IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Tribulation: Unless Those Days Are Shortened, No Flesh Will Be Saved!! - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2022/01/tribulation-unless-those-days-are.html
7 “But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.
9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.” .. (Mark 13:7-9)
There has been many prophecy teachers that have tried to explain what the coming Tribulation will be like. Many believe that we are in the tribulation right now. Surely with all the Christian persecution, the Middle East murders of the followers of Jesus Christ, the beheadings, the crucifixions, and the systematic purging of anything that looks like an aberration from what is defined as radical Islam, this must be the start of the tribulation. But they fail to understand what Jesus tried to convey when he spoke with the apostles 2000 years ago what this time period will be like.
I'm going to take a stab at trying to paint a picture for you of what the 7 years known as the Tribulation will be like, from scripture that describes a period so horrible, so demonically inspired that it will be the worst time in all of mankind's history that Jesus said in Matthew 24 in the Olivet Discourse:
21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”(Matthew 24:21-22)
Men and women of our world fail to differentiate between tribulation that has always been brought against mankind for the belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ down through the last 2000 years, and the Tribulation that Jesus speaks of. There has always been death and destruction by evil men that Satan has inspired to persecute the church of Jesus Christ. We have read of these crucifixions, beheadings, and people being burned alive at the stake by the “dark age” religious authorities, and pagan nations that condemned Christianity as an affront to their dictatorship.
Much of the confusion about the Rapture of Christ’s Church, His Bride, and when it occurs could easily be solved if we clarify what actually happens during this seven-year period. It is not just tribulation as the church has experienced during the past 2,000 years. Saints have been martyred by the thousands, sawn asunder, fed to the lions, had their own children slaughtered before their eyes, and suffered untold deprivations.
But what is coming upon the earth in possibly a few short years, or even sooner, will pale the time past of the evils of men killing other men. In short, it will be a thousand times worse. The coming destruction of mankind will be the Middle East we are seeing right now on steroids. To think that the “Tribulation” is just more of the same type of martyrdom we have seen in the past, is to miss the point of what Jesus was talking about and what scripture testifies that this time will be about. I can't fully comprehend or grasp (and I don't want to, because you would have to live it) what will be evident during this terrible time of man's last gasp of trying to rule himself and failing miserably. Let us make a short list of reasons that could possibly be coming soon to a community near you, worldwide. When Satan is allowed to rule over this earth, even for this short period, the dwellers on this earth can expect the following:
1. The number one reason, is that Satan will be cast down to earth and will be physically and paranormally here for the duration of the 7 years we know as the Tribulation.
12 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)
Satan has hated the Jewish people, as through them came Jesus Christ, and for the last 2000 years, he has raged against the Christian Bride of Christ. He has beaten up and ravaged the people of God, both Jew and Christian with a diabolically hatred that has only grown stronger as the end grows ever closer. But the last 7 years, when Satan is cast down, his rage will be unrestrained and frantic as he knows his time is very short. The Holy Spirit will be drawn back to allow him full sway over rebellious mankind and to attempt to destroy all human beings on earth.
2. Coupled with Satan being thrown down, he will have at his disposal the ability to lead billions of demons forces to torment men upon the earth.
3. as briefly mentioned in the first point, the Holy Spirit will step aside to allow Satan full sway in the destruction of mankind. 2nd Thessalonians 2: (NKJV):
7 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. \
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-10)
4. Demonic forces will be allowed to take on grotesque shapes and forms and present themselves to torment and destroy sinful men. I envision the return of the Nephilim, a hybrid of half man, half demon that in Noah's days were giants that enslaved and cannibalized other men.
5. Disease and plagues will be mutated into dark forms and there will be no cure for these diseases unleashed on the unsuspecting earth dwellers.
6. Churches will not exist and it will be suicide to meet with anyone to worship the True God of Heaven, as new converts to Christ will be hunted down for extinction.
7. Anyone taking the Mark of the Beast will take on Satan's nature and will be the enemy of all who accept Jesus Christ during this time, and will cause many to be killed, even their own family members.
8. Those who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast will be brutalized, raped, tortured and possibly cannibalized after their death.
9. It will possibly be illegal for men and women to marry, as homosexuality will be worldwide, and the family outlawed.
10. With all the disease and plagues being rampant, hospitals and clinics will be extinct, or overrun with cases, and unable to meet the demand.
