
Of course it isn’t just our schools that have become danger zones. At this point, major urban areas all over the country are rapidly being transformed into war zones. According to the CDC, the number of firearm homicides jumped almost 35 percent just from 2019 to 2020…
The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35 percent compared to 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest data.
Sadly, getting shot and killed is not the only thing our kids have to be concerned about these days.
There is also the possibility that they could be abducted and forced into sex slavery. This actually happened to one extremely unfortunate 15-year-old girl that attended a Dallas Mavericks game a few weeks ago…
A 15-year-old Texas girl was rescued by police 10 days after she was kidnapped at a basketball game while using the bathroom, then trafficked by pedophiles.
The unidentified teenager’s father raised the alarm shortly after she left to use the restroom and didn’t return to her seat at a Dallas Maverick game in the American Airline Center on April 8.
She was one of the lucky ones.
There are countless others that are never rescued.
But at least our kids should be safe in church, right?
There are sexual predators there too, and sometimes they are even in the pulpit.
On Sunday, a woman named Bobi Gephart that had her virginity taken by a pastor when she was just 16 years old confronted him in front of the entire congregation…
Turning to Lowe, she continued: ‘I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do.
‘You did things to to my teenage body that should have never been done. If you can’t admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim here.’
I can’t even begin to describe how evil this is.
And her husband stated that this abuse lasted for a total of nine years…
Bobi’s husband Nate then added: ‘This is a lie. This is not just adultery.
‘It’s another level. It happened for nine years. When she was 15, 16, the grooming started.’
I wish that this was an isolated incident, but it isn’t.
In fact, a new report has revealed widespread sexual misconduct in one of the largest Christian denominations in the entire nation…
Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention publicly apologized to victims of sexual abuse within the denomination and vowed to make public a private database of offenders in response to an explosive report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct and cover-up.
On Tuesday, SBC leaders gathered to discuss a historic investigation report from Guidepost Solutions that found that the denomination’s leadership mishandled widespread sexual abuse allegations, ignored and silenced victims and engaged in an abusive pattern of intimidation largely to avoid liability.
This shouldn’t be happening.
People go to church to find God, but in way too many instances they are encountering predators instead.
We have become a deeply, deeply wicked country, and it is getting worse with each passing year.
It is in this sort of environment that exceedingly wicked leaders can emerge. In fact, the guy currently in the White House has been telling mammoth lie after mammoth lie for decades…
If we lived in a just society filled with decent people, such a man could never have a career in politics.
Of course the entire world is headed in the same direction, and that has enabled someone like Klaus Schwab to become one of the most important leaders on the entire planet…
This week, Schwab boldly told the elite gathered at Davos that “the future is being built by us”…
Sadly, to a very large degree he is correct.
They are trying to construct their version of “utopia”, but their plans are starting to crumble as a “perfect storm” of war, economic troubles, food shortages, energy problems and major pestilences hammers their efforts from all sides.
As I have tried to explain for many years, ultimately they will fail.
They have destroyed everything that our forefathers worked so hard to build, and in the end their efforts will be destroyed as well.
But right now just about every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is flourishing in our society, and that should deeply sicken all of us.
Nearing Midnight: The Gog Factor – Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Everything north of Israel is shaping into a configuration that my great, late friend, Chuck Missler, would have found interesting and, as he would put it, “provocative.”
He did a lot of research and put much study into the Ezekiel 38–39 prophecy. He would have found, well…provocative…how things in the regions above God’s chosen nation have lined up for fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He wouldn’t have been surprised, but totally fascinated, and would be stimulating us with his superbly intelligent diagnoses and prognoses of things, things that are, and things that are to come.
Particularly of interest to him would be an in-depth look at the prophetic character known as “Gog” of the Ezekiel foretelling of the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel.
In one of his many writings on who Gog might be, without ever naming anyone in particular as a definite person he thought it would be, he wrote:
Amos 7:1 in the Greek translation reads a little differently: “The Lord hath shewn me and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold one of the young devastating locusts was Gog the King.”
When I discovered this, Hal Lindsey and I dug into some research. The locusts in Revelation 9 have a king, Apollyon or Abaddon, but Proverbs 30:27 says that locusts have no king. So these locusts are not natural locusts; they are demon locusts. If that’s the case, then Gog, who is the king of the locusts, is a demon king. (“The Magog Identity,” Chuck Missler, Koinonia House)
Missler, then, it can be accurately said, helped establish among many Bible prophecy scholars and students that the term “Gog” is descriptive not of a particular human being, but of a demonic entity. Certainly the character described in God’s Word will be driven by satanic force to attack God’s chosen people. Gog is a demon spirit that indwells the leader of the force that will make that fatal plunge into the area called “over the mountains of Israel.”
