Profound And Rapid Changes: A World In Preparation For The Tribulation – By Hal Lindsey - https://harbingersdaily.com/profound-and-rapid-changes-a-world-in-preparation-for-the-tribulation/
Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body makes dramatic changes. But near the end, the release of an array of hormones puts those changes into hyperdrive. The changes come faster and with ever more profound results as her body prepares to deliver a child into the world. It is no accident that Jesus compared the state of the world in the last days to a woman at the last stages of pregnancy. In both instances, astounding changes take place at an ever-quickening pace.
Knowing that it’s all part of God’s plan does not lessen the pain of childbirth, but it gives the woman context. It tells her there is an end in sight — something glorious and beautiful.
By the time labor begins, the woman is already fatigued from sleepless nights. Her back aches from carrying this large extra burden in her body. She may suffer heartburn, shortness of breath, or any number of other discomforts as a result of the pregnancy. The knowledge that childbirth sometimes ends in tragedy adds to the stress. A first-time mom has heard stories about labor pains and actual birth, but she can only guess what it will feel like for her.
Jesus likened the events of the tribulation (also known as Daniel’s 70th week) to labor. This fits with 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (NKJV) which says, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” “Peace and safety” will be the promise of Antichrist, and unlike the promises of most world leaders, people will believe him. According to Daniel 9, the tribulation period begins with Antichrist confirming a peace covenant with Israel.
We’re not there. In fact, if you are born again in Christ, you will be raptured before that event takes place. But what about the time before the tribulation? What about the changes that take place before actual labor pains? I believe that’s where we are right now. Heartburn, sleeplessness, and rapid change are all happening at this moment. Today’s Christians won’t be here for the worst of it, but we’re seeing a world in preparation for tribulation, much like a body preparing for labor.
So, what do we do? We do what Jesus said to do in Luke 21:28. We look up. We lift our heads. Why? Because redemption draws near. Christians have already been redeemed personally, but God’s going to redeem His creation. He’s going to radically remake the world.
And while we know that earthly pregnancies sometimes end in tragedy, this one will not. God has promised. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
With our future assured, some take the attitude that it’s time to kick back and relax. But just the opposite is true. In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Those words are for all Christians of all time. They are for us. He did not say to retreat when things get bad. He said keep on preaching the Gospel all the way to the end.
The astounding changes in our world make for troubling times. But we know the context. There’s a new world coming!
In the meantime, He has called us to be “fishers of men.” Our fishing hook is shaped like a life preserver. The fishing line we use is a rescue rope. And in troubled waters, there is much to do because the shipwrecks are many. As the old hymn says, “Throw out the lifeline.”
AI, Deception on Steroids – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2024/01/22/ai-deception-on-steroids/
Jesus Christ Himself gave the very first sign to look for in answer to His immediately present disciples’ question: “What shall be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
The Lord answered: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4a).
Jesus continued by applying the deception that would mark His return and the end of the age to that involving the deceivers claiming to be Christ Himself. That has proven to be the case. There have been within every generation those who claimed to be the Christ. However, the matter of this end-times deception goes much, much deeper, and there is great evidence that the greatly increased deception Jesus warned of is full-blown in every facet of the world today.
As a matter of fact, there is deception within deception taking place, which I hope to show as we proceed. That strange, intramural conflict amongst end-times deceivers is, I’m convicted, perhaps God’s having the evilest among us in derision, as given in Psalm 2. Perhaps it is the restraining hand of God the Holy Spirit slowing the Ephesians 6:12 cabal of demonic and human minions in their drive to establish Antichrist’s regime before its appointed time.
I wrote of this rage by the global cabal to bring in their New World Order in the introduction to our book of compilation, DECEIVERS: Exposing Evil Seducers and Their Last-Days Deception.
Satan, the grand deceiver, continues to mesmerize much of the American populace… The reprobate mind of Romans chapter 1 is now the norm more than the aberration.
Satanic rage against anyone who opposes his global agenda to bring all into a new world order is front and center each and every hour in news headlines. His deceivers—his minions both human and demonic—are busy building upon his deadly blueprint to bring about destruction of America and the world.