11. Famine and starvation will be universal. No one will be exempt.
12. The earth will become a God forsaken hellish place to live and to die upon.
THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD
In past messages, I've tried to convey another aspect of this hellish time, when Satan will have unlimited access to destroy the dwellers of the earth, known as the nations. The Tribulation will be bad, so horrible beyond description, but will be even more horrifying to those who are actually alive on earth at this time. Oh, it will be so much more terrifying beyond your wildest nightmare, as a Righteous and Holy God has unleashed all the power of His might upon a rebellious mankind who have rejected Him and His payment for their sins, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ and His atonement written in His own blood, that God's fury is unleashed full strength. Revelation chapter 6:
14“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:14-17)
This period is the time of God’s wrath. The only precedents in history to this time are the worldwide flood of Noah’s generation and the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Of course, this event of God’s wrath will be the ultimate judgment of wickedness and will certainly surpass those two prior events as named above. The first time, destruction was by water. This time the destruction will be by fire...Jesus made it clear in Matthew 24 that this is the finale of judgment against the vileness of human sin.
OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE
The Old Testament prophets wrote of this time period through Holy Spirit inspiration when Isaiah wrote:
“Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.”(Isaiah 30:27-30).
And again Isaiah prophesied:
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that for I will tread them in mine anger and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” treadeth in the wine fat?
I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me:”(Isaiah 63:1-6).
This language has no connection with the tribulation that has been present from the beginning of the Church Age, even up until now. God Almighty will tread down evil mankind, as wine is pressed in a wine vat. God will march through His creation and destroy those who have rejected His mercy and His grace and have accepted the Mark of the Beast. His judgment will be for the rejection of his perfect judicial opportunity for man's redemption and His cup of wrath will be full to the brim of His righteous indignation for their lawlessness. God will purify this earth from either end of the earth and back in man's blood. God will wipe all rebellion and sinful men from this earth leaving no one, but a remnant that He supernaturally protects from the Anti-Christ. Many will be saved during this time, but for their belief they will be killed in many terrible ways. The death and destruction will be world- wide and the only ones that will live any length of time, are the ones who take a mark of the Beast, and their life will be short lived and will be doomed for all eternity and separated into a devil's hell.
God will judge the world because they rejected His Son and His ultimate love to man. Jesus describes this judgment Himself,
“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (Matthew 22:1-7).
If you closely read scripture that describes the scene of God's righteous indignation, then you get a glimpse of the carnage that will be on this earth, when by calculation of the billions that live on this earth right now...(estimated at over 7 billion people). 80%-90% will die in 7 short years, with the majority dying in the last 3.5 years, known as the Great Tribulation.
Can you even imagine close to 6 billion people dying in that short a time by untold acts of violence and environmental disasters? I can't and I don't want to, as I don't plan to be a witness to it for those years of man's complete hell on earth.
When the picture of this event Jesus called “The Great Tribulation” is understood Biblically, then it bears no resemblance to the present tribulation that all believers endure to some degree. The gas chambers of Hitler were hell on earth and snuffed out millions of lives. At least six million Christians died, along with six million Jews. But this judgment to come is not the death of men to yet be raised in resurrection to face God in judgment. This Tribulation is the wrath of God Himself to which there are no claims of higher appeal.
I can't even imagine what the Jewish people went through as they were systematically slaughtered and I hurt for them. But to have evil rampant in this world that you will live in and have even God Himself raining judgment down on the top of your head makes your life very short and full of misery and pain. The environment will become completely toxic with rivers and streams of blood, water becoming bitter, people dying by the millions and billions until it finally takes your own life, then I hope your imaginations can grasp the hell on earth I'm describing.
GOD'S WRATH IS AGAINST UNGODLY MEN
“For we are not appointed to wrath, but to receive salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (1st Thessalonians 5:9)
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
To those who are Pre-Tribulation rapture deniers, I ask you to show me in your Bible where God's wrath comes against His servants who are living for Him. Save yourself some trouble, as there are none. There is no place in Scriptures that this day can be identified to affect the Godly servant of the Lord. Whenever the First Testament prophets spoke of judgment, they always showed that God provided a haven for the righteous. Isaiah spoke of “a day of indignation.” He clearly revealed the provision of the Lord for the saints,
“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:19-21).
Scripture after scripture in your Bible proves that God never, ever subjects His chosen servants to His righteous wrath...and I mean NEVER. Malachi made the same argument when he wrote how God provides for His own:
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:16-18).
