IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Revelations of Paul and the Mystery of the Rapture – Randy Nettles - https://www.rev310.net/post/the-revelations-of-paul-and-the-mystery-of-the-rapture
Did Jesus ‘teach’ his disciples about the Rapture (catching up/harpazo) before his death and resurrection? I think it depends on the definition of teach. The first definition of this word by Meriam-Webster is: to cause to know something. Other definitions are: to impart the knowledge of; to make known and accepted. According to these definitions, I don’t believe Jesus taught his disciples about the future event known as the pre-tribulation Rapture. However, did he mention or give hints about it, without teaching in detail about it? I believe, as well as many others, the answer to this question is yes.
At the Rapture, two earth (and heaven) shattering events will occur according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17: First, the dead in Christ will be resurrected (with new immortal bodies) and will accompany the Lord from the third heaven to the second heaven (earth’s atmosphere/sky). Second, the believers in Christ who are still alive at this moment in time will be “caught up” (harpazo/rapio) and translated together with them (dead in Christ) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. “And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
Jesus was not the first prophet to speak about the resurrection of the dead. Job, the author of Job, possibly the oldest book of the Bible, also wrote about the resurrection after his horrible personal tribulation, “After my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, who I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 26:26-27).
Daniel, in his prophecy of the end time (known to the Jews as Jacob’s Trouble), spoke about God’s people (the Jews) being resurrected at the end of days. “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). This resurrection will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation when Jesus returns to set up His millennial kingdom.
Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet had this to say on the subject: “Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isaiah 26:19). Many eschatologists believe the next two verses hint at the events that occur at the end of the age (Day of the Lord): the Rapture, Tribulation, and 2nd Coming. “Come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain: (Isaiah 26: 20-21).
Many scholars believe these Old Testament scriptures in Isaiah are “the word of the Lord” that Paul was referring to in his very first explanation (and order of events) of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep (dead). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Of course, Jesus taught about the resurrection of the dead, including his own death and resurrection. Jesus predicted his death and resurrection to his disciples three times and they are recorded in all of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). However, most of Jesus’ teachings on the resurrection are recorded in the gospel book of John. “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him many have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40). Another example is found in John 5:28-29.
Jesus also taught by example with the raising of Lazarus from the dead as recorded in John 11:17-44. One of the greatest truths in all the Bible is given by Jesus to Martha (Lazarus’ sister) before Lazarus’ resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). The last sentence is another example of Jesus hinting at the future rapture of the Church.
Jesus’ own resurrection, as recorded in all the gospel books, was the greatest lesson of all regarding the resurrection of the dead. Paul said that Christ has become the ‘firstfruits’ of those who have fallen asleep as per 1 Corinthians 15:20. The firstfruits implies that there is more of the ‘harvest’ to come. Paul then gives the order of the resurrection of the dead. “But each one in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (parousia).
Paul only mentions a resurrection at “His coming.” He doesn’t specify whether it is His coming at the Rapture or His coming at the 2nd Advent. We know from other scripture (such as 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:52) that the dead in Christ (Christians who have died since Pentecost AD 33) will be resurrected at the rapture. We also know from other scripture that the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints will be resurrected at the 2nd Coming. I believe Paul is “lumping together” the resurrection of the dead at the Rapture and the Second Advent. Likewise, Jesus could have lumped together the two parts of the “coming of the Son of man” during his Olivet discourse (found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke) he had with his disciples.
THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN
It’s interesting to me that those who claim the Olivet discourse is referring only to the 2nd Coming use the phrase, “but of that day and hour, no man knows, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36) as a reference to the Rapture. On the other hand, if the unknowable day and hour of Jesus’ coming is referring strictly to the 2nd Coming, wherein the Bible does it say the same for the Rapture? If it’s not mentioned in scripture, does this mean we can know the day or hour of the Rapture? I think almost everyone would agree that the answer to this question is no. No one will know the day or hour of the Rapture until it happens. Even then it will occur on different days and different hours, due to multiple time zones throughout the world (24 to be precise with about 1 hour difference between zones). Good luck with predicting that!
I believe the answer to this conundrum is that the coming of the Lord, mentioned by the gospel writers and Paul (1 Corinthians 15:20), comes in two parts (a two-part drama, if you will). The first part is at the Rapture where Jesus meets the saints in the clouds and the second part is at the 2nd Coming where Jesus physically returns to the earth. These two parts are separated by at least 7 years (7 year Tribulation), thus it is known as the pre-tribulation Rapture.