The apostle Paul’s forewarning of the coming end-times deception and delusion that appear to be just ahead are ringing like alarm bells in spiritually attuned ears:
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-11).
These wicked antagonist-rival forces that are spawned by the same source–Satan—are fighting over, of all things, deception!
Here is information to that effect.
[Because of AI deception] the World Economic Forum has now declared “Disinformation” to be the world’s greatest threat according to their 2024 “Global Risks Report,” which will obviously require more control over free speech. —WEF founder and chairman, Klaus Schwab
As Jonathan Turley writes in a Friday note:
The report shows just how engrained this anti-free speech movement has become among the world elite from media to business to politics.
The absurd finding is consistent with the warning of other international figures and groups. We previously discussed how WHO Director-General Tudors Adhanom Ghebreyesus has supported censorship to combat what he calls the “infodemic.”…
Yet, we’ve now gone beyond simple “disinformation.” The world is now under threat from “AI-Powered” Disinformation!
According to the Financial Times, disinformation created via artificial intelligence is on the horizon. The outlet points to an incident during the September elections in Slovakia – in which a mysterious recording of the liberal opposition candidate, Michal Šimečka, could be heard plotting with a journalist to buy votes and rig the result. Yet, the recording was fake. The Slovakian police warned voters to be cautious online of nefarious actors with “vested interests.”
Šimečka lost the election to a populist “pro-Russia rival,” which, of course, the FT uses to imply Russia was behind the recording and the threat to democracy is greater than ever before!
Online disinformation has been a factor in elections for many years. But recent, rapid advances in AI technology mean that it is cheaper and easier than ever to manipulate media, thanks to a brisk new market of powerful tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI art start-up Midjourney, or other text, audio, and video generators. At the same time, manipulated or synthetic media is becoming increasingly hard to spot. (“Disinformation ‘Doomsday Scenario’: AI-Powered Propaganda Is the Latest Threat to Humanity (That Must Be Censored),’ ZeroHedge, Tyler Durden, 1/12/24)
What this all means–and it is hard to follow—is that Klaus Schwab and the WEF and other would-be New World Order builders can’t control the manipulation of elections and other things that go against their drive to bring in complete control under their auspices. AI (artificial intelligence), which they no doubt have been greatly influential in creating, has gotten out of their control.
AI is being used by operatives not under the globalists’ control to use the technology to create phony conversations that sound exactly like candidates, etc.—i.e., deception is being created by AI to make the New World Order builders’ candidates look evil in the eyes of voters, etc.
This group of deceivers is using AI to do the same thing to the WEF types that the WEF types intended to do to them: put deceptive information into the eyes and ears of voters and other constituent entities.
AI is indeed deception on steroids.
When the Church of Jesus Christ is called from planet Earth and God’s restraining hand, the Holy Spirit, withdraws the same degree of constraint to the wicked minions, AI will no doubt be allowed to come under Antichrist’s satanic authority for a period of time.
You don’t want to be here during that time. Here’s how to instead be with the God who loves you and gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice so that you can be saved and be with Him throughout eternity.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
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The Crisis In The Red Sea Threatens To Disrupt Global Supply Chains Even More Than The Pandemic Did - by Michael Snyder - https://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/the-crisis-in-the-red-sea-threatens-to-disrupt-global-supply-chains-even-more-than-the-pandemic-did/
Do you remember the supply chain problems that we experienced during the darkest days of the COVID pandemic? Well, now we are being warned that the crisis in the Red Sea could actually disrupt global supply chains to an even greater degree. Needless to say, this comes at a really bad time because the U.S. economy has really been struggling lately. The U.S. and the U.K. are desperate to resolve this crisis, and so they have been bombing the living daylights out of the Houthis in Yemen. We haven’t seen anything quite like this from the U.S. military since the early days of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On Monday, there was yet another round of air and missile strikes…
The U.S. and U.K. conducted large-scale air and missile strikes on Houthi rebel facilities across Yemen on Monday, according to a joint statement, stepping up operations against the militant group as it vows to continue attacking ships in the Red Sea.
