IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Second Coming of Jesus - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2022/03/the-second-coming-of-jesus.html
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.” (Revelation 19:1-4)
The Tribulation and culminating with the Great Tribulation of the last 3.5 years, is quickly coming to a just end. God has been patient with mankind, and has sent numerous disciplinary measures to cause mankind to repent and give God glory and turn from their wicked ways. But as we have proceeded in these chapters, it has become evident and very clear that the nations are doomed to destruction and does not want to give up their unrighteous, sinful living.
As we enter the 19th Chapter of this book, we see the host of heaven giving glory and honor to our Great God and King of the Universe, as He has judged evil found in the harlot church and the great city of the Beast Power and their smoke will rise up forever. Here the 24 elders and the host of heaven, including those who have been slain at the hand of the Anti-Christ (who asked for justice from God from under the alter in Chapter 6:10 and here their prayers have been answered) praise God with “alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia” which is a phrase from Hebrew that means “Praise God”. This is actually a culmination of chapter 18, as the Bible does not have chapter breaks, only man gives them chapter breaks, and here the praise of God is given for His coming complete Victory over the beast power system.
5 “And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” (Revelation 19:5-6)
As we read we see John back pedals a little to give a description of the Bride of Jesus Christ. This has already happened, but John wants to describe it in more detail, as the event about to happen is the marriage supper of the Lamb.
7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)
There is several things I want to point out here. Note that the wife of Jesus Christ has made herself ready. According to Jewish customs, as Jesus came as a Jew on earth, and the Bible was written by Jewish people. The custom is for the bride and groom to enter the bridal chambers for 7 days to consummate their union and relates to the last 7 years of the Tribulation. The Marriage supper will not be in heaven, but on earth and the invited guest will be those who have been found in Jesus Christ and accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord through much tribulation and martyrdom.
There will be an untold amount of Jewish people by birth, but there will be an untold number of Gentiles also, that have accepted Jesus as well, but they are not the church, they are the guest that will be invited to the feast at the marriage supper. They are equated to the 5 wise virgins, and the 5 foolish virgins that many mistakenly make them part of the Church. Note the wise are invited into the marriage supper, as the Bride is already inside..She is not an invited guest, as she is the focus of the feast. (Matthew 25:1-13) The foolish virgins did not keep the Holy Spirit in their lives and lost out in the end and are denied entrance to the marriage supper.
But as I have done in past messages, I want you to focus on the underlines portion of the above scripture, as it will be important in the coming verses.
10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:10-14)
Note the description of our soon coming King? His eyes were as a flame of fire. Why are they like flames of fire? Why, first, to discern the secrets of all hearts. There are no secrets here that Christ does not see. There is no lewd thought, there is no unbelieving skepticism, that Christ does not read. There is no hypocrisy, no formalism, no deceit, that he does not scan as easily as a man reads a page in a book. His eyes are like a flame of fire to read us through and through, and know us to our inner-most soul.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is clothed with vesture dipped in blood. This is not about the blood He shed on Calvary, but the blood that He has been spilling in the wine-press of His fury with those who have been in rebellion against Almighty God. He has many crowns on His head, signifying that He is the Supreme King of all creation, and the entire universe.
Jesus comes riding on a white horse, as a horse was a sign of glory and honor and only those who were in command rode on horses, not as foot soldiers. White denotes His purity.
There are several clues in the preceding verses of 10-14 of who is coming with the King of kings when He returns. First note in verse 10, that John falls to worship the elder who shows him these things. What does he say? He tells John that he is a fellow servant of God and “THY BRETHREN” that have the testimony of Jesus. Who can only this describe? These are those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and are standing with John even before Jesus second coming. A sign of the saints of God in heaven with God even as far back as chapter 4 of the Holy Book and the vision of the 24 elders. It is an elder of the church of God showing the apostle John this vision of future events. Another clue to who comes with Jesus. Note the apparel each wear ? Compare it with verse 8 of this same chapter that speaks of the Bride of Christ being “clothed with fine linen, white and clean, a sign of the saints”. See the connection between the Bride and the saints that come back with Jesus Christ as the armies of heaven? These are not angels, these are redeemed mankind who have been with Jesus for the last 7 years and being judged for rewards at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ (1st Corinthians 3: 11-15) and have been adopted into the family of God....as any bride who marries the Bridegroom becomes part of His family by law and by marriage in all its implications of inheritance.
16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)
The Church cannot be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, unless we are adopted into the family of God, Yahweh, the Almighty ABBA Father....we are the redeemed of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. We are now part of the family of God. What Jesus has inherited, we also shall inherit the same. He is God, and we will be heirs in the God family. What we will inherit is beyond my comprehension, but just to be counted as adopted sons and daughters of the Most High is sufficient for this minister. We all will gladly submit to His righteous will.
I want to make a point at this portion of this series. If the church has NOT been taken 7 years prior and coming back with Jesus as His second coming, and the Post-Tribulation model that some believe is true, then who is going into the Millennium as mortals? Note that there are only two sets of people at the end of the Tribulation. Those who belong to Jesus Christ, and those who do not belong, but are in rebellion. When Jesus comes back, those who belong to Him are changed into immortal beings. Those who do not belong to Him are destroyed with a Word, not to mention all the plagues and disasters that have killed 90% of all mankind to this point. If those belonging to Him, are changed, and those who are not are destroyed, then who are the mortals that go into the Kingdom of God? See the problem?
The answer is no one....The only model of God's plan for mankind is the Church was removed 7 years prior and those who are in rebellion are destroyed. Only those who survived that believed in Jesus and divinely protected at Petra are allowed to enter the Kingdom of God and repopulate the earth.
15 “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.” (Revelation 19:15-16)
Jesus will destroy all rebellion with a word of annihilation. It will be a short battle and complete victory is assured for the King of Kings coming back as a roaring lion full of wrath and judgment. The redeemed Church will watch in awe at the display of His power.
