The Coming Rapture Event - by Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2022/07/the-coming-rapture-event.html
8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8-11)
Wondering about the end times and the rapture can cause confusion, worry and fear for a lot of people, even Christians! For ages people have tried to figure out the exact time that the prophecy of Jesus's return will happen. The best place to turn for answers about the rapture is Scripture! God tells us everything we need to know in the Bible. There are some things that God has left a mystery for us, but has given us enough information in His Word that we should have complete confidence and hope in the Hope of our Salvation.
11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.(Titus 2:11-14)
The opening verses speak of a time when those who are found in Jesus Christ will stand before Him and receive what has been done in our body, either for Him, or for ourselves.
WORK TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED
As a Christian believer in Christ our Lord, our service is to be about our Father's business. Jesus gave us commands to follow and rewards will be coming for a job well done and contributing to the building of the Kingdom of God. I don't know about you, but I long to hear the words come from my Lord Jesus “well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord” This from what I can gather from scripture happens to each of us who are found with the robe of righteousness that only comes from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That robe is not our righteousness, but we are clothed with His righteousness, and our ABBA Father only sees the glory of His Son found in us when we finally stand before Him.
Some question the timing of the return of our Lord Jesus and have all kinds of theories, being Pre-Trib, Pre-wrath, Post-Trib, (or in the extreme) no rapture at all, as Jesus will come to us and we, by our own endeavors create a utopia and we deliver the Church to Jesus when He returns. But what does the Bible say? Which belief is the truth? As I said, all the answers to this question are found in the pages of your Bible.
What I find among many believers, or even unbelievers, is a misunderstanding of what scripture is saying. The Bible has the concept of the removal of the Church BEFORE the coming tribulation all over its pages and a wise person in these last days, mines them out like precious jewels, or as a discovery of a vein of gold in the earth.. Let us take a journey down the verses that speak of this time of the “Harpazo” or the snatching away of the Church of the Living God in what is popularly called “the Rapture” .
LET'S START IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WITH ISAIAH
17” Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:17-21)
For the believer in the pre-tribulation removal of the Church, this is where I like to start, as the prophet Isaiah saw the removal of God's people, both the living and the resurrected departed from their graves. Isaiah speaks of the dead rising to new life, even as dew on the herbs and the earth, its graves, casting out her dead in resurrection. The prophet sees judgment coming upon the earth and tells God's people to enter into their chambers and shut their doors to hide them from the wrath of Almighty God. God will punish the “earth dwellers” for their unrighteous acts and evil they have done in rebellion to His authority over all creation. And Jesus will stain His robes with their blood, as we see in Revelation chp. 19 when our Lord returns with the armies of heaven. It is not His blood, but the blood of those He has trodden down in His righteous wrath. One wonders what chambers is God telling Isaiah that the people of God will enter into. Then I remember what Jesus said to His disciples, even saying it to us.
14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:1-4)
For nearly 2000 years, our Lord God has been preparing a glorious mansion for each of His brethren, and God the Father's children. Jesus calls them mansions, and I can't imagine, even trying to envision the splendor of what God has prepared for us.
9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1st Corinthians 2:9-10)
But note in one passage, God tells us to shut our doors, and Jesus tells that we will come to Him, to be where He is, not coming to where we are. Question. Where is Jesus right now? Of course, the answer is at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus said He would come again, to RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF. Note that He will do the receiving. We will not receive Him, but He will receive us.
THE TWO COMINGS OF OUR LORD FOR AND WITH THE CHURCH
The Bible speaks of two comings, that many people cannot see, even written right in front their eyes, or they have not read the Bible at all, but take the word of others who convince them of this error.
As spoken of, many people have tried to pinpoint the time of the return of Jesus for 2000 years, and on a Christian forum that I host, I have had people proclaim that no one knows the hour of the Lord's return and use it as a reason to scoff that Jesus is not coming anytime soon. And though that is true that we don't know the exact timing of His return, we have been given many clues that point to the season of His return, not for judgment, but for removal of His chosen people, the Bride of Christ. So what are those verses that speak of the return of Jesus, most likely sooner than anyone of this world even thinks?
One of the most quoted passage of verses that points to the coming of our Lord is found in 1st Corinthians:
50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”(1st Corinthians 15-50-55)
This is Jesus coming for His church, and then later in Revelation chp. 19, He proclaims that He will come to rule and reign and the saints are with Him, clothed in linen, white and clean, a sign of the saints.