The U.S. and U.K. militaries, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, hit eight Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis’ continued attacks, according to a joint statement from the countries involved. The precision strikes were “intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners,” the statement said.
Unfortunately, so far the strikes don’t seem to be doing much good.
The Houthis continue to attack commercial vessels in the Red Sea, and this is greatly frustrating U.S. officials.
When asked about the air and missile strikes, Joe Biden admitted that they are not working but he says that they will continue anyway…
President Joe Biden and his top aides have repeatedly said strikes on Houthi targets alone won’t stop the Iran-backed militants from threatening commercial ships in the Middle East.
When asked by a reporter last week if the airstrikes were working, Biden responded “Well, when you say ‘working,’ are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”
In addition to air and missile strikes, will we soon see additional measures?
It is being reported that the Biden administration is now planning a “sustained military campaign” against the Houthis…
Over the weekend US officials told The Washington Post that the Biden administration is planning for a “sustained military campaign” against the Iran-backed Yemeni rebels, even after some seven rounds of major strikes have done nothing to deter or degrade their drone and missile attacks. Notably, US leaders have still refused at this point refused to use the word “war” in relation to the large-scale US coalition attacks on Houthis as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian.
That definitely sounds like a war to me, and Congress has not approved it.
But of course our federal government has not been following the Constitution for a very long time.
So what all of this means is that the crisis in the Red Sea is going to persist for the foreseeable future. At this point, shipping giant Maersk is warning their customers that there will be “significant disruption to the global network”…
The situation around the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden continues to be closely monitored by our teams. In the interest of safety for our vessels, crew and customers’ cargo, all vessels previously due to transit the area have been diverted south around the Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future.
While we hope for a sustainable resolution in the near-future and do all we can to contribute towards it, we do encourage customers to prepare for complications in the area to persist and for there to be significant disruption to the global network. Our teams are on hand to support with your planning, should you need any assistance.
And at the World Economic Forum’s yearly gathering the CEO of Maersk actually admitted that we could see “disruptions of the supply chain for a few months at least”…
Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday that global shipping networks will be disrupted for at least a few months:
“So for us this will mean longer transit times and probably disruptions of the supply chain for a few months at least, hopefully shorter, but it could also be longer because it’s so unpredictable how this situation is actually developing.”
This is very serious.
There will be delays and there will be shortages.
Many commercial ships are now being routed all the way around the continent of Africa, and that can add approximately 3,500 nautical miles to each journey…
Steering clear of the Red Sea and taking the lengthy detour around the Cape of Good Hope, however, adds around 3,500 nautical miles (6,500km) and 10-12 days sailing time to each trip. This requires extra fuel (an additional $1m/£790,000’s worth according to some estimates), possibly finding alternative ports of call, adjustments to delivery timetables, and rising costs. But many companies are making that choice rather than risk attack by missiles and hijackers.
Container lines have been left scrambling to rent enough ships for the lengthened journeys their vessels must now take to avoid the Red Sea, and there are fears that the crisis could have widespread economic impacts, pushing up prices of goods and delaying deliveries of high-value products by weeks or perhaps even longer.
What a mess.
And it isn’t going away any time soon.
One firm that has analyzed the crisis in the Red Sea is claiming that it is already damaging global supply chains more than the COVID pandemic did…
A leading ocean supply chain advisory firm is warning that the disruptions to shipping from the Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea are already more damaging to the supply chain impact than the early Covid-19 pandemic.
Sea-Intelligence analyzed current vessel delays compared to delays over the last several years in a report for clients. The data shows that the longer transit around the Cape of Good Hope as ships divert from the Red Sea is already having a more significant impact on vessels available to pick up containers at ports than during the pandemic. This supply chain measure is known in the industry as “vessel capacity.”
The vessel capacity drop is the second largest in recent years, according to Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence. The only single event with a bigger impact than the Red Sea crisis was the “Ever Given,” the giant cargo ship which got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days during March 2021.
Supply chains in Europe and Asia are being hit harder than supply chains in North America.
In fact, some automakers in Europe have already announced that they are “temporarily halting production”…
Due to the ongoing attacks on Red Sea shipping, major automakers such as Tesla and Volvo Car have announced that they are temporarily halting production in Europe due to component shortages. This development underscores the direct impact of the Red Sea shipping disruptions on regional industrial operations.