PRE -TRIB DENIERS
I have had individuals email me and chastise me for giving Christian's a false hope, that when the Tribulation comes, they will not be prepared. Let me explain something to those who scoff at the scriptural sound doctrine of God removing His children from this earth before the 1st seal of Revelation is broken and His wrath is unleashed. Let us think logically here for a moment as I give you a scenario and tell me what the answer is.
According to our Bibles, Jesus will come and the dead in Christ will rise first, at the last trump, and we who are alive and remain will join those who have been raised to join them in the clouds...right? (1st Thessalonians 4:15-17).
If this happens at the end of the Tribulation, and Jesus returns to do battle with those who are gathered in the valley of Megiddo and destroys all rebellion on this earth, and all who have taken the mark of the Beast, (as there will be no middle ground) will be destroyed, then my question that I have proposed many times is, who will go into the Millennium as mortal beings to repopulate the earth? See the problem? The answer is NO one will be left mortal...the only doctrine that makes sense of the return of Jesus Christ before the Tribulation even starts, as those who survive the Tribulation are saints that escaped the wrath of the Anti-Christ, or those God supernaturally protected in the wilderness according to Revelation chapter 12:14-17 and they may be all Jewish. Those are the ones who go into the Millennium alive and mortal to repopulate the earth. Now back to the subject at hand, the horror of the coming Tribulation.
SEVEN BOWLS OF THE WRATH OF GOD
If the scenario that I have painted for you isn't bad enough, and if you're a fence sitter and have not made a decision for Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior, then read Revelation chapter 16 if you really want to get into a depressive state which describes:
18 “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (Revelation 16:18-21)
Are you starting to get the picture? This earth will literally be hell on earth, where mortal men will die by the millions daily, every day for 7 years. It will be a most ghastly and horrific time that my words cannot even begin to address in any adjectives that conveys the extreme pain and suffering that men will do to one another in their evil ways, and a Holy God who will purge this earth of every sinful, rebellious man and woman left alive on this earth. It will be near total destruction that Jesus said, if it were allowed to continue to its climax, “no flesh would be saved, but for the elect (tribulation saints) the days would be shortened”. (Matthew 24:22) God will rescue the last remaining humans alive to prevent man totally destroying the righteous remnant left.
Now some will say, “Hey, Pastor, are you trying to preach hell fire and brimstone?”...my answer is yes, to a point. The intent is to get a sane individual to weigh and think upon what I'm describing. No sane individual that values their own mortal life would want to live through what I'm describing briefly and live out its details in real time. I really do hope I scare the “living daylights out of you” or as some say tongue in cheek, “Scaring hell right out of of you”, as that is what mankind left on this earth is headed for, hell on earth. If I was living this horror that's coming, I would have prayed someone would have scared me enough for me to think on my eternal future. Are you thinking about it? What is the answer to avoid such a horrible end of one's life? It's right in front of you, if you have your bible in your lap…His name is Jesus!!
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, God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be save.” (John 3:16-17)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (his name is Jesus)(Acts 4:12,)
“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” (2nd Timothy 1:9)
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”(Mark 16:16,)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Lest any man should boast.”(Ephesians 2:8-9 )
God our Father is long suffering not willing that any should perish, but also is a Holy and just God that will repay those who have rejected His free gift given in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. I will close with a scripture that identifies our God who is a God of love, but a God of judgment when His righteous wrath finally is poured out on this earth…and my friend, it is soon. Paul the apostle echoes Isaiah when he spoke of God as a consuming fire:
25: “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27:And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28:Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29: For our God is a consuming Fire”( Hebrews 12: 25-29)
I pray I have shaken you, made you feel uncomfortable, and unsettled your mind and spirit while in your refusal of the free gift of grace given by God, because my friend, the coming Tribulation will be a horror that I pray you miss out finding out about. Repent and turn to Jesus while the time and chance is available this side of the Tribulation. Jesus could come any moment and without warning.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, pleading for your acceptance of the free gift of our Lord Jesus Christ and your salvation. If I can be of any assistance, either in counseling, prayer, or just a friendly, listening ear, drop me a line at email@example.com , God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET!