Note verse 52 in 1st Corinthians? In the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. Many people make an error, because they have a pre-conceived notion of a post Tribulation return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign for 1000 years and the 7th angel blowing his trumpet, and don't take the historical aspect that many Jewish people understand, but those who misunderstand are ignorant of Jewish terminology, because they don't believe that the Feasts of the Lord are still in effect for us today. What is the term that points to a Feast of the Lord quoted above? And note that the 7th angel of Revelation is not the same trumpet blown in this passage. Why? One produces joy, the other indescribable horror of the 7th angel's trumpet. They are NOT the same trumpet Paul and John describe.
THE COMING FEAST OF TRUMPETS
In Jewish life, since the giving of God's Law to the Hebrew people at Mt. Sinai, God also gave them appointed times in their calendar that would proclaim markers, or Holy Convocations that they were to observe. Even they did not understand, as it was for us, not for them but they observed in the letter, but we look at it in the spiritual sense of “God's Plan for Mankind” or the salvation of humanity based on God's appointed times. If you follow, or have in the past, any of my messages, you know that there are four Feast unto the Lord in the Spring, and three in the fall. We have established in the past sermons that Jesus fulfilled each of the Spring Feast days, called Holy Days on the exact day of their observance. Let me recap what those days were completed by Jesus and then we'll look at what He will complete in the near future.
The four Holy Days, or Feast days that were fulfilled by Christ in the Spring were:
-Passover- Jesus became our Passover Lamb and was slain on the exact day of its observance.
-Feast of Unleavened Bread-Christ was slain outside the camp and was buried along with our sins that He took upon Himself.
-Feast of First Fruits-on the Sunday after Passover, the priest would wave a barley sheaf before the Lord in the Temple, as being the first fruits of their harvest. At the exact same time, Jesus was before God our Father, and became the first fruits of them born of the dead and completed payment in His own blood for the remission of the sins of the world and those who believe on His Name.
-Feast of Pentecost-on the exact day, the Holy Spirit came to those in the upper room and the church was born.
And what of the coming fall feast of the Lord, what is God's plan that continues?the Feast of Trumpets, or return of the King, called “no man knoweth the day or the hour,” because they keep two days, as it is the only day that starts when a small sliver of the moon is visible.
After this, the Jewish people call the next 10 days, the Days of Awe, proclaiming to one another “may your name be found in the book”...This COULD correspond to the coming Tribulation that leads up to the next Feast in God's plan.
-Day of Atonement (At-One-ment) with God...could coincided with the return of Jesus second coming and putting down all rebellion on this earth and setting up His Millennial Kingdom for a 1000 years.
-Feast of Tabernacles, or God dwelling with us in reigning with justice and with a rod of iron.
-And last is the Great White Throne Judgment, called the Last Great Day, or the judgment of all mankind who have failed to accept Jesus as Savior...this is the second resurrection and they are cast into the Lake of Fire where the Anti-Christ and False Prophet are.
For 2000 years or this Church Age (or the Age of Grace), people have been looking for the return of Jesus, even the apostles thought He would return in their lifetime. But here we are, and each generation has thought Jesus was coming for them in their lifetime, and they have been wrong. Why? They lacked ONE ingredient to start the countdown of the final week of Daniel's 70 week prophecy. That ingredient that started the countdown for the return of Jesus was the founding of Israel again, as a nation.
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. “ (Isaiah 66:8)
But that is exactly what happened. In May, 1948, the one thing lacking in the return of Jesus Christ in prior generations was put into place. Israel became a nation again, after nearly 2000 years of desolation of the land, and the scattering of the people of Israel to the four winds. Israel was REBORN. Why do I say Israel is a sign that was lacking in past generations? Let us quote what Jesus said concerning the budding of the fig tree.