Another conundrum in the Olivet discourse is found in Matthew 24:40-41. “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and the other left. The two keywords here are ‘taken’ and ‘left’. If one is taken and one left behind at Jesus 2nd Coming, the question arises: which one is taken and which one is left behind? The scholarly theologian, John F. Walvoord, in his book Every Prophecy of the Bible has this to say on the subject: “At the 2nd Coming of Christ, the saved remain (they are left) on earth and the unsaved are taken away in judgment at the beginning of the millennial kingdom. The very word used to describe those taken away in Matthew 24:40-41 is used of Christ being taken away to the cross, obviously being taken in judgment as used here” (per John 19:16).
On the other hand, the learned Bible teacher, Jack Kelley, in one of his teachings (Matthew 24:40-42 – Rapture or 2nd Coming), has this to say regarding these verses: “The Greek word translated ‘taken’ means to receive unto oneself and the one translated ‘left’ means to put away…where believing tribulation survivors are received (taken) into the kingdom and non-believers are put away (left) into eternal punishment.”
So who’s right, Mr. Walvoord or Mr. Kelley? I’m not in the same league as either one of these learned gentlemen to judge, but I do have my own personal opinion. As far as the definitions of these two words are concerned, Jack Kelley is correct. However, I believe the “coming of the Son of man in these verses are referring to the first phase of His Coming, the pre-tribulation Rapture. The worker who Is taken is the believer who is raptured and the worker left behind is the unbeliever who will be left behind.
Also In verse 37, the comparison is made between the end days and the days of Noah. The days of Noah are a typology of the Rapture. Enoch’s taken away represents the Rapture. “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him, for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). The great flood, in this typology, represents the Great Tribulation. The evil antediluvians represent the unbelievers who will perish during the Tribulation. Noah and crew represent the remnant believers (Tribulation saints) that survive the Great Tribulation and enter the re-formed earth.
THE PARABLE OF THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS
One last point I would like to make is in regards to the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, that is told by Jesus after the Olivet discourse. I think most everyone understands the typology and symbolism of this parable, so I will just take you to the verse in question, “and while they (foolish virgins) went to buy, the bridegroom (Jesus) came, and those (wise virgins) who were ready went in with him (bridegroom) to the wedding; and the door was shut” (Matthew 25:10). The question is what event is the bridegroom (Jesus) coming for? Well, it’s obvious he’s coming for the wedding; verse 10 confirms it.
THE MARRIAGE AND MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
I think everyone would agree that the bride of Christ (the Lamb) is the Church. When and where does the marriage/wedding of Jesus to the Church transpire? The wedding takes place in heaven after the Rapture, while the Tribulation is coming to a close on the earth and right before the 2nd Coming (Revelation 19:6-8). The marriage supper/banquet occurs on earth after the 2nd Coming. John the Baptist (friend of the groom) and Old Testament saints, as well as Tribulation saints, will be guests at the wedding supper.
I believe the marriage supper will happen on the much-discussed 1335 day after the “in the midst” event of the Abomination of Desolation that Daniel spoke of. “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days” (Daniel 12:12). John wrote about it in the book of Revelation: “Then he (the angel )said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9). I also believe the feast described in Isaiah 25:6-9 is describing the marriage supper (banquet) of the Lamb. “And in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees” (Isaiah 25:6).
HINTS OF THE RAPTURE IN THE GOSPELS
Even though the Lord never gave clear teaching on the Rapture of the Church, he did mention it briefly with these two verses in Luke 21: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28) and “pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). These are clear hints that the Church will be delivered from the end times judgment by the pre-tribulation Rapture.
He confirmed this in Revelation 3:10, saying, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” One day soon, before the Tribulation starts, we will be “caught up” into the sky to meet the Lord. With our new translated bodies, we will be able to stand before the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, in all His glory.
The clearest hint or mention of the Rapture is found in the gospel book of John. I believe the very first mention of the rapture is in John, chapter 11. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). The next mention of the rapture is found in John 14, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believes also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Although Jesus referred to the rapture in John’s gospel, he didn’t expound upon it or teach his disciples fully about it. The apostles were both emotionally and theologically unprepared to receive this revelation at this time. They could barely understand that Jesus was going to be killed and then resurrected back to life. They didn’t even fully understand His coming again to set up His millennial kingdom or the timing of such. How could Jesus add to their confusion by revealing the mystery of the rapture at this time?