Bennett to surround Israel’s borders with wall of lasers; A ‘Biblical Pillar of fire’ that protected Israelites from Egypt - Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.israel365news.com/265877/bennett-to-surround-israels-borders-with-wall-of-lazers-a-biblical-pillar-of-fire-that-protected-israelites-from-egypt/
On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel will be fast-tracking the development of a laser defense system that will be used to defend against attacks from Gaza and Hezbollah. The lasers, using an autonomous detection and tracking system, will superheat drones and rockets which the developers claim will catch on fire within a few seconds. The system will supplement the Iron Dome that operates against short-range projectiles with the lasers concentrating on smaller projectiles.
The Defense Ministry said the laser uses a “highly advanced optical targeting system, with tracking capabilities and artificial intelligence” to locate a target “at highly precise levels of accuracy.”
Israel also uses David’s Sling and Arrow systems against long-range ballistic missiles.
“Within a year already the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will bring into action a laser-based interception system, first experimentally, and later operationally, first in the south, then in other places,” he said in a speech at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “And this will enable us, as the years advance, to surround Israel with a wall of lasers which will protect us from missiles, rockets, UAVs and other threats.”
The new laser-based system will drastically reduce the cost of defending against the frequent rocket attacks that target Israeli cities. The Iron Dome systems deployed around Israel to protect its cities cost $50 million per battery and $100,000–150,000 per interception. Hamas fires low-tech missiles that are inexpensive and inaccurate.
Last May, over 4,600 projectiles were fired at Israeli cities from Gaza. The Lebanese Hezbollah terror group is believed to maintain an arsenal of some 130,000 rockets, missiles intended to wipe out Israeli cities.
“The equation will be overturned – they will invest much, and we little,” Bennett said. “If we can intercept a missile or rocket with an electrical pulse that costs a few dollars, we will essentially neutralize the ring of fire that Iran has set up … This new generation of air defense can also serve our friends in the region, who are also exposed to grave threats from Iran and its proxies.”
Another benefit of the laser system is that the Iron Dome has a limited number of responses based on the number of missiles in the battery. As long as there is a constant source of energy for the laser, there is also no risk of ever running out of ammunition.
When he heard of the innovation, Rabbi Aryeh Weingarten was unsurprised.
BIBLICAL PILLAR OF FIRE
“Innovations and inventions are simply the mind of Man reflecting the aspect of God that is in nature,” he said. “Bennett’s vision of a ‘wall of lasers’ is a reflection of the Biblical pillar of fire that accompanied the Children of Israel in their Exodus, protecting the Jews from Egyptian arrows.”
The Israel Bible described the pillar in a manner that modern missile defense systems would do well to emulate:
According to Rashi, the pillar of cloud that led the Jewish people in the desert during the day moved behind the camp, and obscured the Egyptians’ vision as they progressed in their bloodthirsty pursuit of the Jewish people. The cloud protected Israel as they fled and absorbed the arrows shot by the Egyptians at the fleeing nation. Today, the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces are a pillar of defense, shielding Israel from her enemies. May the God of Israel continue to protect His people through His modern-day pillar of defense, just as He did long ago.
Rabbi Weingarten very much appreciates the use of technology in protecting Israel having served in a tank division in the 1982 war in Lebanon.
“In the time of the geula (redemption), God will be apparent in nature,” Rabbi Weingarten said. “This was certainly true in the Exodus with the plagues and the splitting of the sea. As the final redemption approaches, God will again be apparent in nature, which we call technology. That is why in these final days, technology is advancing at such a rapid pace so that God’s total glory can be revealed in ways we never imagined before.”
“Until not so long ago, people could never imagine what it meant that God sees their every move and hears their every thought. Now, people are doing this themselves so of course, God can as well. When the Midrash spoke about the pillar of fire burning up arrows in mid-flight, people could not believe it could actually happen. And here we are, actually doing it.”
“But these miraculous revelations bring their own pitfalls. They are wondrous but it is a sin to see that they are miracles or divine. They are merely reflections of God and we should concentrate on Him, knowing that it is God and not lasers, that protect Israel.”
“Only then will we have the eyes to see the Messiah.”
The system being developed by Israel’s Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems was previously predicted to be ready for service in 2025. A 100-kilowatt prototype with a range of 12.5 miles was predicted at that time. Elbit currently makes C-Music, a defense system fitted to aircraft which uses a laser to “blind” incoming missiles. An airborne version would have an advantage because it could be operated over clouds, eliminating bad-weather disruptions that can afflict ground-based laser systems.
The Defense Ministry has been testing the laser-based defense system for several years, shooting down several drones with a ground-based version last year that could reportedly down missiles and mortars at a range of 5-6 miles with a 100% success rate.