A question we can ask to help us do our own look into these times is: “Do we see any indication of such demented-type thinking among leaders of key nation-states in Ezekiel’s prophecy about the Gog-Magog assault on Israel?”
It’s a good question, to be sure. We’ve seen in the past few years the development of upside-down thinking that is described precisely by God’s own words through the Apostle Paul. We cannot dismiss His diagnosis and prognosis of concerning humanity’s collective dementia, both in the spiritual realm and in the human, cognitive realm. We have lived through that development hour by hour, particularly on social media forums such as Twitter and other channels of often insane rantings.
Here is God’s condemnation of those who turn their backs on Him.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 28–32)
So the question, again, in light of the fact we are in times like that of the antediluvians and of Lot’s time in Sodom, is appropriate. “Do we see any indication of such demented-type thinking among leaders of key nation-states in Ezekiel’s prophecy about the Gog-Magog assault on Israel?”
Russia is the most front and center in this matter—the question of the Gog-Magog assault prophesied by Ezekiel. Almost certainly, Russia and its leader will be at the forefront of the attack. The leader of the assault at the time of the prophecy’s fulfillment will be the leader of Russia.
Many have expressed that Russia’s current president, Vladimir Putin, will be the leader of this force. I don’t necessarily believe Putin is that man, but certainly hold that he could be, considering that the obvious nearness to the very end of the Age of Grace is upon us.
That man, whomever he is, will be indwelt by the demon spirit “Gog” at the time of the attack. Recent reports by those observing Putin have some interesting things to say about this powerful former Soviet KGB agent and now leader of Russia.
A Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin confessed to a Western colleague that Vladimir Putin is “very ill with blood cancer”, according to a report.
The billionaire, whose name has been withheld for his safety, was allegedly secretly taped in mid-March expressing his contempt for the “crazy” Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine…
“The problem is with his head. … One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”…
Russia’s secret service is said to have circulated a memo to regional chiefs around the time of the recording ordering them to ignore rumours about Putin’s health.
Many intelligence officers reportedly interpreted the rare communication as confirmation that their president was indeed in a serious condition…
Footage emerged in April in which Putin’s hand appeared to shake uncontrollably while he firmly gripped his chair.
Earlier that month, an investigation suggested he was under near-constant supervision by a cancer surgeon and other specialist doctors who would typically monitor a cancer patient.
Speculation over the nature of his possible ailments has varied from Parkinson’s disease to cancer of the thyroid, a gland in the neck that controls heart rate and body temperature.
Paranoia, impulsive behaviour and delusions are known symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson’s. (“Putin ‘very ill with blood cancer’ says top oligarch in secret tape,” The World News, World News Platform, Great Britain)
Reports of Putin having mental issues are becoming more frequent. Whether these are true can’t be verified. What is true is that the one who will be possessed by the Gog demon will “think an evil thought,” as Ezekiel puts it.
In the US, the reports of the American president suffering from possible cognitive issues are rampant. All we have to do to investigate these accounts is to watch his public appearances and judge for ourselves individually as to their veracity.
The demonic powers and principalities are at work; this is easy for discerning Christians to determine. The spirit of Antichrist is everywhere we look on the prophetic horizon. The “Gog factor” is something to be considered while we watch the hourly news move throughout the various platforms.
For the believer, the “Gog factor” being on the prophetic horizon means the “Rapture factor” is even more profoundly in view.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
Running Out of Normal – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/running-out-of-normal
I was at the Prophecy Watcher’s conference this past weekend, and it was a truly amazing experience. Arriving a day early, I was pleasantly surprised when Pastor Tom Hughes and his family also arrived giving us ample amounts of time to talk and reflect on the state of the world. I was also pleased to meet and spend time with Dr. Tommy Ice, Don Mercer, Bob Maginnis, Bill Sallus, Olivier Melnick, Nathan Jones, Lee Brainard, Mondo Gonzales, Ken Johnson, Derek & Sharon Gilbert, and many more. I also got to meet so many wonderful people from all over the US and Canada. All of the presentations were amazing, informative, and very encouraging.