John didn’t write about these events (and words that Jesus spoke) in his gospel until about six decades after they occurred, and over four decades after Paul wrote about the rapture in 1 Thessalonians. John definitely knew about Paul’s revelation of the rapture through personal contact and his writings, but taking his cue from Jesus, never taught on it.
Before the details of the rapture could be fully revealed, the apostles and disciples of Jesus needed to fully understand Jesus’ previous teachings regarding atonement of sin and eternal salvation (as taught in John 11:25-26; John 6:39-40; and many other scriptures). This could only be accomplished after five things occurred. 1) The crucifixion and death of Jesus. 2) The resurrection of Jesus. 3) The ascension of Jesus back to the Father. 4) The giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles and Jews. 5) The giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles. Once the Church (both Jews and Gentiles) was formed and the knowledge of God’s saving grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, was spread throughout Israel and the surrounding areas, the next plan for the Church (the Rapture) could be revealed.
HISTORY OF THE GOSPELS
Later, after the giving of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of the rapture to Paul, the disciples would recall the words of Jesus and record them in the gospels and other books of the New Testament. John and the other gospel writers simply wrote on the life and times of Jesus Christ and his three-year ministry on the earth. They concentrated on writing about the miracles Jesus performed and the exact words that he had spoken to the disciples, crowds, and the religious elites in Jerusalem and Israel. Even though they knew about the rapture at the time of writing their books, they never included it in their works; that was Paul’s job, for it was given to him by direct revelation from God Himself.
Paul was the only apostle taught by Jesus after his death. All the other apostles were taught during Jesus’ earthly ministry. At this time, the offer of the kingdom of God was still open to Israel, which they declined by rejecting Jesus as Messiah. The offer lasted until Jesus’ ascension and then it was too late. However, they will get one final chance at the end of the age. Since the Lord didn’t teach about the Rapture during His ministry on Earth, it’s understandable that his disciples didn’t either.
Matthew and John were the only two authors of the Gospels who were actual eye-witnesses to Jesus' works and words during his three-year ministry. They were also two of the original 12 disciples of Jesus. John Mark was a disciple (not of the original 12) and protégé of Peter who also traveled with Paul during some of his missionary/evangelical trips. He wrote the Gospel of Mark mostly from interviewing Peter. It is believed Mark was the first of the four Gospels to be written (approximately AD 58).
Matthew wrote his Gospel approximately two years later in AD 60. Luke was a Gentile doctor and historian and also a disciple of Jesus (not of the original 12) who wrote his Gospel in about AD 60-62. His account of Jesus’ life came from interviewing Jesus’ disciples and other eye-witnesses to Jesus’ ministry. Luke was also a traveling companion to Paul.
By the time the books of the Gospels were written, Paul had already received the revelation of the Rapture and written about it in the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Corinthians and possibly others. Thus, there was no reason for the disciples to write about it, as it was left for Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, to write and teach about the pre-tribulation Rapture. Paul was not one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus, but became the apostle to the Gentiles by the Lord Himself, not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead” (Galatians 1:1). Galatians was probably the second book in the New Testament to be written (James was most likely the first) and the first book written by Paul (approximately AD 49). He wrote it to the churches in Galatia that were founded on Paul’s first missionary journey.
THE CONVERSION OF SAUL
Paul was encompassed by supernatural events and revelations throughout his adult life. Paul’s Jewish name was Saul. He was from Tarsus and was originally a very religious and devout Pharisee and became a leading persecutor of the church. He was present at the stoning of Stephen, a righteous deacon of the early church, who was the first martyr of the newly formed church in Jerusalem in AD 35.
Saul received letters from the high priest to travel to Damascus for the purpose of arresting Christians in the synagogues there. As he neared the city, there suddenly shined round about him a light from heaven. “He fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, who do you persecute me? And he said, Who are you Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:4-5). This phrase means that Saul was only hurting himself in his actions because he was rebelling against God. Saul was temporarily blinded by the light for three days. God told him to go into the city and he would then be told what to do.