Another consideration is that the Iron Dome makes Israel dependent on foreign assistance due to the high cost. This dependence was highlighted in September when House Democrats removed $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system from a funding bill. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were shocked at the initiative to fund a purely defensive system.
One defense official told Channel 12 the announcement amounted to “throwing up sand in the public’s face.”
“We’ll continue to move forward with the process responsibly. It will take several years until it’s operational,” he said.
Snakes on a Plain - by Bill Perkins - https://compass.org/snakes-on-a-plain/
With only seven months to go before Israel’s 40-year penalty of wandering in the desert would be completed, Moses needed only to travel due east from Kadesh to the well-established King’s Highway.
From there he could travel due north to secure the east side of the Jordan Valley and then make his famous viewing from Mount Nebo.
But the King of Edom blocked Moses from traveling on the King's Highway. God had earlier warned Moses not to provoke the Edomites (Esau’s ancestors) to war (Deut 2:9).
So, Moses was true to the Lord’s commandment and would not take the shortest and easiest route through Edom and up the King's Highway.
Then, even though Israel wins a couple of small battles with the Canaanites to the north, Moses decides neither the northern route or the eastern route is an option to get to Nebo. So, he chooses to go around Edom.
To circumvent Edom meant traveling south all the way down to the Red Sea and then traveling north again on the east side of Edom (Pink line on map).
This long, dusty, dry detour did not sit well with the new generation of Israelites. Like their ancestors, they forgot God was in charge and they became rebellious against Him and complained about the food and water.
God hates the sin of rebellion, equating it with following Satan instead of Jehovah God.
“For rebellion is as the sin of divination [witchcraft]” 1Sam. 15:23a
The Israelites were rebelling against the Lord even though they had been taught about God’s miracles of protection for Israel—sending the 10 plagues on Egypt, parting the Red Sea and providing food and water in the desert.
They had even personally witnessed Moses getting water from the rock, just like their parents witnessed 40 years earlier (Num. 20:11).
They even saw the miracle on their bodies as their clothes and shoes never wore out for 40 years (Deut. 29:5).
But despite knowing all that, their sinful nature got the best of them and they rebelled against God. That apparently was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Snakes on the Plain
So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them.
The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. Num. 21:6
All of the sudden food was less of an issue than the killer snakes. They quickly repented of their sinful disobedience and pleaded with Moses to intercede with God on their behalf to stop the snakes from killing them.
The Lord heard their prayers and instructed Moses to symbolically place a snake on a flagstaff and lift it up. God explained that if a snake bit a person, all they had to do was look at the snake on the pole and the person would live.
Jesus referred to the snake-on-a-pole story in the sentence just before the famous John 3:16 salvation passage:
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
Jesus equated the snake on the pole with our salvation. He’s saying that we don’t have to do anything to be saved, we only have to look to Jesus Who was lifted up on the cross to pay for our sin.
God is also making the point that salvation is not complicated. It’s really pretty simple—just believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins so you could live.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2Cor. 11:3
In Moses' day, there were about two million Jews wandering in the wilderness when the snakes began to kill people. I’m sure there were those who didn’t believe the snake on the pole would save them and when bitten, they died.
But those who did believe God, and by faith looked to the pole to save them, lived.
I’m sure there were many who were walking in the very back of the two million Israelites who couldn’t even see the snake on the pole. But if they were bitten and looked toward the pole by faith, they were saved.
It’s interesting that God didn’t remove the snakes, He just made a provision for the death bite. Just like God didn’t remove Satan when he fell, He just made a provision if we, by faith, look to the Cross to save us from the death bite of sin.
Oh, there will definitely be ramifications for sin in our lives during our post-salvation walk toward Biblical maturity. We’ll reap what we sow. But thankfully our eternal salvation is always secure.
Once we look by faith and believe what Jesus did for us on His lifted-up cross, we're born again, eternally saved. Our continued salvation is not based on anything we DO, but only on what He DID.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7
So our most precious gift from God is that we can’t mess up what Jesus did for us. When we die, we win. Nothing can change that.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing [which would include ourselves], will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39
Today we don't have to worry about God getting fed up with our sin and sending snakes to kill us. Jesus took the penalty on Himself. When the Lord looks at us today, he doesn't see our sin. Rather, He sees a clean and righteous person.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins [past, present and future] may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19
Praise the Lord for such amazing grace!