This is the culmination of that wrath of God upon all those who dare come against Him in rebellion. He has given them 7 years to come to repentance, and Divine discipline has not changed any of these invaders minds that have come to the Valley of Jezreel to destroy Israel. The nation of Israel has come to the realization that Jesus was their Messiah that their fathers had crucified nigh 2000 years ago and as Jesus told them they would cry out to God for deliverance and proclaimed:
38 “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:38-39)
King Jesus has heard their cries and now comes to fight for them,
2 “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” (Zechariah 14:2-3)
I can only envision the complete destruction that slays every man standing to where the blood rises to the level of a horse's bridle spoken of back in Chapter 14 of this Holy Book:
20 “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:20)
The valley of Jezreel is estimated to be 184 miles long and 5 miles wide...and the bible speaks of what befalls a man who has the misfortune to think they can come against a Living God. It gives you a mental picture of how many will be destroyed to produce that much blood.
Trying to understand this, have they come to battle each other, or come to destroy Israel, and turn their weapons of war on what they see coming from the heavens? Will they realize too late, that their fate is sealed, as they have come to fight a Living God? Surely, it will be complete madness on the part of rebellious mankind. It’s good for us to remember that this dramatic display of judgment comes only at the end of a long time of grace, patience, and mercy. This is no “rush to judgment.” Jesus has amply displayed His nature of mercy, forgiveness and grace to this fallen world. He comes now to judge a world hardened and totally given over to their rebellion against Him.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” (Zechariah 14:12)
In verse 16, He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The name is on His thigh for prominence, being easily visible when seated on a horse. At the same time, no one knew [the name] except Himself– that is, no one can comprehend Him perfectly.
Adam Clarke is among those who believe that the name written that no one knew except Himself is actually the tetragrammaton, the four letters YHWH that make up the name “Yahweh”, the sacred and secret name of God as no one knows what letters of vowels should be put with these letters that stand for God Almighty.
17 “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 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.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:17-21)
So the end of this great army who God has gathered together in this valley for their final judgment, are food for the beast of the fields, and the birds of the air, as an angel calls out to them to scavenge on the remains of the carcasses that have fallen and bled out. The end of the Anti-Christ and the false prophet are spoken of, as they are thrown alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone and sulfur. I've often wondered why they were not given a final judgment at the Great White Throne that is coming up in the next chapters, but here they are thrown without this judgment, as they have been judged already? Why? Are they even human anymore? Have their sins and their demonic possession judged them already? The end of these two leaders of the rebellion against God and their idolatry and abominations are swiftly judged and their destruction is assured, as they are sent to a place of torment forever even ahead of those whose judgment is coming. Such is their complete demonic rebellion. Some believe that the two “men” are part of the Nephillim that come back upon this earth in the final days, and are not entirely human, but hybrids of fallen angels. We are not sure, and are not told. I leave it to God in His righteous judgment.
Chapter 20: THE REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:1-3)
A powerful unnamed angel comes down with a heavy chain and binds Satan hand and foot and cast him away from the influence of mankind for a 1000 years, but Satan will get a chance to tempt mankind one last time at the end of this reign of our Lord and Savior. It is a great question of why God would allow Satan another chance, but God has a purpose for his release, which will be revealed later in this chapter.
4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6)
Here we see thrones again, as it was in chapter 4 and 24 elders sitting at rest with their victory over this world being assured. I believe they are divided in duty, as Jesus said that his apostles would judge Israel.
“ And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28)
God's apostles which I believe includes Paul the apostle to the Gentiles, as Paul was chosen by Jesus as the replacement for Judas. The other 11 apostles chose Matthias, but Jesus revealed His glory to the man that reached much of the Gentile world. The Church Saints are given the same authority to judge as Paul spoke of this that we would judge angels, and I believe that includes those who have overcome the beast power noted in verse 4 and they are given eternal life to reign with Jesus Christ for a 1000 years. In what capacity will they reign, we do not know..We know that the Church of the Living God will be Kings and Priest to God to direct those who are born during this Millennial reign to the salvation found only in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ 2000-3000 years ago if you count the whole Millennium. These are all part of the first resurrection. It started with Jesus as being First Born of the dead and will extend to all those who are raised to life before the Millennium starts.
Some point to this as a a sign of the resurrection of all saints after the tribulation, but failed to understand that this first resurrection has been going on for 2000 plus years and ends here. Those who await their resurrection at the second resurrection wait for judgment and separation from God, not rewards as the Church received. As verse 6 testifies, blessed is he who is part of the 1st Resurrection, as the second death, unlike those awaiting being raised after the reign of Christ, will have no power over them. But notice an overlooked part of that verse “but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” We were told that those who go through the Tribulation many well be Jewish by birth, many Gentiles, but Jewish in the majority, but not exclusively...what did God say about them? Remember back in chapter 7 of those who do not worship the beast?
13” And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” (Revelation 7:13-16)
These are Tribulation saints and they have not the same rewards as the Church receives. We reign with Christ as Kings and priest. These serve Almighty God in His temple, much as the Levitical Priesthood did...and they re-enact Temple animal sacrifices to demonstrate to those born during the Millennium what Jesus did. Jesus can't die again, but the Temple is used to do as it was in Ancient Israel to point to the Savior. ( Ezekiel chp. 40 to the end of that book) Many will come to salvation, but not all, as we will soon find out.
7 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”(Revelation 20:7-9)
For the thousand years of the direct reign of Jesus over this earth, Satan was bound and inactive. But after the thousand years are over, he will be released and successfully organize many people of the earth in another rebellion against God.