The Lord told Ananias, a disciple in Damascus, go to the street called Straight (I always wondered if it intersected Narrow St.), and inquire at the house of Judas, for one called Saul of Tarsus. The Lord informed him that Saul had seen in a vision a man named Ananias would come there and put his hand on him, and he would then receive his sight. Ananias questioned the Lord regarding this for he had heard of Saul’s reputation. The Lord told Ananias, “Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:5-16).
Of course, the Lord’s revelation came true. Ananias met Saul, and laid hands on him, and told him that the Lord Jesus had sent him. Immediately Saul received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was then baptized and stayed with the disciples at Damascus for several days. “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He (Jesus) is the Son of God” (Acts 9:19). Paul claimed as he wrote about in Galatians, that his message in his preaching was by direct revelation from the Lord; “immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I unto Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and then returned again to Damascus” (Galatians 1:16-17).
MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST
Ephesians was another letter written by Paul that was addressed to the church at Ephesus and all believers everywhere. It was written in approximately AD 60 from Rome, during Paul’s imprisonment there. In Ephesians, Paul speaks of eternal salvation, how to obtain it, and where it comes from. “For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast: (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Paul’s special mission to the Gentiles is discussed in Ephesians 3. Instead of paraphrasing Paul’s message, I will let Paul tell you in own inimitable way. “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you: how that by revelation He made know unto me the mystery which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power: (Ephesians 3:1-7).
It was known in the Old Testament that the Gentiles would receive salvation (Isaiah 49:6); but it was never revealed (until the giving of the Holy spirit to all believers) that all Gentile and Jewish believers would become equal in the body of Christ. This equality was accomplished when Jesus broke down the “wall of partition” (Ephesians 2:14) and created the “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), “neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
We will examine Paul’s revelations and more of his writings regarding the Rapture in part II.
The OSHA Mandate May Be Stalled, But The Other Mandates Are About To Suffocate Economic Activity All Over America - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/the-osha-mandate-may-be-stalled-but-the-other-mandates-are-about-to-suffocate-economic-activity-all-over-america/
You can thank Joe Biden for the madness that is about to unfold. As I discussed yesterday, the OSHA mandate that would cover more than 80 million American workers has been officially put on hold, but Biden’s other mandates are still in effect. So that means that vast numbers of patriotic young Americans are about to be kicked out of the military. We better hope that Russia and China don’t decide to suddenly make some big moves after our military is ruthlessly gutted. Countless numbers of federal employees are about to be forced out of their jobs as well, and that includes airport security screeners. If you plan on traveling by air during Thanksgiving week, you could potentially be facing some enormous delays…
As many as 40% of U.S. airport security screeners haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 as an immunization deadline for federal employees and the busy holiday travel season converge.
Many Transportation Security Administration workers are resisting the requirement as the Nov. 22 deadline approaches, said Hydrick Thomas, president of the American Federation of Government Employees’ division representing front-line airport security officers.
Who was the genius that decided that the deadline should be right before the busiest travel days of the entire year?
Someone should definitely be fired over that one.
Biden’s mandate for healthcare workers is also still in effect, and the CDC is telling us that approximately one-third of all healthcare workers in our hospitals are currently unvaccinated…
Nearly one third of healthcare workers in U.S. hospitals are still not vaccinated against Covid-19, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as tensions escalate over a looming—and contested—nationwide mandate that officials worry will leave the sector with a shortage of critical workers.
So what are we going to do when a third of all of our hospital workers are suddenly terminated right in the middle of a pandemic?
We can’t just pull random people off the street to be doctors and nurses.
Someday soon, you may go to the emergency room and find yourself waiting for hours and hours because there is nobody to treat you.
In fact, we have already been seeing people die in our emergency rooms as they wait for treatment that never comes.
This is America. This sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen here.
But it is happening.
The good news is that some employers around the country are seeing the light and are now luring new employees with a promise that no vaccine will be required…
In the search for workers in this tight labor market, companies have courted new hires with the promise of higher wages, sign-on bonuses, ample vacation time, and childcare.
The latest: “No vaccine required.”
That three-word phrase is popping up across online job listings (sometimes emphatically in all caps and accompanied by exclamation marks) as businesses seek to turn the federal government’s proposed vaccine decree on its head and attract employees — notably those from a talent pool that’s been turned off by or turned away from employers that require a Covid-19 vaccination.