Tesla officials said production of most vehicles at its Berlin plant will be suspended from January 29 to February 11. Tesla cited parts shortages resulting from ships being diverted through Africa’s southernmost point as the main reason.
The increased travel time has caused disruptions in the supply chain, and component delays have affected the production of electric cars assembled for the European market. This is just one case that was reported.
But even though Europe and Asia will experience more disruptions than we will, the truth is that the entire globe will eventually feel the pain.
And if the war in the Middle East goes to an entirely new level later this year, that will make things many times worse.
So I hope that you have been getting prepared for the shortages that are coming.
Even now, “tightening supplies” of pork have pushed prices up to extremely alarming levels…
Since mid-December, wholesale spot prices for boxed pork belly 200 pounds jumped from $80 to more than $133, or about a 66% increase on tightening supplies.
The environment for pork producers was challenging in 2023, with many losing, on average, $32 per head. This trend is expected to continue this year.
Last month, Smithfield Foods, the world’s pork processor, revealed it would shutter 26 of its contracted hog operations across Utah.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Supplies of so many things are going to be getting tight in the months ahead.
Needless to say, our society is not going to handle any major economic disruptions very well.
Poverty, homelessness and hunger are all rapidly growing, and our cities are absolutely packed with vast hordes of extremely desperate people.
We now live in an environment where many of these extremely desperate people will get violent at the slightest provocation…
A man urinating on a parked car in Manhattan slashed the throat of a passerby who told him to stop, leaving the victim clinging to life, police said Monday.
The 66-year-old victim and two other passersby complained when they saw the stranger urinating on a car parked on E. 14th St. near First Ave. in the East Village about 5:05 p.m. Sunday, cops said.
That sparked an argument, during which the victim was slashed in the neck, causing what police described as a “severe laceration.”
If things are this bad now, what will conditions be like during the tremendous chaos that is ahead of us?
Everything that we have been through since the early portion of 2020 has just been a preview of coming attractions.
We are still only in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, but most people out there still believe that things will “return to normal” eventually.
Revelation 20: Resurrected and ruling with Christ - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-20-resurrected-and-ruling-with-christ.html
Although now long out of print, “The Sunday School Times” once published an interesting story about a Christian woman who was talking with a Christian man about their future in Christ. She said to him with excitement, “I have taken a single ticket to Glory, and do not intend to come back.” Whereupon the Christian man replied: “Then, you are going to miss a lot. I have taken a return ticket, for I am not only going to meet Christ in Glory, but I am coming back with him in power and great glory to the earth.”
One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, was known to have said, “God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say, ‘This is my country.’”
That day is coming! It will happen when Christ returns to set up His Kingdom for a thousand years. This period is called “The Millennium.”
This time will begin after Christ comes again, bringing His Saints with Him from Heaven, the enemies of God are defeated at Armageddon, Satan and the demons who do his bidding are seized and thrown into the abyss, surviving sinners of the Tribulation will be consigned to perdition, the Tribulation saints will go into the Kingdom, and Christ will appoint under him thrones, rulers, leaders who have shown themselves faithful, and the Savior shall splendidly rule over the entire globe.
This incredible future era is mentioned in Revelation chapter 20 verses 4 through 6. The Bible says:
“Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
“This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them, the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).”
Other stirring passages of Scripture also predict this Golden Age, as some scholars have called it. The book of Daniel foretells:
“But in the end, the holy people of the Most High will be given the kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever” … until the Ancient One — the Most High — came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom … Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27).
The apostle Paul alluded to this same time, saying:
“Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So, you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life” (I Corinthians 6:2-3).
Recalling Christ’s words in his letter to the fourth church of the seven churches of Revelation, Thyatira, the Scriptures say:
“To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!” (Revelation 2:26-28).