Envision this, and it's something I cannot understand at this point, as these people born during the reign of Jesus Christ have had perfect weather, perfect peace, no needs for anything, and have known the Living God found in the King of Kings on earth for the last 1000 years being ruled in righteousness for all the years of their lives. Some of these folks may live the whole 1000 year reign of those born right after the Millennium starts, as it was at the beginning when people, after Adam and Eve, lived over 900 years and now are somehow tempted by Satan to rebel against God on earth?
If Jesus has reigned so wonderfully for a thousand years, then why will the earth rebel? They will do it, and God will allow it, as a final demonstration of man’s rebellion and depravity. Outward conformity to Jesus’ rule will be required during His reign, but seemingly, an inward embrace of His Lordship will still be up to the individual. But just as Israel rebelled against God being with them in the wilderness and countless miracles witnessed, they did much as these people do. They let their own desire to rule themselves and not be subject to anyone telling them what to do. It is man's nature to sin against God. How does Satan convince this people to come against the City of God, the very Throne of God in Jerusalem? Just as he did Eve and Adam, the pride of life and love of this world. Up to this point, they have been directed by Kings and priest to God to not veer to the left or to the right, but staying on the narrow path to follow Jesus and accept Him as the Lord of their life and following the ways of God. We will be witnesses of the grace and mercy of God and will teach all who are mortal and born during this time.
In this we see more of the important reason God has for the Millennial Kingdom and allowing this final rebellion. For all of human history, man has wanted to blame his sinful condition on his environment. “Of course, I turned out the way I did. Did you see the family I came from? Did you see the neighborhood I grew up in?” With the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, God will give mankind a thousand years of a perfect environment – with no Satan, no crime, no violence, no evil, or other social pathology. But at the end of the 1,000 years, man will still rebel against God at his first opportunity. This will powerfully demonstrate that the problem is in us, not only in our environment. Mortal man cannot be trusted.
It will be proved once more that man, whatever his advantages and environment, apart from the grace of God and new birth, remains at heart only evil and at enmity with God.
God gathers all those who will not accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and will gather them much as it was in Ezekiel 38-39 before the Tribulation, and brings judgment on them as fire comes down from heaven and destroys them all.
After the annihilation of every mortal man who dares rebel against God on earth, Satan is again grabbed by the nape of the neck and is finally receiving his just reward for the previous ages of deception and being the father of all lies, and is cast alive into the lake of fire to join the Anti-Christ and the false prophet even before others are sentenced to that awful place.
10” And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
11 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
This is the final judgment of all unsaved mankind. They are gathered from the ends of the earth, from the sea and wherever their life was extinguished and they are judged out of the Books which is the Bible, and the Book of life with the names of those who have been found clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Of course, none of these people will be found in the Book of life and they will be judged out of the only words that will condemn them, your Bible and the inspired Words and testimony of Almighty God. Many ask, how can a spirit burn or be tormented? Or a body not burn up. At this junction of the end of time, my belief is, as we received immortal bodies at the coming of our Lord in the Rapture, these people receive the same immortal body that lives forever, but theirs is not a reward, but everlasting punishment, so they will never die, and never be consumed but tormented and separated from God the Father and the Son and devoid of all happiness, joy, love and any hope of escape. What an awful destiny for any human being to end up in a place called the “Lake of Fire”..
REBUTTAL OF A DEMONIC THEOLOGY
I want to make one thing perfectly clear. There is an insidious “theory” using only one verse above in verse 12, that there is a “second chance” noting the words, “and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books” but they claim sentencing will not be carried out at that time. They will be allowed an undetermined amount of time to come to repentance and accept Jesus as Savior. Let me ask you something. If you had a choice standing before Almighty God, would you not believe and save yourself from the Lake of Fire? Only a fool or totally insane would say “I'd rather party in hell”...as it won't be a party by any stretch. No, everyone given that choice would say yes to Jesus, but it would not be out of remorse or love for Jesus to repentance, but out of fear of the 2nd death. This is called by some “Universal Reconciliation”, that all will be saved, even Hitler, Stalin, and Lenin who killed millions upon millions of people without remorse. No, don't make that mistake that some cults try to sell you, that all will be saved. If that was so, then there would be no need for a hell, or the Lake of Fire. It would fly in the face of what was written in Revelation 14:9-11 that the smoke of those who worship the beast their torment will arise before the holy angels and the Lamb forever and ever.
26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:26-28)
Understand, my reader, there is NO second chance. This life is the only chance you have to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. The Church is being refined now, as we speak. And if we barely make it through Christ, where will the ungodly stand at that day?
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?
18And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (1st Peter 4:17-18)
OUR NEW ETERNAL HOME IS REVEALED
Next time will be looking at the new heavens and the new earth, and New Jerusalem coming down from God the Father. If you have read it, the description is beyond your mind's ability to visualize the splendor and the glory that will be the reward of all those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is the glorious end of our existence as mortals and becoming immortal before God and living for all eternity.
A DECISION REQUIRED
My question to you as is my custom at the end of any sermon I write, is where will you be in this spiritual drama that has been finished here at the Great White Throne judgment by Jesus Christ?
Now you have a choice to make before this drama starts to play out, and it could come as a “thief in the night” when you least expect it. Jesus could come at any moment, but when He does, your survival is in danger in the next 7 years following. Best to make that decision for Jesus Christ, while the invitation to join the Church of the Living God is open and your glorification is assured.
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)
God's gift is but a moment away from all who believe and obtain “Victory in Jesus “...
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.” (Romans 10:8-11)
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you make that decision for Jesus Christ today while the Holy Spirit invitation is still open. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, then email me at email@example.com, or visit me online for more biblical lessons from the Word of God...God bless you all TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.