Of course CNN thinks that this is a horrible development, but in their article they also admit that this is working.
Companies that openly advertise that no vaccine is required are being deluged with applications.
Speaking of vaccines, the FDA is asking a federal judge to keep certain Pfizer vaccine data under wraps until the year 2076…
The FDA has asked a federal judge to make the public wait until the year 2076 to disclose all of the data and information it relied upon to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. That is not a typo. It wants 55 years to produce this information to the public.
As explained in a prior article, the FDA repeatedly promised “full transparency” with regard to Covid-19 vaccines, including reaffirming “the FDA’s commitment to transparency” when licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Why would they want to hide this information from the public?
There is so much about all of this that smells really, really bad.
Meanwhile, Biden’s mandates threaten to severely harm a U.S. economy that is already rapidly crumbling. On Thursday, we learned that CVS will be closing 900 stores…
CVS Health is closing 900 stores over the next three years, amounting to nearly 10% of its footprint, in response to the changing of “consumer buying patterns.”
The drug store chain said Thursday that the closures will result in a retail presence that ensures it has the “right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business.” A list of locations shutting down, which will happen beginning next spring, was not immediately released.
Needless to say, CVS wouldn’t be closing hundreds of stores around the nation if we were on the verge of an economic renaissance.
The months ahead are looking exceedingly bleak. A new wave of the pandemic has already begun, and some experts are warning that this could be the biggest wave of all.
We are already seeing absolutely insane authoritarian measures being implemented all over Europe, and the Biden administration will undoubtedly try to push the envelope wherever it can.
More lockdowns, shutdowns and mandates will crush economic activity, and the economic outlook for next year was already not very promising at all even before this new wave came along.
As I have said before, I have such a bad feeling about 2022. The stage is being set for so many of the things that I warn about in my latest book. If you have not been paying much attention to global events, you need to wake up, because it appears that things are about to start getting really crazy.
I hope that you are able to spend time with family and friends over the next couple of months, and I would encourage you to warn them about what is coming.
Because the “good times” are almost over, and the vast majority of the population is going to be absolutely blind-sided by what is coming next.
Dealing With Delusion – Bill Perkins – www.compass.org
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 2Th. 2:11
Today, deluded people are a dime a dozen. You see them on TV, radio and in newspaper and Internet articles—all saying the weirdest things.
The latest is that the media are reporting that heart attacks and strokes are happening to dozens of well-conditioned athletes all over the earth.
Then they turn right around and attribute this phenomenon to "climate change" or eating too many snacks at home during the Covid lockdowns. Really?
Just because all these physically fit humans have been va((inated means nothing. Nothing. Just a coincidence.
To be fair, we’ve had deluded people around forever. In 1983 Susie and I had moved with another couple to Vail, Colorado, to plant a church. After a few months I was asked to be on a Board of Directors overseeing putting together a new local cable TV station.
One of the other board members invited Susie and me over for dinner with her husband, a local physician. She also invited two other good friends to join the dinner, mentioning they were not married but living together.
So, Susie and I knew we had our hands full with these four liberal pagans. But our job was to meet people in our new hometown, so we were taking one for the team.
As the evening progressed, we discovered the unmarried couple had quite a lot of money. Susie and I were mesmerized listening to their account of recently renting an entire cruise ship for four weeks to privately take ONLY the two of them from Miami, Florida to South Georgia in the Sandwich Islands near the southern tip of South America. We’re talking 400 crew members for just two passengers.
They explained that for four weeks all the music venues played as if the ship was full. The dealers stood waiting at their gambling tables even though the two passengers didn’t gamble, the shops stayed open and all the dining rooms stayed open and available.
So let’s just say Susie and I were dumbfounded. I simply couldn’t imagine having that much money. Or if we did, spending it in that way.
As the evening wore on, it became evident that we had been invited because we were pro-life. And eventually I was pointedly afforded the opportunity to defend my Biblical stance.
As you can imagine, God’s truth didn’t sit well with them. They laughed out loud at most everything I said and wrote me off as a country bumpkin.
We politely got through the evening, but Susie was in tears on the way home. I think the crowning blow was when one of the ladies stated she didn’t see any difference between the death of a dog and the death of a child. She was badly deluded.