A foundational belief of Christianity is that salvation is a gift of grace from God. It is not earned through good deeds (Ephesians 2:8,9). It comes through faith in Christ and His finished work, not our own. And, while it is true that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone, the Bible also teaches that genuine faith is accompanied by good deeds or a transformed life (James 2:14-26). Believers are to live according to God’s commands, not so that they might be saved but because they are saved — because they love the Savior and are grateful for His mercy.
Christ admonished his followers to obey His teachings (John 14:15). Believers are commanded to grow in their relationship with the Lord, deepen their understanding of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18), and strive to bring every part of their lives into compliance with God’s will (Colossians 3:17).
The Bible also emphasizes stewardship in life (I Peter 4:10), where God’s people are seen as stewards of the resources and gifts he gives them — the opportunities He gives them to glorify His name and advance His purposes.
In Luke chapter 19 and verses 11 through 26, Jesus told a parable commonly known as the “Parable of the Talents.”
In this parable, Jesus said a nobleman gave ten servants talents (a form of currency) and asked them to invest those talents while he was away to become King. Upon his return, he rewarded those who earned more talents, giving them authority over cities. One servant, however, did nothing, and his talents were taken away from him. The point of the parable is that faithful stewardship for the Lord is generously rewarded, while neglect leads to loss — not the loss of salvation but the loss of reward.
A passage that cross-references what Jesus said about rewards is I Corinthians chapter 3 verses 10 through 15, where the apostle Paul talks about believers’ works being tested by fire on the Day of Judgment. If a person’s works endure, they will receive a reward, but if their works are burned up, they will suffer loss, but still be saved. This passage suggests that while all believers are saved, there can be differences in the rewards they receive based on their earthly actions.
Note that during the millennial reign of Christ, John said that he saw thrones, clearly places of rule on the earth assigned by the Lord Jesus. What did the Lord Jesus reference as a reward for the faithful servants in his parable of the talents? Jesus said:
“The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’ ‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’ ‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities’” (Luke 19:16-19).
The application of this text may be broad, with some appropriate spiritualizing, but there is no reason it shouldn’t be interpreted literally, too. The bestowed reward entails the privilege of exercising dominion and governance over cities.
While salvation is a central focus of the New Testament, several verses encourage believers to have an eternal perspective. In other words, our actions and choices in the present age have significance in the context of Christ’s future Kingdom. Those who were faithful with what they were given shall be given more responsibility and reward, while those who were unfaithful will have what was given them taken away. There are gradations of reward, gradations of responsibility, and even different levels of honor and status, for those who are loyal to the Master.
It might be said this way:
“We are to prepare now to prevail later.”
“We are to master the present for Christ so that we may rule the future with Him.”
Salvation is by grace alone, but rewards and a privileged position in Christ’s future Kingdom come by works. Some Christians mistakenly think that in the future Kingdom of our Lord everyone will be equal. Every believer will indeed be equally satisfied and equally joyful, but not all will be equal in the recognition of their service.
Who specifically makes up the people who sit upon the thrones of Christ’s Messianic Kingdom? The late evangelist Jack Van Impe, in his book, Revelation Revealed, succinctly answers, saying the ones who rule on the thrones are those who take part in the first resurrection, “which includes the Old Testament saints, Church Age saints, and Tribulation saints.” Van Impe continues:
“The resurrection of the Old Testament believers is described in Daniel 12:1 and 2, and the resurrection of the New Testament saints in I Thessalonians 4:16-18 and I Corinthians 15:15-54 ... [T]he resurrection of the martyred Tribulation saints undoubtedly occurs at the ‘glorious appearing of Christ’ (Titus 2:13) when he returns to earth. Chapter 6 [of Revelation] verses 9 through 11, presented this view. At that point, these martyrs awaited their resurrection but were told to wait ‘yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.’
“Thus, we see that the thrones are occupied by resurrected believers from Adam onward, inclusive of the last Tribulation martyrs. Each has been a participant in the first resurrection. These saints are entitled to sit upon thrones because they are members of a ‘royal priesthood’ (I Peter 2:9). Christ has made them ‘kings and priests’” (chapter 5, verse 10).
Who can fathom such a day!? There has never been anything in history like it. It will mean the world will be governed by Christ at the head, His lieutenants on thrones subject to his authority, and perfect righteousness and justice shall fill every land.