A Global Food Crisis is Unavoidable - Britt Gillette - http://www.end-times-bible-prophecy.com/a-global-food-crisis-is-unavoidable.html
In January, I wrote about a coming global famine. The political push to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, coupled with COVID shutdown supply and demand distortions, resulted in much higher energy prices. This was particularly true in Europe where the accelerated push for green energy led to a surging energy crisis. Asking, "What does this have to do with rising food prices?," I pointed to this Zero Hedge article which stated:
"You can't make fertilizer without urea and natural gas. As the price of either of these goes higher (both are), it significantly impacts the price of fertilizer. The price of fertilizer impacts in turn the price of food. This is because fertilizer is the second largest cost component of most agricultural production. The first being... you guessed it, diesel."
Entering 2022, rising energy costs had driven up prices for both diesel and fertilizer. This led to increased food production costs. Those, in turn, impact the feed cost for cattle, hogs, chickens, and other animals. This means higher costs for meat producers.
Global supply chain issues are another reason we saw rising food prices. While increased demand due to COVID lockdowns and hoarding both played a factor, the majority of food shortages were due to problems rippling through the global supply chain.
In summary, as we entered 2022, we were already facing a major food crisis, both in terms of supply and price. However, in that same article, I warned it could get much worse. "Rumors of war" were everywhere - Russia/Ukraine, China/Taiwan, and Iran/Israel. Back then, I wrote:
"If any of these areas erupt into war, the result will be a disaster for the global economy. Oil prices will go much higher. Global trade will contract. Supply chains will break down even further, and food prices will skyrocket. Worse than that, a major conflict could lead to food shortages throughout the world. Is this what China is preparing for?"
That last sentence referenced China's hoarding of grain. Coming into the year, China held 69% of global maize reserves, 60% of global rice reserves, and 51% of global wheat reserves. Why did China stockpile so much food? In hindsight, it's clear. They knew the Russian invasion of Ukraine was coming, and they knew the impact such a conflict would have on the global food supply.
The Post-Invasion Global Food Market
Even now, most people fail to recognize the dire consequences of Russia's attack on Ukraine. The impact goes far beyond the battlefields of Eastern Europe, effecting every nation on the planet. The war in Ukraine has transformed a situation where global food supplies were tight into an unavoidable global food crisis. Why? Below is a list of six reasons 2022/2023 will be an absolute disaster for the global food supply.
1) Sanctions - The sanctions the U.S. and its allies put in place to punish Russia will have serious consequences for the global food market. Russia produces far more than oil. It's also the earth's largest wheat exporter, accounting for 18% of global sales. And fossil fuels also play a major role in food production. Diesel fuel powers farm equipment as well as the trucks that bring food to market, and natural gas is a critical component in the production of fertilizer. In short, the sanctions placed on Russia will strain global supply chains and increase the price of agricultural commodities wherever they are grown.
2) Poor Harvests - The sanctions kick in at a time when global food supplies are already tight. Now, extreme drought threatens to destroy the winter wheat crop in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Half of U.S. wheat production is hard red winter wheat. A reduced crop will put further pressure on food prices.
Unfortunately, the U.S. isn't alone. China's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Tang Renjian, cited heavy rainfall last year for delaying the planting of around one-third of China's normal wheat acreage. According to Tang, "a survey of the winter wheat crop taken before the start of winter found the amount of first- and second-grade crop was down more than 20 percentage points."
In addition to droughts and poor harvests, a bird flu outbreak is threatening poultry production on a global scale. Because of an outbreak in Israel, "authorities estimate about 600,000 hens may need to be destroyed to contain the virus." In the United States, the bird flu outbreak "has already resulted in the deaths of almost 2.8 million birds" (most of them chickens or turkeys). This has a direct impact on the supply of eggs, chicken, and turkey - driving up food prices and creating product shortages.
3) The Ukrainian Harvest - With Ukraine under siege, how many farmers do you think are planting their fields? Not many. Even if they do manage to plant and harvest, how will their produce get to market? The invasion devastated roads and infrastructure throughout the country. This will have a dramatic impact on global food supply. Ukraine is the world's 5th largest wheat exporter, accounting for 7% of global sales in 2019. 71% of Ukraine's land is agricultural. For centuries, they've been known as "the bread basket of Europe," and some countries are wholly dependent on Ukraine for food supplies.
4) Black Sea Shipping - Because of the war, Black Sea shipping is almost non-existent. Insurance rates for ships entering the Black Sea are sky high. Even if they wanted to get into the area, it's simply not economical for ships to do business in the Black Sea. These empty shipping lanes translate into dire consequences for the world. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for 25% of global wheat sales. Moreover, around "one-fifth of the corn trade and 12% of all calories traded globally come from Ukraine and Russia." All that food can't make it to the rest of world. War and sanctions have brought regional food exports to a screeching halt.
5) Food Protectionism - Even if the Black Sea re-opens tomorrow, the food exports aren't coming. Why? Because the war has caused a cascade of nations to ban food exports in the name of domestic food security. For this very reason, Ukraine banned all agricultural exports. Russia also banned exports. According to Interfax, "Russia's Agriculture Ministry said the country could ban wheat, rye, barley and corn exports from March 15 to June 30."
Meanwhile, Argentina (the world's top exporter of processed soy products) suspended soybean meal and oil exports. Along with Ukraine and Russia, Argentina is part of a growing list of countries banning exports of agricultural goods. Others include Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, Algeria, Indonesia, Turkey, and others.
6) The Fertilizer Shortage - As mentioned previously, you can't make fertilizer without urea and natural gas. Russia is the world's top exporter of both. Not surprisingly, Russia is also the world's #1 exporter of fertilizer. On March 10, Russia announced the suspension of fertilizer exports. Think about the implications of that. At a time when global food prices are already at all-time highs, when Ukraine's massive grain production might be lost for the year, and when global supply chains are in a state of chaos, the world's top fertilizer exporter won't be supplying fertilizer. I don't think the world fully understands the implications yet.
