Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
End of the Age and the Eternal City of God - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2021/01/end-of-age-and-eternal-city-of-god.html
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
Finally, the end of this present world passes away. We have seen down through the ages of the reign of mankind, that it has been fraught with evil and mankind's inability to rule themselves with any given success. Jesus came to rescue those who would believe on His Name and come to Him in faith for Him to apply mercy and grace.
This lasted for 2000 years or the Age of Grace, until the Tribulation started and the finishing of the age of the law, known as Jacob's trouble. We have believed that God will separate His chosen Bride away from His coming wrath and bring us to heaven. We have seen the destruction and the rebellion of mankind against God's Anointed, God's Only Son. Until mankind was given a brief respite from all the evil found in this world for a Millennium. As we saw in the last study of Revelation 19 and 20, Jesus came and was victorious over the Beast power, the last dictator of the world, the false prophet who deceived the whole of the nations, and laid waste to the vast army gathered into the Valley of Jehoshaphat or commonly called Megiddo/Jezreel and blood rose up about 5-6 feet deep and in a valley that is 184 miles long and 5 miles wide.
But that was not the end of it, because Satan was loosed for a little season and deceived those who just could not stand to be ruled, even righteously by a sovereign Lord God on earth and came against the Holy City of God's Throne in Jerusalem and fire came down and destroyed them all. We saw where Satan was again grabbed by strong angels and cast into the Lake of Fire, no more to deceive mankind, and God has changed all who dwell on the earth found in Jesus Christ into Spirit being of flesh and bone, just as was when He appeared to His apostles nearly 3000+ years ago and from this point we start the coming chapters that speak of the glory that is coming for all who have received grace through faith from God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH
If you read the above verses slowly and meditate on what the word picture John is attempting to convey, it is beyond the scope of our imagination and no one at this point in this mortal life can fully comprehend the spectacular view the apostle John sees and witnesses, and now becomes real to all who stand back and watch God in action. Can you even envision the power that will be displayed, when God wipes away this old rock we have lived on for many ages in the past, and rolls the heavens back like a scroll, and creates everything brand new?? The earth was made for mankind, and the Garden of Eden was a paradise, but this coming New World and heavens are for the Saints of God, including His bride and all who have believed on our God, in faith, and the glory is beyond anything we can fully comprehend. The prophets down through the ages have spoken of this time in particular that we will see with our own eyes.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create a Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)
“Of old, You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes all of them will grow old like a garment, like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.” (Psalm 102:25-27)
“Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:12-13)
It’s worth remembering that the new heaven referred to doesn’t mean the heaven where God is enthroned. The Bible uses the word heaven in three senses. The first heaven is the earth’s atmosphere, the “blue sky.” The second heaven is outer space, the “night sky.” The third heaven is the place where God lives in glory. When the Scriptures speak of a new heaven, they mean a new “blue sky” and a new “night sky,” not a new heaven where God dwells.
WHAT IS THIS NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH?
New heaven . . . new earth: The ancient Greek word translated new here (kaine) means “new in character, ‘fresh’.” It doesn’t mean “recent” or “new in time.” This isn’t just the next heaven and the next earth; this is the better heaven and better earth replacing the old (the first earth had passed away).
There are those who disagree, thinking this old earth will never pass away, but God says that He will make all things brand new, not revise it, but completely burn up with fervent heat of what was, so that He may bring to pass what the ancient Hebrew word for “create” (bara) means to “create out of nothing,” instead of re-fashioning existing material that the Old Testament prophets spoke of.
THE SAINTS FUTURE HOME
John sees the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and the city is adorned in glory, as a new bride before her husband. Never has God the Father been on this earth since, at least I believe, Adam and Eve committed sin, but now that is all changed. The Tabernacle of God comes down from heaven, and the Ancient of Days, our ABBA Father takes His place among His adopted children and there will be no more pain, suffering, sorrows or tears, as all things of this mortal age has passed away.
5 “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:5-7)
God the Father and God the Son, will reign eternally from the New Jerusalem, and both are of the beginning and the end. Remember that Jesus said that God the Father and the Son “Are ONE”....They have always been and the mortal mind cannot comprehend the infinite with the finite mind, but we will some glorious day coming. I have contemplated the Divine and tried to understand how God and the Son were One from eternity. It's to me, and I could be totally wrong, as I am limited just as you are, but mankind is body, soul and spirit, just as God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit but as we are one within ourselves, He is One within Himself. I am reminded of what John wrote in the Gospels concerning who Jesus is and was..