M.R. DeHaan in his commentary on Revelation further explains:
“While he was here on earth the Lord Jesus taught that all men who die will be raised again at some future time. His words are unmistakably clear: ‘All that are in the graves … shall come forth’ [John 5:28-29] … Most Christians have been taught to believe in a ‘general’ resurrection, a resurrection of all men at the end of the world … However, the Bible and the Lord Jesus teach a view entirely different than this. According to Jesus and all New Testament apostles, there will be two distinct resurrections separated by at least a thousand years during which Jesus will reign upon the earth and set up His Millennial Kingdom. The saved of both the Old and New Testament will be raised before this blessed Kingdom Age, whereas the lost of all ages will not be resurrected until after ‘the thousand years are ended.’ …The first resurrection will occur at the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ when he descends upon the clouds of heaven, and all the saints’ bodies which have been sleeping in the grave will be raised and joined to their redeemed souls, which have been in the presence of the Lord, conscious and happy awaiting the time of the resurrection of the body … This first resurrection at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ before the Tribulation [at the Rapture] is called in a word ‘that blessed hope.’ Our hope is not the setting up of a kingdom of peace by man’s efforts, and our comfort when we bid our loved ones farewell is not that they are now in Heaven while their bodies crumble in the dust. We are not comforted by the fact that our loved ones are ‘absent from the body, and … present with the Lord.’ Our comfort is not this, that while their bodies are decaying in the dust they are disembodied spirits, but this is our blessed hope: Jesus Christ is coming again to raise the bodies of our loved ones and unite them with their redeemed spirits. We shall meet them again, not simply as ghosts and spirits, but as human beings with bodies redeemed and glorified. We will meet never to part again, but to enjoy forever and forever the fellowship of our Lord and the fellowship of those who were so dear to us here below…This is the hope of all who have a part in the first resurrection …This glorious and imminent event will be the greatest reunion the world has ever seen and ever known. Not only will we meet him, the One who died for us, but we will be reunited, never to part again, with our loved ones who have died in the faith.”
Wow, as one old country preacher said, “If that don’t light your fire, your wood’s wet!”
According to Revelation chapter 20 verse 4, the martyred Tribulation saints are later resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, the Consummation, when Christ returns as a warrior King on that magnificent white horse to put down all opposition to His Lordship.
Thus, the apostle Paul’s meaning when he says in I Corinthians 15:23 that there is an order to the resurrection of the righteous, “every man in his own order.” The resurrection of the Tribulation saints completes what is considered the “first resurrection” — the resurrection of the redeemed.
Indeed, “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power” (v. 6).
What wonderous assurance! The martyrs for Christ only die once physically, but are forever literally brought back to life again in the “first resurrection.”
Those who reject Christ as Savior die twice, once at their passing, and after the 1,000 year reign of Christ when they are bodily raised to life again to be judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death (Revelation 20:14).
There is an extraordinary story told many years ago by Dr. E.R. Bull, a Methodist missionary, concerning something remarkable found on the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
Dr. Bull said a huge grave was discovered on the island of Amakusa, where a marker stated that the heads of 11,111 Christians were buried. The date of the grave was marked 1637 — the year the Japanese government ordered every Christian to be exterminated. Christians were beheaded, and their bodies were buried separately.
The purpose behind this bizarre brutality was the missionaries who brought Christianity to Japan had fervently preached the bodily resurrection of those who place their faith in Christ. The preaching of this Gospel so disturbed the Japanese rulers that they supposed that separating the heads of the Christians from their bodies in burial would make it impossible for them to return from the grave.
But God has ordained that those who genuinely trust in the Savior for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life will most assuredly rise from the grave, having new, whole, immortal, and indestructible bodies to live and reign over the whole world with Christ.
Jesus promised in His Sermon on the Mount, “God blesses those who are humble,(God blesses those who humble themselves before him), for they will inherit the whole earth” (Matthew 5:5).
God’s children, those born again by the Spirit, have not just been given a one-way ticket to Glory, but have been given a two-way ticket, and are coming back with Christ in power and great glory to the earth.