32 “Now learn a parable of the fig tree;(Israel, my explantion) When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:32-36)
Some say, how can we know that Jesus is close at hand for the coming for His Church? Note that Jesus said that this generation. MY GENERATION, of those born during or right after the forming of Israel as a nation will not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Let us review what a generation is, that Jesus spoke of.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. “ (Psalms 90:10)
God has been shortening the lifespan of mankind down from nearly a 1000 years in Adam and Eve's time, to just 70-80 years in our modern time. Knowing that no man knows the exact day or hour, but we can know the season, as Jesus said, this generation will not pass till all things be fulfilled...what will be fulfilled? Jesus will be on this earth reigning and ruling for a 1000 years. All rebellion will be destroyed and the earth will be returned to the time of the Garden of Eden...
But let us observe one thing, if this generation born right after 1948 lives the outside of 80 years, that is 2028, which is 6 years from now.
(God can add or subtract time as He knows when the last Gentile has come in)
The next Feast day that Jesus, I believe will fulfill, on the exact days of its observance by Israel, and the Christian who understands their significance, is the Feast of Trumpets...some call the “Return of the King” and what Israel calls “No man knoweth the day or the hour”...coincidence? God is not about coincidences. Could Jesus come in the near future on a Feast of Trumpets? We watch and pray, and believe you me, I will have a trained ear listening for the sound of a trumpet this coming fall, and every fall there after till this Feast is fulfilled.
THE COMING TRIBULATION IS UPON US
But as I read rapture verses in your Bible, I am confident, and I am full of the Hope of Jesus Christ, that I'll not see one day of that coming Tribulation...oh, we will see tribulation in this life, but when I say the coming Tribulation, I'm talking about GOD”S WRATH. Many say they don't know when God's wrath will begin, but reading Revelation chp. 6, the 1st seal that Jesus opens unleashes the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first rider on a white horse is none other than the Anti-Christ who is revealed holding a bow but no arrows, meaning he conquers by deceit and lies. As you read this chapter, the nations know who is bringing this calamity upon them, and they know they will not escape.
15. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16, And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? “ (Revelation 6:15-17)
Jesus is using men to enact His judgment, much as He used men to bring judgment to Israel by Babylon, and Assyria. Jesus is causing events to come to pass, as each seal is broken. He is in control of making the earth ready for its redemption, that He has already bought with His own blood on the cross of Calvary. And after chp. 6 of this apocalyptic book, Divine judgment is enacted that no man can misunderstand.
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” Revelation 16:1)
Read the whole of the 16th Chapter of Revelation that shows mankind who are in rebellion will not repent and give God glory to their own destruction:
10 “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”(Revelation 16:10-11)
We Are Children of Light
So why am I full of Hope, and confidence that I will not see one day of this awful time? Because Jesus my Lord told Paul the Apostle, and John the Beloved a promise to each of them and to us:
4 “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”(1st Thessalonians 5:4-10)
And the glorified Jesus, the Son of God told John the Beloved Apostle when He appeared to him: and spoke of what we can hold onto with both hands and know that Jesus will NOT send His bride through the horrors of the wrath of God that will cover the whole earth.
10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, "I also will keep thee "from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:10-13)
I repeat here, as I often have done...in verse 10 of the above passage, the words “I also will keep thee from” is the Greek word, “EK”...or by definition, “being removed from the time and place of the event.” What event is Jesus speaking of to the Apostle John? The coming Tribulation is what the Son of God is referring to.
Note we are NOT appointed to God's wrath, and Jesus will keep us from the hour of temptation that shall try this whole earth. That is a promise from my Savior, and I pray your Savior.
So let's recap the nuggets that I am sharing with you. We are in the time of the end of days, the season of the return of Jesus Christ, in our generation since Israel was made a nation again.
We are bumping up to the end of a generation since Israel was made a nation 74 years ago..
The Tribulation starts when the saints of God are taken out “by force” and snatched away from this earth. When? At some future Feast of Trumpets, as No man Knoweth the day or the Hour. A term for this day. But He could come at any time, this would just be another Feast fulfilled, that I believe God is a God of order and He changes not.
We are not appointed to wrath, but receive salvation from our Lord, but the earth will be purged of all rebellion and destruction will cover the earth and the dwellers who inhabit its land.
Note as I have mentioned in past messages, that the Tribulation is designed by God for two things, and that is the redemption of Israel through much Tribulation, that is why it is called “Jacob's Trouble” and the nations who have rebelled against God will be destroyed who do not accept Jesus as Savior during this time, from witnessing from the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist, the Two Witnesses at the Temple, and the angel who flies overhead proclaiming the Gospel.