According to The Epoch Times:
"Russia produces 50 million tons of fertilizer every year, accounting for 13 percent of the world's total. The country is a major producer of potash, phosphate, and nitrogen-containing fertilizers which serve as major crop and soil nutrients. Amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the cost of fertilizer has already risen significantly across the globe and is expected to further impact the cost of goods and push food prices higher. However, even before the invasion, fertilizer prices had risen drastically in part due to the rising gas costs which are needed to ship fertilizers across countries and continents."
Of course, Russia notes the ban on exports will come with exceptions. "Friendly countries" will continue to receive fertilizer from Russia.
According to Bloomberg, Brazil is the world's top exporter of soybeans, coffee, sugar, and a host of other agricultural commodities. They rely on imports for 85% of their fertilizer needs, and 28% of that comes from Russia and Belarus. If Brazil doesn't get fertilizer, the world doesn't get Brazil's soybeans, coffee, and sugar.
Making matters worse, on Monday the AP News reported that a Canadian Pacific rail worker strike has brought all of Canadian Pacific's trains to a standstill. The Canadian Pacific railway carries 70% of the potash produced in North America.
Needless to say, fertilizer will be in short supply this planting season, and the impact on global food production cannot be overstated.
Famine is Now Unavoidable
The only question is how high food prices will go and how severe the food shortages will be. The following quotes should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who takes food availability for granted. The year ahead will be difficult to say the least.
In this article, Fox Business interviewed Peter Zeihan, a geopolitical analyst and author. The following passage is from that article:
"'All three source materials that go into fertilizer (phosphate, nitrogen, potash) are subject to abject shortage. And even if the war were to stop tomorrow, it's already too late. It's too late for the planting season for the Northern Hemisphere this year.' Zeihan forecasted that the crisis will hit Brazil, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia the hardest as they will likely see significantly lower yields "than what is necessary to support the global population."
"And as food prices rise, as they've been for the last two weeks - and pretty sharply - farmers will do what farmers do. They will plant what they think that they can grow for the greatest bang for their buck," Zeihan said. "So, I can see (the United States) increasing our production and our exports by a small amount. But the scale of what we're talking about here is insufficient food for hundreds of millions of people."
Think about that. "Lower yields than what is necessary to support the global population" and "Insufficient food for hundreds of millions of people." You can't disrupt 12% of the global calories Russia and Ukraine produce and not have an epic disaster. Pray for God to provide everyone with what they need, and pray we can avert famine on a mass scale.
What Happens Now?
Henry Kissinger once said, "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people." While the western media endlessly cites Putin's invasion of Ukraine as a "miscalculation," I ask you to consider another possibility. Perhaps this was Putin's calculation from day one. Russia is the leading producer of vast natural resources and raw materials the world needs. This gives Putin immense leverage.
He has leverage over Europe, which depends on him for 30% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas needs.
He has leverage over the U.S. which, facing skyrocketing fuel prices, is begging Iran and Venezuela to make up the difference.
He has leverage over China which, devoid of its own oil resources, has an unquenchable thirst for foreign oil to fuel the needs of its 1.4 billion people.
He has leverage over Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and numerous countries that were almost entirely dependent on imported Ukrainian grains to feed their people.
Remember, Putin said "friendly countries" will be exempt from Russia's fertilizer ban. In other words, stick with Putin, and you'll eat. Turn against him, and you might starve. Putin understands the power he wields. He can use it to evade sanctions, possibly break up NATO, and realign the entire world power structure. As an example, read this article which outlines Turkey's willingness to circumvent sanctions.
Turkish President Erdogan is in regular contact with Putin. He's offered to settle trade in rubles, Chinese yuan, or gold - anything to get the grain vital for feeding his people. As the article states, "Erdogan also raised the problem of the 30 ships that are supposed to bring sunflower oil and wheat to Turkey but are currently stuck in the Sea of Azov. Russia is by far Turkey's most important grain supplier. In 2020, it exported 7.7 million tons of wheat to Turkey, accounting for 75 percent of its imports."
Turkey is a key member of NATO, yet they are completely dependent on Russia for their food supply. With the U.S. and its allies demanding nations pick a side in the conflict and abide by sanctions, whose side do you think Erdogan will ultimately choose? Will he chose the U.S., starve his country, and risk a revolution that throws him out of power? Or will he choose Russia, obtain food security for his country, and cement his place of power? I think the answer is obvious.
A new geopolitical order is forming. In all likelihood, Russia and China have formed a secret alliance. I believe China stockpiled grain because it knew of Russia's plan to invade Ukraine. Perhaps China's invasion of Taiwan is next. Russia is a natural resource and raw materials superpower. China is a manufacturing powerhouse. Together, they make a formidable alliance capable of challenging the United States and its allies for economic and military supremacy.
The Stage is Set for the End Times
Unfortunately, a worldwide famine appears to be on the horizon. The Bible warned of this long ago. It says a global famine will strike the world during the Tribulation. This famine will follow a global war (Revelation 6:4). In the aftermath, people will be desperate to survive. The Bible says in that time an entire day's wages will only buy enough food to survive (Revelation 6:5-6). Is the coming famine the same famine from Revelation 6? I don't know. But it could be.
In January, I wrote: "When this happens, it's possible the Genesis story of Joseph and Pharaoh will play out a second time. Desperate for food, most of the world will willingly give their wealth and power to anyone who can feed them. Just as in ancient Egypt, when the dust finally settles, one man will control everything."
Right now, Vladimir Putin wants to be that man. The Bible says the Antichrist will succeed where Putin fails. The signs of the times are all around us. The world is set up to experience a global war (Revelation 6:4), global famine (Revelation 6:5-6), and mass death (Revelation 6:8) on a scale we've never seen. All the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for are present today. We're in the midst of a global pandemic (Luke 21:11). Israel is back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8). The Jewish people are back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28). And the Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). Time is short. Spread the Gospel while you still can.
Jesus is coming.