But it was during Mondo Gonzales’ briefing, Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse? that the title of this article came to mind. It got me thinking of all the earth-shattering, norm-breaking, and life-changing events which have been happening since 9/11. It was then I realized one of the most underrated major signs of the end of the age is the fact that we are running out of normal life.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise 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. Luke 17:27-30
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never considered Luke 17 as referring to the Second Coming, primarily, because during the 70th Week (i.e., the Tribulation), life will be anything but normal. Just consider the fact that during the Seal Judgments alone, a quarter of the world’s population will die. The oceans will be turning to blood. The trees and vegetation will be burned up. An army of demonic locusts will be unleashed upon the earth. 100 lb. hailstones will be cast upon the earth. How anyone can think that is normal is beyond my comprehension. So, we should know without any doubt, that the ‘days of the Son of Man’ Christ is referring to, is not events inside the 70th Week, but those that precede it. For this, I refer back to the title by saying we are running out of normal.
I’m only 47 (soon to be 48) and I can definitively say that life before 9/11 was one way, and life after has been another. In fact, it has only ever gotten weirder, more confusing, and more stressful. Although I suppose this is a subjective statement, I can't help but wonder how much more can we as a human population endure before life is no longer normal. For instance, if you live in North Korea or Iran and life has always been miserable, then this push towards global totalitarianism probably seems just more of the same. But for much of the rest of the world, this Orwellian push is not. Even in places like China where there has always been a strong government over-watch of their citizenry, the recent brutal lockdowns in Wuhan, Shanghai, and Beijing, are extreme even for them.
This barbarism was not just on display in normally totalitarian states, but in what was long considered “Western Civilization” in places like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Places we used to think of as democratic and “freedom-loving” governments, exposed just how necessary a Constitutional Bill of Rights and impartial judicial system was to the functioning of a healthy democracy. But even in the United States (the dominant economic and military power of the last 70 years), there have been abuses of our Constitution in primarily blue (Democrat) states which have begun shaking the foundations of our Constitutional Republic.
And given the increasingly ‘global’ nature of all our coming crises’, I would say we are not only inching toward the days of Noah and Lot (global wickedness, violence, and normalized debauchery), we are already there. How much longer will Jesus’ description of normal life (as depicted in Luke 17’s marriages, buying/selling, planting, and building) be apropos?
Understandably, the push to make all of the aforementioned, ‘the new normal,’ is all underway, but just saying so doesn’t make it so. Governmental totalitarianism is still tyranny. LGBTQP (the P stands for pedophilia in case you were wondering) is still sinful moral depravity no matter how normal they want us to believe it is. Violence is still violence. Murder is still murder.
Also understandably, is that this unprecedented spike in wickedness, to the world, is for them, normal. They don’t view LGBTQP as lawlessness, but it is lawless against God’s preordained order for the world. They don’t view abortion on demand up to and through birth, as lawless, but it is to God. They don’t view global government as lawless, but it is to God. There was a good reason why God separated mankind at Babel because He knew if He didn’t, mankind would have fallen under global tyranny millennia ago and would have destroyed themselves long before any of us would have ever been born.
Nevertheless, here we are in 2022, a small, remnant community of watching believers increasingly all asking the same question…how much longer Lord? What else is going to happen that shakes our understanding of normal life? I mean, at this point, nothing is really surprising anymore. I suppose the only thing left that would really shake people up and get them to question reality, is the public and unmistakable arrival of extraterrestrials to the skies above our earth.
As the world keeps goose-stepping towards global tyranny using any and every excuse to do so, nothing is really surprising anymore. How can life be normal when normal was thrown out the window? Personally, I really can’t think of anything else that’s left that would surprise me. I mean, we’ve had Russia invade Ukraine in the first major military European provocation (nation on nation) since World War II. We are confident that in the weeks to months ahead, China will retake Taiwan. We are confident that Israel will strike down Iran’s nuclear ambitions in a massive military strike.
We are equally confident that the governments of the world will continue pushing us towards a global famine, economic crisis, and new pandemic, in order to reinstitute global vaccine mandates, food rationing, and all the other necessary prerequisites for their Great Reset. I mean, we can see all that stuff coming a mile away. So to me, it’s not a matter of if, but when all of these things come to pass. So how can we be surprised when we see it coming?