WILL YOU BE READY?
If Jesus would actually come this fall, would you be ready to receive the glorified body that He has planned for those who have accepted His free gift of grace and mercy through God our Father? Or would you be in darkness and not imagine that your world just got more dangerous than at any other time in history? Note I am not making any predictions of the day, but stating clearly and unequivocally, that Jesus return is close, right at the door. We don't know the exact day or hour, so its pointless to try and nail it down. BUT we know the season, and by all signs in the heavens, on the earth, and events of evil men and the forming right now of a One World Government just waiting for the green light to have a spokesman usher in the New World Order and the revealing of the Anti-Christ, (that God said I will not see), that the Holy Spirit will be taken out along with those He indwells, and then the wicked One will be revealed...but not before we are gone.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.(the Holy Spirit, my explanation)
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:” 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)
Will you still be here, and in total resignation of your fate of enduring the tribulation. Or will you be those who have no clue, and have pleasure in their unrighteousness? Don't be counted among these have little hope of being in heaven. Many will be saved during this time, yes, but also, many will die for the truth of God's salvation found in Jesus Christ. Many will be deluded with lies and false doctrines of devils, or many will just not care, as they think it's party time. Party is not what it will be, but hell on earth for all who inhabit the nations.
As for me, and those like me, who have found redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord, I will be at a feast in heaven, called the “marriage supper of the Lamb” and at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ do receive rewards for salvation and works done in His Name...I will live for eternity in the glorious light of my God and do His will, whatever He has in store for those who love Him...
What about you?
Will you be with me, or will you be cast away into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the worm dieth not or is consumed? I pray you will not let that happen but embrace these next verses and confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior..
8 “ But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13, my emphasis)
And the three verses that brought a 10 year old boy, to the realization that he needed a Savior..ME...(verses that my uncle had me memorize,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,),,,,,,,,,
16 “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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”(John 3:16-18)
Make Jesus the Lord of your life today, while the time is there for you to make that decision in freedom of conscience and not in Tribulation, if at all. Because friend and brother, we are close, as the pre-tribulation RAPTURE IS REAL.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you will receive Jesus right now, and have confidence in the coming rapture...if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, contact me at email@example.com , God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
The Gospel and Tisha B’Av - Tim Moore - https://christinprophecyblog.org/2022/07/the-gospel-and-tisha-bav/
Av is the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar, and usually falls in the months of July and August on the Gregorian calendar. Tisha B’Av — also known as the 9th of Av — is what the Jews would consider “a date that lives in infamy.”
According to Jewish scholars, on the 9th of Av the following historic catastrophes occurred:
Given all the sadness tied to this day, it is long been recognized as a Jewish day of mourning. But even as they commemorate tremendous suffering, the Jewish people also demonstrate a resilience that has inspired believers and objective skeptics alike. Asked by King Louis XIV of France to provide proof of God’s existence, Blaise Pascal responded, “Why the Jews, Your Majesty, the Jews!” (The same statement is ascribed to insightful individuals in England and Russia.) The point is that in spite of their suffering, the Jews are still here. Their very presence proves that God’s promises are “Yes and Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
And, although Satan was the instigator of all those historic tragedies, God repeatedly turned ashes into beauty for the Jewish people. He did that through Joseph’s life. He did it again through Ruth. He will do it again when yet another threatened catastrophe will lead the Jewish people to cry out, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” — Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD. That prophecy points forward to a time that will lead up to Jesus’ glorious Second Coming, His establishment of the Millennial Kingdom, and His reign from David’s throne on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
The Cross represents another historic catastrophe. Following Jesus’ death, His disciples despaired. When the Shepherd was arrested and then struck down, they scattered — just as He had foretold. Peter had denied Him three times, in spite of his own vehement profession of allegiance. The death of God’s own Son seemed to represent an unprecedented victory for Satan and unmitigated disaster for the people of God. And yet…
And yet, God turned that tragedy into the greatest victory in human history. The disgrace of the Cross became our freedom from sin. The humiliation of Christ’s shameful death became the Good News that we call the Gospel — because it provides the salvation of God to all who believe.
The 9th of Av will fall on August 5th this year. Jewish people will spend the day reflecting and mourning. The Christian sacrament of Communion offers us a regular opportunity to reflect and mourn — but our mourning is surmounted by the joy we have in knowing that Jesus lives.