US Credibility Plummets in The Arab World as Biden Looks to New Terrorist Allies – Khaled Abu Toameh - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=5272
Unlike the Biden administration, many Arabs do not distinguish between one terrorist group and another. That is why news about the possibility that the Biden administration is considering removing the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the terrorism blacklist has been received by many Arabs with disbelief and shock.
The Arabs hold the mullahs and the IRGC responsible for various war crimes and atrocities against several countries and people around the world. Just last week, the IRGC claimed credit for a missile attack on an alleged "Zionist base" in the city of Erbil in northern Iraq. Days later, the IRGC issued a threat to launch missiles at the Gulf states.
The Gulf states, in particular Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are already under attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen. The Biden administration removed the Houthis from the list of foreign terrorist organizations and has since refused to reclassify it as a terrorist organization, despite the missile and drone attacks on Washington's Arab allies and friends as recently as this week.
After the recent drone and missile attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, Saudi Arabia statement that said:
"The Kingdom stresses the importance of the international community realizing the gravity of Iran's continued behavior of equipping the terrorist Houthi militia with the technology of the ballistic missiles and advanced UAVs with which they target the Kingdom's production sites of oil, gas and refined products."
When the Saudis and other Arabs in the Gulf talk about the international community, they are specifically referring to the US administration, which continues to ignore their demand to redesignate the Houthi militia as a terrorist organization.
Instead of listening to its Arab allies, the Biden administration is now reportedly studying the possibility of removing Iran's IRGC -- an even more dangerous organization -- from the list of foreign terrorists.
The news has come as a shock to the Arabs, especially those in the Gulf who say that the appeasement policies of the Biden administration towards Iran pose a real threat to security and stability in the Middle East.
"Removing the Revolutionary Guard from the blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations would be tantamount to the shameful US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year," wrote Saudi journalist Tarik Al-Hamid, former editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
"We will remember two historical events that had -- and will have -- the biggest impact on destabilizing the security and stability of our region. First, when Ayatollah Khomeini boarded a plane and flew from France to Tehran Airport; second, when the Biden administration removes the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of foreign terrorist organizations."
Al-Hamid warned that if the Biden administration removes the IRGC from the terrorism list, "we will be faced with a real American absurdity, not less than the absurdity of the invasion of Iraq and the absurdity of the withdrawal from Afghanistan."
"It is true that the United States wants to withdraw from the region, but Washington will then have given China, Russia and Iran unprecedented strength. If this is not political absurdity, what can it be called? By removing the Revolutionary Guards from the list of terrorist organizations, Washington will grant Iran the freedom to move and act in the region in the context of a Russian-Chinese-Iranian alliance."
The prominent Saudi journalist warned that the policies of the Biden administration would "strengthen the axis of resistance to the US once again."
"By lifting the sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards, the US administration will fulfill the aspirations of former President Barack Obama when he spoke in his famous interview with The Atlantic magazine under the title 'Obama Doctrine' about sharing the region with Iran. At the time, Obama said: 'The Saudis need to share the Middle East with their Iranian opponents.'"
Al-Hamid reminded the Biden administration that Saudi Arabia "is the exact opposite of Iran, as it does not want control, but rather the stability and independence of countries."
"Therefore, removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards from the sanctions list is nothing but a conspiracy against the region as a whole, especially after the Revolutionary Guard took credit for the recent firing of 12 ballistic missiles on Iraq. Lifting the sanctions while Hezbollah revels in Lebanon and Syria, and Iranian militias wreak havoc in Iraq amid Iran's continued support for the Houthis in Yemen, is nothing but a crime against our region."
Abdullah bin Bejad Al-Otaibi, a Saudi political analyst and researcher of Islamic groups, wrote that the US during the Biden era "is very similar to Obama's America in terms of vision, policies, and directions."
The Biden administration's appeasement of Iran and its plans to remove the IRGC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations represents political absurdity, Al-Otaibi argued.
"The signing of the (2015) nuclear agreement with the Iranian regime took place during the Obama era without any consideration for the interests of the Gulf states and Arab countries, and it was just a postponement, not a cancellation, of Iran's military nuclear project. The administration of President Biden has been eager to revive the ominous agreement. It has also been attacking the Arab countries not only with blatant statements, but also through its regional and international policies and positions.
Arab and Gulf countries have not changed their stance toward America, but the opposite is what happened. America's positions have become more extreme and less concerned about partnership and support for allies. The problem with this American change is that it came while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are leading internal and regional efforts to bring stability and moderation. Bahrain and the UAE have normalized relations with Israel. The Saudi crown prince stated that Saudi Arabia does not view Israel as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally."
Al-Otaibi reminded the Biden administration that the IRGC and the mullahs are "the head of regional and international terrorism, from Al-Qaeda to ISIS, and from the Lebanese Hezbollah to the Shiite terror militias all over the world."
Referring to the possibility that the IRGC may be removed from the list of terrorism, the Saudi analyst said:
"This would be a direct threat and danger not only to the Arab countries, but to the whole world, and an unprecedented support for terrorism and its groups and organizations. The Arab countries and Israel will be the first victims. There is an American and Western policy that cannot be condoned, which is the insistence on making Saudi Arabia and the UAE militarily exposed to the attacks of the Iranian Houthi militia in Yemen, ballistic missiles and drones, and imposing illogical requirements on the export of arms to confront these serious threats.
The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, which enabled the Taliban to seize control of the country, removing the Houthi militia from the terrorism list, seeking to remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of terrorism, silence about Iranian bombing of Iraqi Kurdistan -- these are very dangerous policies for the world and the Arab countries that support stability and peace...
"A new approach is knocking on the doors of the world with force and an unprecedented need to close ranks, strengthen alliances and build partnerships, and any neutral observer will find a blatant contradiction in the Biden administration's policies towards Iran and Saudi Arabia, as it courts Iran in an unprecedented way and does not behave in the same way with Saudi Arabia."