Daily Jot: A prophecy of perilous times - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
The Apostle Paul warned in 2 Timothy 3 of perilous times in the last days. He lists some 19 types of people that cause and allow these dangerous times. He says that these people “creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led with diverse lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” They “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” Paul was most likely describing what many generations have seen as mankind rushes toward the time when people will not be able to accept good doctrine and want to hear and live by what tickles their ears. We are seeing this today, and it gets worse with each passing minute.
An indicator of such times is seen all around us. In America, on January 14-15th, an estimated 100,000 of pro-terrorist demonstrators tried to break down the security fence around the White House. Let me repeat, thousands of pro-terrorist demonstrators. They chanted “Free, Free Palestine” and “Palestine will be free” and “Genocide Joe Must Go,” among many other hate-filled chants and slogans. Similar demonstrations occurred in London, Paris, Dublin, Milan and Rome. These pro-terrorist demonstrations were well-organized and global. Herein, the ancient prophets’ words are being played out in layers before our very eyes.
On October 7—Islamic terrorists attacked, killed, kidnapped, dismembered, maimed, raped Israelis similarly to what is prophesied in Zechariah 14:2, “the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half the city shall go forth into captivity.” And the prophets foretell that all the people of the earth will be gathered against Jerusalem. When we see these things happen with such frequency, even here in our nation, know that time of the end is approaching even faster. Around the world, the murder of the innocent has turned into a battle cry justifying the actions of the murderers. These are violent people with violence and hate in their hearts. They seek to see an entire people exterminated. Heaven forbid!
Those who disagree with these hate-filled mobs will be severely treated. Captivity lies in the traps of ignorance and willful disobedience to God’s word. Who will be able to stand in the gap? The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” It will be upon us. We can see it coming as the nation that prides itself on religious freedom continues to tighten the vice on Christians and Jews, and public opinion is swiftly turning against the people of God. Paul writes in verse 14, “But continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of…” As in Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free,” and Ephesians 6:13 “put on the whole armor of God” and “having done all, to stand.” Suit up. Perilous times are ahead.
Daily Devotion: A Squandered Life - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, ‘Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.’ So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. —Jeremiah 18:1–3
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-squandered-life/ - Listen
Jeremiah the prophet watched as the potter patiently formed the clay on the wheel. Obviously, he had a goal and purpose in mind for that piece of clay. But some of it was resistant and inflexible in the potter’s hands. Therefore, he cast it aside for a lesser purpose.
In other words, the clay didn’t become what the potter wanted it to be.
We are like the clay, and God is like the potter. He has a plan for each of our lives that is better than anything we’ve planned for ourselves. And we have a choice as to whether we’ll yield to the will of God for our lives or resist it.
Of course, we’ll have setbacks in life. We’ll face hardship and tragedy. We’ll encounter unexpected problems. But we have a choice as to whether we will become bitter or better.
Joseph had setback after setback, yet he chose to look to God. He was even able to say to his brothers who had betrayed him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20 NLT).
In contrast, Samson was someone whom God could have used mightily, but he threw his life away because he made some subtle but serious mistakes. His was a life of squandered resources and wasted potential. And it stands as a warning to us that a good beginning doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good ending.
As Solomon wrote, “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT). Or, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
Of course, when we think of Samson, we usually think of his fall with Delilah. However, it was a series of small compromises that ultimately led to his undoing.
God put his hand upon Samson in a unique way. Physically, there was no one stronger. The Bible tells us that God’s Spirit would come upon him, and he would do incredible, superhuman feats.
During Samson’s life, it was a very wicked time in Israel’s history. The Book of Judges says that everyone “did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (17:6 NLT). So, God raised up Samson. He was one of two people in the Old Testament whose birth and mission were foretold by an angel. And the angel said of Samson, “He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines” (Judges 13:5 NLT).
Samson had the potential to do great things, but he didn’t finish the task he had started.
Life is full of surprises. We all know people like Samson, people who had great promise but never reached their potential. Then there are others who didn’t seem to have much promise, yet God is powerfully using them today.
What will you do with the life that God has given you? You have a choice. Will you conform to the will of God, or will you resist it?
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