Death could not hold Him. The tomb could not keep Him. Satan could not lock Him away.
When Jesus stood in the synagogue in Nazareth, He read verse 1 and the first half of verse 2 from Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent ME to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD…
Jesus stopped reading at that point, sat down, and said to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21). At that moment, the rest of verse 2 and all of verse 3 still awaited fulfillment:
…and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes; the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
If you are close to a Jew on the 9th of Av, mourn with them on that day of sadness as a good friend should. And then take the opportunity to tell them about the Good News that turns ashes into beauty, mourning into joy, and despair into praise. That is the power of the Gospel.
The End Times are Here - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Too many Christians walk around with blinders on. They are being led by blind shepherds who follow the latest trend found in books that aren’t God-breathed. That leads to a malnourished flock. God spoke His words to men who honored Him and wrote those words as a guide. From Genesis through Revelation, God wrote it all. If we study and pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will be better able to understand things we read in Scripture, and why many pulpits are dead. Sadly, many Christians have little, if any, knowledge of Scripture. They trust pastors to speak God’s truth, but we are in the final days, and many pastors don’t preach the pure word of God. Ask a fellow Christian who won last night’s baseball game, and you’ll get an enthusiastic recount of the game. Ask that same person about their faith in God and you get an offhand answer like “I go to church”. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3. Are you one who is more interested in secular happenings than in the all-important subject of eternity? If so, ask yourself if any celebrity or sport’s figure died for your salvation. The answer is simple. Only Jesus Christ, God incarnate, gave His life willingly for your salvation. Why, then, do you care more about this life than eternal life?
In the above passage, the Apostle Paul warned the young pastor, Timothy, about the “later days”. He said that corruption of God’s truth will happen. Paul was correct. It was Timothy’s job in those early days to teach God’s pure truth. If Timothy and the other pastors in those early days had deviated from God’s Holy Spirit breathed truth, Christianity would have died long ago. We can see many “doctrines of devils” that have corrupted the faith. Many pastors allow and encourage yoga, contemplative prayer, and other non-Christian practices. It’s important to meditate upon God’s word, but that’s very different than Eastern meditation where you clear your mind and open yourself to be entered by a demon. “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” Psalm 119:15. When you meditate upon God’s word, your mind isn’t emptied, but filled with God’s words. If you practice yoga or eastern meditation of any kind, you are in disobedience to God.
Another corruption that has happened over time is in the mission field. Missionary work has moved away from sharing the Gospel to a works-based welfare type of effort where you repair houses, plant crops, and give gifts hoping the lost will ask about Christ. If you want to be a missionary, study Paul’s method and stop being ashamed of the Gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, but that wasn’t talking about spreading the Gospel. That was about doing what is right. Jesus said to preach the Gospel. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. It’s always wise to listen to Jesus and obey. Good works have their place, but if that’s how you’re doing missionary work, then you need to get back to studying Scripture.
Today there are some religions, even ones that claim to be Christian, that forbid marriage by the clergy. Paul wrote that forbidding to marry is one of those doctrines inspired by the devil. Marriage is a very sacred covenant between a man and a woman and was first instituted by God in the Garden of Eden. Why, then, is marriage forbidden in some denominations? Marriage between a man and a woman was established in the Garden of Eden, and is a picture of Christ and the ekklesia (His church). Paul does mention in His first letter to the Corinthians that it isn’t wrong not to marry. “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” 1 Corinthians 7:8-9. Paul had chosen not to be married and found it was easier to serve Christ. But we know that Peter was married, also Priscilla and Aquilla were husband and wife. Singleness needs to be ordained by God, not forced upon a person in order to be a leader in a denomination.
Through the centuries since Paul wrote to Timothy, human thoughts have slipped in and much of the ekklesia won’t tolerate sound doctrine. Doctrines of demons are very evident today. In order to keep the collection plates full, the pastor has no problem teaching doctrines that are inspired by devils. Those sermons might be nice and tickle the ears, but they have no place being preached from a pulpit. I saw a video once that talked about “The Christ Conscience” (a doctrine straight from Satan’s mouth). One person loved attending services on Sunday because she could just relax and be made to feel good about herself. It’s good to know that Jesus loves you, and that He died for your sin, but you have to understand that you are a sinner saved by grace. “But if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10. Unless you recognize the sin in your life you will never turn from it. You won’t grow in grace and wisdom. The time has come when people won’t put up with sound doctrine. Many pastors preach New Age, prosperity Gospel, replacement theology, all faiths lead to Heaven, purpose driven lies, etc. These are all doctrines of demons.