Syrian writer Dr. Mahmoud Al-Shami expressed astonishment over the Biden administration's weak and hypocritical attitude towards Iran and its terrorist proxies:
"America condemns the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and says they must stop, while it has since removed Houthis from the list of terrorism, and will also remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the terrorism list as well. [The condemnation came] while America was claiming that Saudi Arabia is its ally and that it will defend it if it is subjected to any aggression. Have you seen bigger liars?"
Dr. Mohamed El-Sherif, an Egyptian, also took to social media to express disgust with the policies of the Biden administration towards the mullahs and their terrorist organizations.
"What did the Revolutionary Guard offer America as a price for the reward of being removed from the list of terrorist organizations and making billions of dollars available to it by lifting sanctions on Iran so that it could finance its terrorist activities at the expense of threatening the security of the Gulf and the stability of the Middle East?"
Kuwaiti university lecturer Professor Abdullah Al-Shayji noted that the US was continuing to lose its credibility among the Arabs:
"Will Biden re-designate the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization after President Trump classified them as terrorists during his presidency?... Will Biden, in the nuclear negotiations with Iran, cancel the designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization in order to succeed with the nuclear deal?! We are witnessing a decline in trust in America."
Saudi writer Abdul Hadi Al-Shehri warned the Biden administration that it would be making a grave mistake by removing the IRGC from the terrorism list:
"I think that when you remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of terrorist organizations, you will make a big mistake, and this will lead to the spread of Iranian terrorism and this will affect the region and allies, and America and Europe will be vulnerable to direct Iranian terrorism."
Bahraini journalist and political analyst Abdul Majed Jalal accused the Biden administration of "betraying" its Arab allies.
"The Biden administration is considering canceling the decision to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization as part of its efforts to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. The mere idea is a clear American betrayal of its allies in the Gulf! The Gulf no longer has much trust in America."
Dr. Fahad bin Jumah, former member of the Economy and Energy Committee in Saudi Arabia, commented:
"Supporting Iran, returning to the nuclear agreement, and trying to remove the Revolutionary Guard from the list of terrorism, as he did previously with the Houthis, are among the unforgivable mistakes of Mr. Biden."
Masood A. R., an Iranian opponent of the mullahs, Addressing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, wrote:
"Mr. Blinken, it will be a true holiday for Iranians when they get rid of the murderous [Iranian] regime to which you are making terrible concessions. Mr. Blinken, the Iranian people will not forgive the US if the Revolutionary Guard, the largest terrorist organization backed by an official government, is removed from the list of terrorism."
Iraqi social media user Kirar Al-Atiyya added his voice to that of an increasing number of Arabs who were shocked by the news concerning the IRGC:
"If this news is true about the Biden administration's intention to remove the Revolutionary Guard militia from the list of terrorism, this would be the mother of all disasters. The Revolutionary Guard gangs have committed many crimes. They also contributed to the recruitment of children into the ranks of the terrorist Houthi militia."
Judging from the severe consternation in the Arab countries over Biden's mistaken and disastrous policies towards Iran and its terrorist proxies, it's safe to assume that US credibility has plummeted in the Arab world.
From the Arab point of view, it seems as though the US has chosen to side with the world's largest terrorist organization -- the IRGC -- a move that poses an imminent threat to Arab security and the stability of the entire region.
The question arises: If the Biden administration believes that the Houthi militia and the IRGC are not terrorist organizations, then why not also remove Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the blacklist?
Indeed, if the US administration believes that it can do business with these terrorists and their sponsors in Tehran, then why not own up to its policies and straightforwardly declare all these terrorist groups as America's newest allies?
Move Over Sodom; Here Comes the World! - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/03/20/move-over-sodom-here-comes-the-world-by-gene-lawley/
It is blatantly apparent that the world is embracing the sexual immorality down-slide. It is said that we must keep up with the trends of history, so many major corporations are eager to recognize claims of transgender activists and promoters. It has established the greatest confusion among people that the world has ever seen.
The demands of the so-called LBGTQ+ movement are put in first place as if any other response would be worse than death itself.
Yet, that part of our population is less than ten percent. Why is this happening?
One of the major happenings that signal the approach of the return of Christ for His body of believers is that there will be a “falling away from lawfulness,” and that means people will turn to immorality, injustice, crime, murder, and any other unrighteous activity that evil man can devise. Abortion and the sexual revolution are topping the list, for certain.
The Scriptures predict that the falling away will include turning away from God, giving Him no recognition at all, as if He has never existed. In Proverbs 9:10, it says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The proponents of abortion-at-will claim that what happens at conception results in a mere particle of tissue having no life. Then somehow, mystically, it takes on life with a heartbeat and continues on into a fully developed person to be born and nurtured by its mother. The Bible, however, clearly tells us that God is very present at the time of the conception, in His infinite knowledge, and causes the conception to occur, giving the new person a name and recording it in His book. Here is the Scripture that tells that truth as the psalmist addresses the issue before God:
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
The real battle is that eternal one between God and Satan. The attack upon God’s highest creation, the creation of mankind in his own image, is reaching a critical but terminal level, for the devil knows his time is short. Abortion has become an industry, most surely indicated by the dark-sided sale of those body parts taken in an abortion. No wonder those people are determined to see abortion approved up to the time of birth! Now also, the gigantic confusion of gender identity and sexuality issues.
“No one by taking thought can add one cubit to his height,” Jesus said (Matthew 6:27-KJV). Neither can a person, man or woman, change their gender as they were born by taking thought. It is a deception of the devil to distort the image of God in which he or she was created in the beginning. Satan has taken up the creation of mankind as a battleground to slap God in the face, actually, just as he wanted to do when God allowed him to test Job. You recall that account, where the devil was sure he could cause Job to do as his wife did. She told Job, after he had lost everything but his own life, to “Curse God and die!” But Job had a very deep fear of God that consisted of a recognition of God’s justice. But we see in James 5:11 that God wanted to instill in Job His attributes of compassion and mercifulness.