For additional scriptures and explanation of how and why our past, present and future sins are not counted against us, watch this week's Compass TV presentation, "Nailed to the Cross." by J.B. Hixson.
Treasure the Things of God - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you treasure? Gold? Silver? Jewels? We all have things we wouldn’t want to lose, but many of our treasures are “dust catchers” sit on a shelf, to be admired. That dust catcher might be a treasured family Bible that never gets opened, so the treasure to be found inside is never discovered. These doodads and knick-knacks mean a lot to us, even though they probably don’t have a high monetary value. It’s the sentimental value that matters with them. Maybe you have a token from a carnival where you fell in love on the Merry-Go-Round, or a scenic picture on your refrigerator of a field with a green sky and purple grass that was painstakingly drawn by a 5-year-old artist. We see these things as treasures. The dictionary will usually define treasure in terms of valuable metals and jewels. But true treasure is found in Heaven. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is very valuable. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44. Do you value your eternal life? Do you treat your salvation like a figurine on a shelf that you take out occasionally and dust off? You cannot earn your salvation by working for it. Jesus paid the ultimate price for you to spend eternity with Him, but you can show your appreciation for what He did for you. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1. Maybe you can show your appreciation by putting fear aside and sharing the Gospel with others, or maybe you can take a stand and roll out of bed in time to attend worship service with other believers. Sitting in a pew won’t bring salvation, but it will be a witness to others of your faith. Treasure your life in Christ and the things of God.
Scripture gives us a foundation for our faith, and we need to build our life upon the solid Rock that is Christ. “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Paul wasn’t promoting a works-based faith, but rather a love-based faith. Faith that does all things for the Lord with a happy heart. The treasure of gold, silver, and precious stones are things we have done for God with no thought of a reward on earth. The wood, hay, and stubble are things we have done for our own glory or comfort. A Christians works will be judged at the Bema Seat, and our works that were done with selfish motives will burn. Only the valuable treasure of works done for Christ will last, and they will bring eternal rewards.
James also understood that earthly treasures are temporary and not really all that valuable. “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” James 5:1-3. His words are true. Many people spend their lives buying things they don’t really need, such as over-priced cars, big homes, fancy clothes, and more. These things can make life more comfortable, but if this is what you live for, then you treasure the wrong things. You need to turn your focus to eternal things, things that cannot be corrupted in this fallen world. We do need things, but a vehicle that gets you from point A to point B, is a lot more valuable than a Porsche that you’re afraid to drive because it might get rusty or dented. If you have the money to buy a Porsche, wouldn’t it be better to buy a car that is less expensive, then use the money you save to do God’s work. Maybe you could pick up an elderly neighbor and drive her to worship service, or to a doctor’s appointment. That’s how you store up riches in heaven.
When Jesus walked among men, He showed us the example of how we are to behave, but He also taught us what we are to value. He didn’t gather to Himself wealth. His life and teaching about treasures should be studied by every “name it and claim it” teacher. It isn’t earthly treasure we should seek, but heavenly treasure. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21. True treasure has nothing to do with monetary value, but it has everything to do with how you serve the Lord. After Jesus said to lay up treasures in heaven, He taught about how the lilies don’t worry about how they are adorned, but not even Solomon, who did store riches on earth, was arrayed with such glory. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for you heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:31-33. This doesn’t mean we aren’t to hold a job, and earn a living. If you have a job and your bills are paid, that’s a blessing from the Lord. God provides for your needs and will open doors for you to earn a living. Just be sure your treasure isn’t in what expensive thing you can buy. Jesus walked wherever He went. He didn’t even have a pony cart to travel in. He treasured people and was more concerned for their souls than for His own comfort. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. Treasure the things of God, not the things of this world.
How do we seek the kingdom of God? We submit ourselves to Him. We study Scripture, then apply it to our life. If we begin to covet what other people have, or if we place anything ahead of our love for God, then we need to stop and ask ourself what we truly treasure. Do we treasure the kingdom of God and our salvation that He died to purchase for us, or do we treasure things that will be left to others when we die? Make no mistake, we all will die someday, and the only things that will matter to us then are the things we did for Christ. We are to be good stewards of the money God allows us to have, we are to love our neighbor, but we are also to honor God with our lives. In the last talk that Jesus had with His disciples before His crucifixion, He said “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. Earlier in that same talk, Jesus told them “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. Do you hold to that commandment? If you love your fellow Christians you will want to spend time with them. You will encourage them in their walk with Christ, and they will encourage you. This is treasure that cannot rust or decay. If your fellowship is with worldly people who do not honor God and who move you away from a right walk with Christ, then there is no value in that fellowship. Treasure the things of God and keep your heart turned to Christ.