Many will depart from the faith and we see that happening today. Some public Christians have hardened their hearts and publicly departed from the faith…denying Christ who shed His blood. The real question is, did they ever sincerely accept Christ in the first place. Have you? Would you rather hear jokes from the pulpit and a feel-good Gospel rather than be fed meat from Scripture to help you grow? You can’t blame others for your lack of Scriptural understanding. With prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit you will be led into understanding. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15-16. Keeping Christ outside and apart from the congregation and is a sign that the Rapture is very close. “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. That was written in the last letter which Jesus dictated to the Apostle John. It describes how congregations will be, just before the Rapture. You need to answer Christ’s knock on the door of your heart before it’s too late.
The end times are here and we are in the latter days of which Paul wrote about. Don’t be deceived. Study Scripture for yourself. It’s much more interesting than any form of entertainment you might indulge in. It’s straight from the heart of God.
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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TANSTAAFL – Jack Kinsella - https://www.rev310.net/post/tanstaafl
For your edification, I am posting one of my favorite articles from my late-spiritual mentor Jack Kinsella. Please take time to read this as it is profoundly simple, yet highly impactful.
When I was a young man, among my favorite books were the early works of a science-fiction writer named Robert Heinlein. A Marine buddy introduced me to them by lending me a book called, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”
Throughout the book, whenever it fit the story plotline, one of the characters would utter the catchphrase, “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” by its acronym, ‘TANSTAAFL’.
It was one of those oddball phrases that stuck in my head because of the simple truth it conveyed; in this world, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes with a price tag.
It is a basic law of physics as expressed by the phrase, "for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction."
As a principle, it stands at the core of economic theory, as well as virtually every other area of human endeavor. God so designed this universe that everything is, in the end, a zero-sum game – all things balance out to zero eventually.
The Book of Ecclesiastes, or “the Preacher” was written by the wisest man the world has ever known, King Solomon. Late in his life, Solomon realized his gift of wisdom had benefited all but himself.
The Book of Ecclesiastes could be described as the somewhat bitter memoir of a wise old man who looks back on a life filled with regrets. It is lots more than that.
Many Christians find Ecclesiastes a gloomy book; its central theme is that life is pointless, (all is vanity) and since all that awaits us is the grave, “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13)
But if there is one central theme in the Book of Ecclesiastes, it is TANSTAAFL.
“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)
Critics and skeptics argue that these verses contradict Scriptures that speak of the afterlife and resurrection. There will always be critics and skeptics that will find a way to read Scripture to make it sound like there are contradictions.
They are so intent on disproving the wisdom of Scripture that the wisdom of Solomon goes completely over their heads.
Solomon is expressing reality as viewed from this side of eternity. All of his laments make the same case. All is vanity.
You can be the wisest man who ever lived. You can have all the riches the world can offer. You can be the world’s most powerful king and have the world’s mostmost desirable woman for your queen.
You can have the admiration of men and the love of women and the riches and wisdom of Solomon, but in the end, it is STILL a zero-sum game.
“Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.” (Ecclesiastes 2:15-16)
Ecclesiastes isn’t a gloomy book. Neither is it contradictory. Written by the wisest man who ever lived, it is unsurprising that those who attempt to understand its message apart from the Holy Spirit miss it completely.
They are looking for what they think is the central theme of the Bible. Thats because the Bible freely offers salvation to “whosoever will” that the Bible offers a free lunch.
Solomon isn’t contradicting Scripture, he is setting the record straight. They are looking for a free lunch.
TANSTAAFL. There ain’t one.
By now I can almost hear some of you arguing with me in your head; “What are you saying! Salvation is a free gift. The Bible says so! Look!
“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Romans 5:15)
See! FREE GIFT. A GIFT has to be FREE, or it isn’t a gift! Right?
“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.” (Romans 5:16)
See! FREE gift!
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)
See! Free gift upon all men is this HARD?