Looking back on that evening, it’s scary to realize the amount of Satanic deception that had blinded their thought process. They could think and say the most bizarre things without realizing how ridiculous they sounded.
Also in retrospect, it's interesting that their deluded thoughts mirrored Adam's and Eve’s as they dealt with Satan in the Garden of Eden.
Just like Adam and Eve, they had been deceived into believing they could be their own god. And they had the money and the means to live as they wished.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25
Now yes, I know that the original Greek word “needle” is the word for a surgeon’s needle, and it’s therefore impossible to enter the kingdom of God unless God does it for you. But the point is, rich or poor, you have to let God be God. Or your decision making will become irrationally deluded.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Rom. 1:25
As Believers, we fully trust the Lord to be God. Regardless of the situation God allows us to be in, we know He has us there for His purposes—regardless of what they are.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6
Same Ol', Same Ol'
What Satan used in the Garden of Eden he has continued to use even today—promising people they don’t have to be accountable to the Creator God of the Universe.
Instead they’re deluded into believing they can be their own god and make any decisions that please them at that moment.
But to ignore God's truth means they have to continuously push away and ignore God’s truth planted in their hearts and brains from birth.
…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. Rom. 1:19
Dealing With Deluded People
Today, often we Believers find ourselves in situations where we feel we’re talking to deluded people.
We can’t believe what’s coming out of people’s mouths. They can’t see the 1000-foot cliff that is one step away, even when presented with the facts. They have been deceived.
So today, with the innumerable number of deluded people around us, our job is still to use each and every circumstance to plant a single seed of God's truth, trusting God may someday cause spiritual growth.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 1Cor. 3:6
So in every situation God allows us as we live our lives on this planet, we should strive to have a Christ-based response in every answer we give.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2Cor. 10:5
And then pray the Lord will bring someone to water that seed… even if it gets watered post-Rapture.
Use us, Lord!
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Prov. 4:20-22
If you’ve not seen the montage of 100 or so athletes dying in the last six months DURING competition, watch this 4-minute video. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the source of the problem is the va((ination that CAUSES BLOOD CLOTS! CLICK HERE
Beware of False Prophets - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout Scripture we read about false prophets. A true prophet is one who speaks the word of God and doesn’t sugar coat it nor does a true prophet twist God’s truth. Peter writes about false prophets and their heretical teachings. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring them upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 1:1-3. False prophets are all around us and they profit by promoting their lies. Their heresies are brought into congregations in the form of books promoting New Age lies, contemplative prayer, meditation, purpose driven, and yoga among other heresies. Scripture doesn’t promote any of these ideas, and Christians need to reject these teachings, as well as many other ideas that aren’t of God. You’ll find many false teachings on the mainstream news, and Christians need to run everything through Scripture. That is where truth is found. Peter says that these false prophets will reap the reward of their false teaching. “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots, they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” 2 Peter 2:13-15. Balaam sold his services to Balak, the king of Moab, in order to destroy Israel. Even a donkey was smarter that Balaam. “But was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:16. Read the full story in Numbers chapter 22.
God will always prevail; He worked through His prophet Elijah to destroy hundreds of prophets who were evil. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:19. Jezebel was the very wicked and evil wife of King Ahab. She practiced paganism, and Baal was a god worshipped by the Phoenicians. Any prophet who speaks for a demon god cannot be trusted, including the false prophet, Mohammed. Their words are only meant for destruction. Elijah was a prophet of God Almighty and, through God’s power, the false prophets were utterly destroyed in a miraculous way. Elijah was outnumbered by the false prophets, so how did he prevail against them? Faith. He knew and trusted God. No matter how much it seems that you’re in a minority, if you have faith and only serve God Almighty, you will win the battle. If you believe everything you hear on MS-NBC or CNN, you’re listening to false prophets who sell their services with no thought about God’s truth.
Jeremiah was another of God’s true prophets who dealt with the lies of false prophets. Why is it that people are willing to believe liars and fools? God told Jeremiah that the Southern Kingdom (Judah) would be taken captive by the Babylonians for 70 years. God’s people had disobeyed God, by not allowing the land to rest every seventh year. It’s always a good idea to obey God. Because of their disobedience, God was going to remove them from the land to allow it to rest, and Jeremiah told the people this was going to happen. God directed Jeremiah to make bonds and yokes, put them on himself and also send them to the kings of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, Tyrus, and Zidon. This was a warning that God would use a pagan king to do His bidding. Nebuchadnezzar had no idea that God Almighty was allowing him to conquer many nations, but he went about taking people hostage and destroying nations. The nations which Jeremiah was to send the yokes were nations that listened to false prophets. God added a warning to the yokes. “Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.” Jeremiah 27:9-10. When you listen to God and hearken to His word, you follow truth. Unfortunately, there are always false teachers who make it seem as if God is wrong. God is never wrong.