(I take this “rabbit trail” to show that Satan’s wiles are not new, but these of today are hitting God’s highest creation with a stunning blow. And, unfortunately, the world seems to be buying the whole package, even many church leaders, as well as nations.)
In a 2018 address to the LBGTQ+, the now current president of the United States spoke with glowing terms of the lifestyles of those who have embraced that immoral deception. More than a few of the large church leaders have succumbed to that evil and ungodly claim of equality with morality and righteousness and are accepting them into their churches as members without restriction. Surprisingly, many of those large congregations are Southern Baptist denominations. It is bringing a crisis to the existence of that body of believers.
Where is it headed? The shoulder-shrug that says, “This is not new; this has happened before,” must want to think it will pass without any meaningful intervention by God. I am thinking of judgment.
God is not silent on the issues of the gender and sexual revolution. In Romans 1:18-32, His Word makes an awesome declaration of His position on this direction in which the world is fast-moving. It is a word picture of raw carnality in opposition to His very existence:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up to vile affections, for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful, who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
There is a passage in Luke 17:28-30 that tells us of a coming time when… well, let’s see the passage:
“Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brim-stone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
When you read Genesis 18 and 19, it tells us of the saturation of Sodom with homosexuality involving every male of the city. They all, every one of them, banged on Lot’s door, demanding that he turn out those two “men” (angels) that they might “know them”!
You see the result in the Scripture report—the city was destroyed, and every person in it died. God saw the evil of the people and sent the two angels to bring judgment upon them.
Note further, however, that this passage speaks of a future time, the time of the return of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. This cannot be at the time of His Second Coming, for at the time, the judgment of the seven years of tribulation will have closed down almost all activity of “eating and drinking, buying and selling, etc.” At that time, the major concern of any people left on earth will be for survival. Read about it in Revelation chapters 8-19—hardly anything is left intact, having been devastated by the judgments of God.
It leaves us with the obvious question for this world that is plunging into the likeness of Sodom with devastating certainty: “Will you repent and accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, or continue into a like destiny of the people of Sodom?” The Scripture is clear that “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
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Daily Jot: SCOTUS nominee evasive but telling - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is taking heat from Republicans for going soft on child pornographers and refusing to define the word “woman.” Her answers to some of these questions are very straightforward as if they were coached: “I’m not a biologist,” she replied to a question about whether the “viability standard” established in Roe v Wade is arbitrary. Asked to define the word “woman,” she responded, “I’m not a biologist.” In response to a question about whether schools should teach children that they can choose their gender, Jackson answered, “Senator, I’m not making comments about what schools can teach.” All answers are evasive, but telling.
Throughout the Senate hearings on her confirmation to the Supreme Court, Jackson has answered questions claiming she doesn’t know the answer. For example, she said that she doesn’t agree that American society is irredeemably racist, but noted that she has not studied Critical Race Theory. These issues that involve children, and are likely to make their way to the Supreme Court, such as teaching Critical Race Theory and homosexuality and transgenderism to young children in government schools ought to be topics a SCOTUS nominee can discuss in depth. Jackson answered them as if she was unfamiliar with the issue. She tried repeatedly to separate her stated political beliefs from her duties as a judge.
On the question of precedent (stare decisis), Jackson said that she would determine on an individual basis whether the law should be overturned, except in the case of abortion, which she said she would rely on the precedent already established by SCOTUS. When asked if it was her understanding that under the current SCOTUS precedent that a woman had the right to abort a child up to and including the time of delivery, she replied, she’s “not aware of the court having made a pronouncement about whether or not regulation can extend all the way up until birth. I’m just not aware of that.” Asked if she believed in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion that there are physical differences between men and women, she said, “Respectfully, I am not familiar with that particular quote and case, so it is hard for me to comment.”
A Supreme Court nominee is refusing to give direct answers to pertinent questions about issues of the day. It doesn’t meet the “straight face” test that she cannot provide answers. We can see clearly from past speeches, writings and opinions that Jackson personally supports the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-transgender, pro-Critical Race Theory agenda of the extreme left. But she won’t admit to them under testimony. At face value, why would anyone accept someone to the highest court of the land that can’t define the word “woman,” won’t admit that there are physical differences between the sexes, and has no opinion on critical race theory (although she has supported it publicly)? Jeremiah 8:8 says, “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us,’ when in fact the lying pen of the scribes has produced a deception?” Indeed.
Daily Devotion: Don’t Take God’s Glory - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. —1 Corinthians 1:28–29
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/dont-take-gods-glory/ - Listen
A while back I spoke with someone who works in hospice care. She was talking with a patient who was close to entering into eternity and decided to begin reading my book Jesus Revolution to him. She said it impacted him to the point that he became a Christian.
What a wonderful thing. This woman is in a position to reach people for Jesus Christ whom I could never reach. You, too, are in a position to reach people that no one else can reach. God wants to use you. And when He does, make sure that you give Him the glory.
When the apostle Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Lystra, a man there who had been unable to walk from birth was listening to Paul preach. Paul could see that this man had the faith to be healed. So Paul said to him, “Stand up straight on your feet!” (Acts 14:10 NKJV).
And right there, this man who never had walked before jumped to his feet and began walking and leaping. This astonished the people who were watching, and they exclaimed, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” (verse 11 NKJV).
The Bible goes on to say they were planning to bring sacrifices to them. But Paul and Barnabas, tore their clothes and cried out, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God” (verse 15 NKJV).
In other words, “Don’t give us the credit! Don’t give us the glory! We are here to tell you to turn away from putting your faith in people, idols, or anything else.”
Do you want to be used by God? If you will dare to pray this prayer, you’ll find that God will answer it. Simply say, “Lord, use me today.” He just may answer sooner than you expect.
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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"On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All other ground is sinking sand."
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