TANSTAAFL! Read it more closely. The gift of eternal life is free – to YOU. But the price paid to secure it was unimaginably high.
You just weren’t the one that had to pay for it. Jesus Christ paid the price for every sin you ever committed or ever will commit -- on the Cross at Calvary.
And it HAD to be that way. He could not pay the price for just some of the sins you commit – that is an imperfect price. Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as a partial payment on a free gift.
To be free, the payment must be in full, and to be a gift, it must be offered without further payment due.
The gift of salvation wasn’t free – it was paid for with the Blood of Jesus Christ. Does that mean that you can now sin with impunity?
That’s what lots of people teach, even though logic and experience and the principle of TANSTAAFL prove the opposite to be the case.
Even more will reject the idea eternal security on the grounds that it is a free lunch, which they logically – and correctly -- understand to be impossible in God’s creation. Nothing is free. Not in the here and now and not in the hereafter.
My salvation was purchased for me. It was then offered to me as a free gift. Once I have accepted it, it is mine forever – once saved, always saved. But that does not mean that I am exempt from the consequences of sin – I certainly am not.
If one smokes, one will pay the consequences. Smokers get COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, etc. Continuing to smoke after salvation will kill you just as dead, just as slowly and painfully as it would an unsaved smoker.
Chronic boozers get cirrhosis, heart disease, and all kinds of other ailments.
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.”
“Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” (Proverbs 23:29-32)
It is often rightly said that sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you there longer than you want to be there. That is one of those universally true statements because it is founded in a universal truth.
Sin has consequences. But sin is NOT the dividing line between heaven and hell. One doesn’t go to heaven because one is sinless or to hell because one is a sinner. If that is true, then Jesus Christ would still be the only human qualified to enter.
And strictly speaking, He IS the only one qualified to enter – on His own merit. The rest of us are qualified by Jesus, based on His righteousness and not our own.
Jesus paid the eternal penalty due for all sin – but the temporal penalties remain outstanding.
A saved person cannot sin with impunity. There are physical consequences attached to sin. There are social consequences attached to sin. There are emotional consequences attached to sin. Sin hurts a saved person more than it does a lost person.
But sin isn’t the determining factor between saved and lost. ALL Christians are sinners. The determining factor in salvation is whether you repented (changed your mind) about sin and turned your life and your will over to Jesus Christ and then trusted Him with your eternity.
Neither can a person sin without spiritual consequences -- as well as physical ones. Each of us will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to answer for those things we have done in this life.
“Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1 Corinthians 3:13-14)
God has a plan for your life and it will be reviewed at the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ. There you will be rewarded for the times you were faithful and you will give account for the times you were not.
You will see the rewards you would have earned, had you been where you were supposed to be when you were off sinning somewhere.
Your sinful works will be tested by fire, and burned into so much ash and stubble, and you WILL suffer loss. Unimaginable loss – for eternity.
But not the loss of eternity. Your eternal security is not a free lunch. Jesus paid for it. Your sin is not a free lunch. You will pay for it. Just not in hell.
“If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
You cannot ignore the consequences of sin simply because Jesus has ransomed your eternity. You cannot smoke without consequence. Or drink without consequence. Or stuff yourself without consequence.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Obviously, this destruction can only refer to the ‘temple’ – the body – and not the eternal soul that Paul just finished saying would be saved, yet so as by fire.
Defile the temple and God will destroy it. Need another proof text? Visit a cancer ward.
What is the point here? Eternal security is NOT a free lunch. To argue otherwise elevates man to the level where he plays an instrumental role in his own salvation.
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)
“Not Thee, Lord, but thee and me.” That elevation comes at a price by minimizing the price paid at Calvary. Jesus can’t do it, but together, we can.
“And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are Your's.”
If salvation is a case of “Thee and me” then there would be ample reason to glory in men.
“I am saved because Jesus paid the price and now I don’t sin. I used to be a terrible sinner, but now just look at me. Look at what Jesus can do.”
That is why if one sins after being saved, there is no way to renew him to repentance, as Hebrews 6:6 says, “seeing they crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.”
If you don’t sin anymore because of what Jesus did for you, what does it say about Jesus when you fall? For you will fall. Did you fall? Or did Jesus drop you?
Why is this important? Because there is no “license to sin.” Salvation is not a function of sin. It is a function of grace. There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is a huge difference between consequences and penalties.