Nobody wants to hear doom and gloom. They may not honor or obey God, but believe that God will wink and snicker at their disobedience and not allow anything bad to happen. God is fair. He warns us of what disobedience brings “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. He gives us Scripture to guide us in His truth.
Prophecy tells us what the future holds, but too many people, even Christians, choose to listen to the prophets of Baal and ignore God. Jeremiah had to deal with a false prophet, Hananiah, who thought he was smarter than God. His false teachings that contradicted God’s words, prove he was a false prophet. Hananiah was bold in his actions. He went to the house of the LORD, and in front of the priests and the people he contradicted Jeremiah’s prophecy of the 70-year captivity. “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’S house,that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.” Jeremiah 28:2-4. There’s more than one lesson here. First, don’t take Scripture out of context. If you just read these verses, you’ll conclude Hananiah was speaking God’s words. Next, remember that not everyone who claims to have a message from God, actually speaks God’s truth. Test everything under the lens of Scripture. Anything that contradicts God’s word, is a lie. Jeremiah could have become angry at him, but he very wisely left it in God’s hands to reveal who was correct. “Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; the prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.” Jeremiah 28:6-9. Instead of arguing, Jeremiah simply said to wait and see which prophecy was proven by time.
After Hananiah left, God directed Jeremiah to confront him. “Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; the LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou has taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” Jeremiah 28:15-17. We need to be very careful who we listen to. Only God has truth. By not studying Scripture, you can easily be duped by a false prophet who speaks for a false god.
Jesus warned that the last days would be filled with deceit. Many will claim to be Christ, but are imposters. There will be many reports of trouble. “For many shall come in my name, sayin, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:5-7. Have you heard reports of these things? I certainly have. It seems that pestilence and famine are news headlines, as COVID is blamed for everything from delayed shipments of products to bare grocery shelves. Brothers and sisters, I urge you to stand firm on your faith and don’t allow fear to guide your decisions.
Look to Scripture for true prophecy. Study it and understand what Daniel says about the end times, and don’t be afraid to study Revelation. I know it can be a little frightening to read of a Beast running the world and causing everyone to take his mark. Large portions of the population will die and water will become contaminated. There’ll be a one world government, one world economy, and one world religion. If you don’t worship the beast and take his mark you won’t be able to buy or sell. Of course, if you take his mark, you cannot be redeemed and will spend eternity in the lake of fire. The good news is that those events will all happen after Christians are taken to Heaven in the Rapture. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. We’re getting very near to the end of days. Everything we see happening is paving the way for the Beast to step into power. Those who are left after the Rapture will face horrors we can only imagine in our worst nightmares. Christians will be in Heaven praising our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as we cast our crowns at His feet. We won’t face the wrath of God.
When the seven years of the Great Tribulation have passed, there’ll be a judgment by God. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:20. People like to speculate about the identity of the beast and the false prophet are. Names like Obama, the Pope, Bill Gates, and others are mentioned. In truth, Christians will be in Heaven before the man of sin is revealed. The Apostle Paul wrote much about the Rapture. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. Paul reassured the believers in Thessalonica that they would be Raptured before the “son of perdition” comes to power. First there would be an apostasia, a falling away. The Greek word “apostasia” can mean a spiritual departure or a physical departure. The English word “apostasy” comes from this Greek word, and we use it to denote someone who isn’t walking in God’s truth. Paul may have chosen this word because it can mean either a physical departure or a spiritual departure. Look around and you can easily see that very few so-called Christians, live their faith. How many pastors have now embraced homosexuality? How many of the brethren conform to the ways of the world instead of dying to self and standing firmly upon the word of God? Yes, there is a massive falling away from the faith. Possibly this weeds out the “in name only” Christians, from those who have their feet firmly planted in Christ. The Rapture (the physical departing of Christians) must happen before the wrath of God comes upon the whole world. Will you be one of us who are taken in the Rapture? Accept Jesus now to be sure. Turn your life over to Him and allow Him to guide your path. Put aside anger, pride, and any attitude that’s opposed to God’s word. Holding to any sin will bring tribulation into your soul. Not the seven-year tribulation described in Scripture, but conflict within your spirit.