What should you treasure? Treasure your salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Treasure the love of God and share it with others. Treasure the gift of life God gave you. Treasure the fruit from the Holy Spirit and cultivate it. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23. Treasure your brothers and sisters in Christ and don’t forsake fellowship with them. “And consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25. Parents influence their children, so take your children to Sunday school. Lead by example and show them your treasure is of God, not of the world. Fathers are a great influence over the children, but if the father in the household doesn’t move his family closer to the treasures of Heaven, then the mother needs to step up and teach the children about Heavenly treasure.
Treasure the things of God,
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: When information is the misinformation - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Democrats in Congress are pushing a bill called the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).” The legislation would enable big media companies to strike deals with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech giants that would prioritize their content to the detriment of podcasters, YouTubers, Substack authors, and other forms of independent media. The bill, S. 673, is being proffered in the Senate and its purpose is: “To provide a temporary safe harbor for publishers of online content to collectively negotiate with dominant online platforms regarding the terms on which content may be distributed.” It is allowing the marriage of big media and big tech to control information to the public.
The bill excludes journalists and news organizations that do not have “a dedicated professional editorial staff that creates and distributes original news and related content concerning local, national, or international matters of public interest on at least a weekly basis.” This means that small independent journalists that do not have dedicated staff would be shut out of the information flow. In short, this is an attack on First Amendment rights to a free press. The bill would create a national news cartel that, in collaboration with big tech like Facebook, Google and Twitter, can control the vast majority of information flow to society. In short, it would attempt to codify into law what has played out in real-time with the current censorship of dissenting opinion on corporate media news coverage.
A good example is just one part of the COVID-19 campaign. The COVID “vaccine” was pushed through for Emergency Use Authorization. Immediately, the government and corporate media sold the serum to the public as “safe and effective.” The government line was that the vaccine would prevent people from getting or transmitting COVID 19. Within weeks, the “vaccine” was found to neither prevent infection or transmission of COVID 19. Within months, the side effects of the “vaccine” are revealing that it is not safe for many people, especially pregnant women and children. Yet, the government and the media vilify and denounce those with dissenting credible studies, many using the government’s own statistics. Big tech works in conjunction with government and big media to censor this honest and accurate dissent as “misinformation.”
Other examples revealing the same pattern are the Russian Hoax and Ukrainian reporting that resulted in President Trump’s impeachments; the Chinese enrichment connection with the Bidens; the investigation and reporting of the January 6 Capitol Hill protests; and the list goes on an on. The Democrats want to legalize these big corporate conglomerates to control information, and ultimately control what you think and believe. Anything else, especially dissent against their leftist ideals, is misinformation. In reality, their information is the real misinformation. Their bill undermines freedom. Christ said in John 8:31-32 to continue in his word, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Freedom is found in and maintained by truth. These politicians want to suppress truth, so they can oppress you.
Daily Devotion: Get Busy! - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ —John 1:29
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/get-busy/ - Listen
Simon and Andrew had been disciples of John the Baptist, who came before Christ, preparing the way. But one day Jesus walked by, and John said to them, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV).
As a result, Simon and Andrew transferred their allegiance from John to Jesus, but they still didn’t fully understand who Jesus was or what He had come to do.
The Bible also mentions James and John, to whom Jesus gave a special title: “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17 NKJV). I sort of envision James and John as outlaw biker types who showed up one day, and Jesus called them to be part of the team.
Certainly, His disciples were an eclectic group of people. But it’s important to note that all of these men were doing something when Jesus called them. Andrew was throwing a net into the water along with Simon. And James and John were in a boat repairing their nets.
We see the same elsewhere in Scripture. David, who later became the king of Israel, was watching over his flock when the prophet Samuel summoned him. Moses, too, was watching over a flock when God spoke to him through a burning bush. Elisha was plowing in a field when Elijah called him to carry on the prophetic ministry.
People were busy when God called them.
In the same way, if you want God to use you in His kingdom, then get busy doing something for Him. Just start with what is in front of you. Mend and cast those nets, so to speak. Tend those sheep. Plow those fields. Teach that Sunday school class. Go on that mission trip. Share one on one. Give that tithe.
Just get out and do something. Do what you can, where you can.
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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