Consequences are the effect, cause, or outcome of an action. A consequence can be good or bad. A person can save someone’s life and consequently be awarded a medal. Or he can stand by and do nothing and consequently that person will die.
Consequences are simply outcomes of particular actions.
A penalty is a punishment imposed for a violation or crime. A penalty is always bad and can never be good. Eternal security means that the penalty due for my sin was paid for by Jesus Christ.
But the consequences of my sins are on me.
Daily Jot: The Russia Iran Turkey axis - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
The leaders of Turkey and Russia met in Iran to discuss oil supply chains and mutual security. The Jerusalem Post reported that the gathering “signifies a new era of Turkey- Iran-Russia relations.” No doubt, this meeting has significant prophetic meaning as the three countries continue to build stronger ties both economically and militarily. This meeting drew little public attention beyond Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei telling Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that had he not started the war in Ukraine, NATO would have done it eventually. But the three countries went behind closed doors to discuss several matters including terrorism, military campaigns, and mutual security—all having prophetic significance.
Ezekiel 38:2 says, “…set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against them.” Magog, Meshech, Tubal are all located in what is now modern Turkey. Verse 5 says, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them…” Persia is modern day Iran. Turkey and Iran are rivals as they are positioning for control of the Middle East. We know, however, that Magog (Turkey) eventually leads and Persia follows. These players represent both Shiite and Sunni Muslims who unite against Israel in the “acharit-hayamim,” meaning the end of days. God will destroy them with earthquakes, fire and brimstone. Ezekiel 38: 21 says, “…every man’s sword shall be against his brother.”
In 2017, tensions between Iran and Turkey were increasing as both countries vie for dominance in the region. The Islamic Sunni Turkey, under Erdogan, has become increasingly totalitarian and Shiite Iran is a formidable terrorist sponsoring state working to attain nuclear weapons. Turkey has been supporting the terrorist Islamic State, while publicly denying that support, in an effort to block Iran from gaining a stronger foothold in the Middle East. It’s a complicated mix of treacherous foreign policy involving Syria, Iran, Turkey, Israel and several outside forces, including Russia, Europe, and the US. Russia has been supplying weapons and skills to Iran and its vassal state Syria against the Islamic State.
For Gog (the beast/antichrist) to lead Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and a broader coalition of what are currently Arab-dominated nations and Persia, against Israel, Persia must submit to Gog. The developments in Iran this week bear careful watch as Erdogan continues to woo Iran and Russia. Iran seeks to gain more Russian support. And Russia wants to solidify its domination over the oil market throughout the region. For the end time battle of Ezekiel 38 to play out, there must be an alliance, however fragile it may be, to move against Israel. We know that these nations may not trust one another, but a greater distrust, even hate for Israel unites them. Watch Turkey and Iran to see how it all comes together and how Russia, as a member of the UN Security Council runs interference for them.
Daily Devotion: The Greatest Sacrifice of All - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ —Philippians 3:8
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/the-greatest-sacrifice-of-all/ - Listen
Telling your story, or sharing your testimony, is a powerful bridge for the gospel message. Your story is also known as your testimony. You tell people how you came to faith, because sometimes, nonbelievers don’t realize we weren’t born this way.
When you share your personal story, however, don’t glorify or exaggerate the past. The testimonies of some people get more dramatic with the telling. Don’t make your past sound better than your present. Someone might be listening to you and thinking, “I want your old life, not your new one.”
I love the perspective that the apostle Paul had on his past. He was a very intelligent, accomplished individual, yet he dismissed all of it. He said, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT).
Paul was effectively saying, “I’ve dumped it all in the trash so I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him.”
Don’t talk about what you gave up for Jesus. Talk about what Jesus gave up for you. Whatever you gave up is nothing compared to what God has done for you. So talk about how Jesus died on the cross for your sin and made the greatest sacrifice of all.
Here’s an acronym to remember for sharing your faith: BLAST. B is for build. When you’re talking to people about Jesus, start building a bridge. L is a reminder to lovingly enter their world. Take an interest in them. A is for ask. Ask questions, and then listen. S is for share. Share your testimony. That brings us to T. Tell them how to come to Jesus.
Remember, it is not about you; it’s about Him. Tell your story to build a bridge to His story, the greatest story ever told.
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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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