Many false prophets are in the world today. They speak loudly and with seeming authority, but they don’t speak for the one true God. Study Scripture and allow Christ to mold you into a true follower of His truth. Then stand firmly against all false teachers and share God’s truth with others. Beware of false prophets.
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Fred and the manure spreader - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
You see a lot of things on a farm. Strange things. The kind of things that you just can’t make up. Fred and the manure spreader was one of them. We had this appaloosa gelding named Fred. Now Fred was one of those types of horses that seemed to always have a situation. He was like that child that couldn’t help to find himself in predicaments that he shouldn’t be in. Like letting the horses out of the barn in the morning. Fred would be the one who would try to turn around in his tie stall, only to get stuck and not be able to come out. We would have to go in and try to help him see how to maneuver his big old speckled body so he was facing front again and then help him back out. That was Fred.
Before we built the new horse barn when I was 14, we had remodeled the old dairy barn. Where cow stanchions used to be, we built eight tie stalls. We filled in the gutter with cement. Put up partitions, hay mangers, feed boxes and a special 2 X 4 across the front to tie the horses. The other part of the barn still had six stanchions and two tie stalls for draft horses. In the winter time, we would do chores in the morning and the evening. Along about 5:00, when it was getting dark, we had a signal for all the livestock to come in for the night. One of us would stand in the barn door and let out a yell, like woooooooeeeeee, wooooooooeeeeee! Cattle and horses alike would start making their way from the fields to the barn.
We would always have the hay in the mangers and grain in the bins all prepared before we would call them in. Each animal knew where their stall was. After the first few times, it was an orderly process. The cows would go to their place and put their heads through the stanchions and begin eating. The horses would file in and take their normal stall. That is, all except Fred. Fred seemed to get confused often. And when he did, the other horses would become very agitated. Sometimes a little fight would break out because Fred was in someone else’s stall and that horse didn’t like it at all. Fred would get bit or kicked and finally Dad or I would catch up with the situation, back him out and lead him to his own stall. One chilly day, we put hay out in the barnyard for the horses to graze.
The manure spreader was parked a few feet away. All the horses were gathered around munching on the hay. But Fred couldn’t seem to find a place to settle in. The horses were laying back their ears and nipping at Fred as he tried to push his way between them to get his share of hay. Suddenly, we heard this big crashing sound—all the way in the kitchen of the house. Looking out the window, there was Fred, laying on his back, legs flailing up in the air in the manure spreader. How he got there, we don’t know. The other horses were just looking at us like, “What?” And it wasn’t easy getting him out. Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” Fred was a good example of why you would remember the name of the Lord. He needed a lot of prayer.
Daily Devotion: In Sight - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. —Matthew 14:24
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/in-sight/ - Listen
A while back I heard a minister say, “Chaos is never the evidence of God’s absence; it’s the arena in which He moves.”
When we’re surrounded by chaos, we might think that God is absent when He really isn’t. In Matthew 14 we read of a time when the disciples found themselves in the midst of chaos as they battled a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Worse yet, Jesus was nowhere in sight.
Commenting on the same story, Mark 6:48 gives us this detail: “He [Jesus] saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water” (NLT).
Although the disciples lost sight of Jesus, He never lost sight of them. And He came to them, walking on water. Jesus will come to us in our storms as well.
Jesus, being God, can do whatever He wants. He could have flown in. But Jesus walked among us as a man. He walked in our shoes, lived our life, and died our death. And He came to the disciples on the waves to show them that the things they feared—the wind and the sea—merely were a staircase for Him to come to them.
The disciples, however, didn’t know it was Jesus who was coming toward them. Matthew’s gospel tells us that when they “saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’” (14:26 NLT).
Why didn’t they know it was Jesus? It’s because they weren’t looking for him. A lot of times we miss Jesus not because He’s absent, but because we’re not looking for Him.
You’re not alone in your storm. Jesus is with you. He’s watching you, not impassively but with great interest and great concern.
FROM THE HEART
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