How much longer can we buy and sell when the world’s currencies are on the verge of collapse and are presently experiencing skyrocketing inflation?
How much longer can we marry, and be given in marriage, when marriage itself is being profaned and unprecedented crises continually rob the world of normal life?
How much longer can we plant and build, when the price of building materials is through the roof, and planting is increasingly being taken over by corporate monstrosities like Bill Gates, Monsanto, and Blackrock?
To me, at least, this all begs the question I proposed in the title- that we are running out of normal. When Jesus addressed the disciples' questions regarding the end of the age, He give a litany of signs both general and specific but concluded in Luke's account with this encouragement;
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28
Daily Jot: Policy-created food crisis - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
With fuel prices soaring beyond record highs and disruptions in fertilizer and other supplies because of the Russian war against Ukraine, food is going to become even more costly and scarce. The Biden Administration has been and likely will continue to be inept at handling the ripple effect of its reckless energy policy, the supply chain disruptions from the mishandling of COVID, and the international impact of the Russian invasion. All this could top off a perfect storm where energy policy, fueled by radical politics, forces food price inflation, AND the aftermath of war in Europe’s breadbasket creates a global food crisis. Christians need to gird themselves for a very rough time ahead. Here’s why.
Russia and Ukraine produce about 30% of the world’s foodstuffs. Wheat is a good indicator of food availability as other crops face similar challenges. The Foreign Agriculture Service of the US Department of Agriculture reports as of May 17 that Ukraine wheat production for 2022/23 is forecast at 21.5 million metric tons, down 35 percent from last year, and down 23 percent from the 5-year average. Russian wheat production is forecast 6% higher than the previous year, while China’s wheat production is estimated to be 1% lower. Canada’s wheat production is forecast to increase 30%. The US exports a little over 20% of its agricultural production with Canada as its biggest customer. Europe and Africa will likely be the hardest hit in this foodstuff disruption caused by Vladimir Putin.
America will suffer from a huge jump in food prices and perhaps some shortages in imported foodstuffs such as sweeteners, fruits and nuts. Already there is about a 30% food price increase because of higher fuel prices—mainly brought on by the Biden Administration’s policy commitment to green energy. This increases both food production and transportation costs. Fertilizer costs, according to the World Bank, were up 66% in 2021 with prices to sharply increase in 2022, driven by higher energy costs—again Biden’s energy policy here in the US. USDA says that American’s generally spend about 12% of their budgets on food. That is rising fast. USDA projects a family of four on a thrifty food plan will pay $917 in May for groceries, compared with $594 in May last year. This will get worse as energy policy continues to force fuel prices higher.
This food crisis is provoked by the Russian war and the Biden Administration’s energy policy. America’s farmers are able to produce enough food to feed America and much of the rest of the world. And, NO, they are not being forced to destroy their crops. This isn’t a food supply issue. It is an input pricing issue forced by the lunatic climate change/green energy extremists in the Democratic Party leadership. Unfortunately, it is already taking a toll on the less fortunate around the world, especially in places lie rural Africa, causing hunger and starvation. Christ said in Matthew 24:7-8, that nations will rise against nations and there will be famines and pestilences, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” We may be in that time. Prepare ahead. Figure out how to grow a garden. Budget appropriately. Vocalize your dissent. And don’t forget those in need.
Daily Devotion: A Judgment of Faithfulness - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! —1 Corinthians 9:24
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-judgment-of-faithfulness/ - Listen
I have five grandkids, so I’ve noticed the trend in youth sports today is to not keep score. This is to stress the idea that there are no winners or losers. Everyone is a winner. That sounds good, but it isn’t true in life.
And it isn’t true in the Bible, either. In the Bible there are winners, and there are losers. On more than one occasion, Scripture compares the Christian life to running a race. For instance, the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (NLT).
If you’re competing in the Olympics, you go for the gold. And if you’re living as a Christian, you should go for the gold as well. Run to win. That doesn’t mean we’re competing with our fellow believers. Our competition, if you will, is the world, flesh, and Devil.
Again, Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV).
In the original language, the word “bad” isn’t referring to evil but to worthlessness. God will ask about our faithfulness on that final day and what we’ve done with the opportunities that He set before us.
If we were faithful, we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” not “Well done, good and successful servant.”
God will hold me accountable for what He has called me to do, and He will hold you accountable for what He has called you to do. So, we need to be faithful and do the best we can do.
God wants you to be a winner in the race of life.
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