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
What are we to make of this? Jesus who is God everlasting, was with God and they both were God. Note that God is Spirit and it speaks of the seven spirits of God meaning in its completeness. God spoke and it was done. God stepped out of eternity and His spirit became flesh lowering Himself to be a servant for the suffering of death for our salvation. Jesus was a brand new man when He arose from the dead. He was not like Adam to be perishable and mortal, but an entirely new “prototype” of a New Man that we will be as well.
2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1st John 3:2-3)
And when He returned to the Father who sent His Spirit to indwell inside Mary and live till He died at 33.5 years old on Roman cross of torture and death, then Jesus returned to be what He had always been, but different, as He now was a Spiritual “Man” who was fully God and reclaimed His glory that was from the beginning. Like I said, it is beyond my scope and ability to fully comprehend. As the Prophet Isaiah wrote under Holy Spirit direction:
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
That is my feeble attempt to comprehend God the Father, God the Son who is God the Holy Spirit and they are ONE, but three. We can't make heads or tails of the belief, but God said it, and He will explain it in the sweet by and by.
8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:8-10)
Verse 8 is self explanatory, as there will NEVER be evil on the new earth or the new heavens, as they have all been cast into the Lake of Fire and will never be let out of their separation from God or their torment. It is their second death.
But here the angels that were responsible for unleashing the wrath of God in the bowl judgment beckon John to show him the New Jerusalem. The text speaks of the Lamb's wife, but to me, it is a metaphor of the glory that it shines as a New Bride on her wedding day. She will be the home eternal of God's children and the Bride of Christ.
11 “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:11-14)
The description is beyond belief, as the city is adorned with jewels of the color of the rainbow, and is laden with gold. The gates are one huge pearl each, that is mostly like pure white and the foundation the names of the twelve apostles who started where Jesus left off and spread the Gospel far and wide where it spread as a wild fire over the whole earth. This is the Jerusalem of hope (Hebrews 12:22), the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26), the place of our real citizenship (Philippians 3:20).
15 “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” (Revelation 21:15-20)
The size of this city of God is, for a lack of a better word, HUGE. It is 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide, and 1500 miles high. Some say it would be covering the land mass from Florida to Maine, and Charlotte to St. Louis, if they were still present, and rise 1500 miles high. Some have suggested that it will be a low flying satellite to orbit the new earth, but we don't even know how big this new earth will be, and there will be no more land divisions of seas. And we don't need oxygen to breath, as we are spirits and the universe will by our oyster. What a glorious thought. John attempts to describe the beauty that will be present and the colors of precious stones will adorn the walls, line the streets of pure gold and the gold will be so pure that it will be near transparent, like crystal.
“This is the greatest glory of heaven, and the ultimate restoration of what was lost in the Fall.
“I do not think the glory of Eden lay in its grassy walks, or in the boughs bending with luscious fruit-but its glory lay in this, that the ‘Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day.’ Here was Adam’s highest privilege, that he had companionship with the Most High.” (C. Spurgeon)
So shall we, the children of God and we will inherit all things.
21 “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Revelation 21:21-29)
John continues with the description of this Holy City, trying to impress on the reader the grandeur, the glory, and the eternal nature of this city. It will be a new star in the heavens, as the light of God will be its light that is brighter than many suns. It is done! God’s eternal purpose in Jesus is now accomplished.
9 “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ”.(Ephesians 1:9-11)
This has all been fulfilled: as the verses above testify, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him. At this point, all things have been resolved or summed up in Jesus – it is done!
This city is beyond earthly description. She has room for everyone that ever believed on the Name of our Lord. That is how big she is. There will be no temple, no church, no place of worship, save the throne of God as the Father and the Lamb of God are the glory within this city and their light shines to the end of the universe and back.
CHAPTER 22: THE RIVER OF LIFE AND THE TREE OF LIFE
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:1-4)
The description of what is in store for the children of God is beyond glorious. Here the river of life, and the tree of life, that was in the Garden of Eden is restored to God's people.
A pure river of water of life: Through the Old Testament, prophets used the picture of a river as a powerful expression of richness, provision, and peace (Isaiah 48:18, Zechariah 14:8, Ezekiel 47:1-9).
Or, as expressed by the Psalmist in Psalm 46:4-5:
“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”
From the throne of God and of the Lamb: This river of provision comes right from God’s throne. Because it comes from God, it cannot be anything other than pure and abundant.
Ezekiel saw a glorious river (Ezekiel 47) flow down from the temple in Jerusalem and into the sea, but that river belongs to the millennial earth. It is perhaps the final preview of this heavenly river. This is a better river with better trees.
“One of the gladdest things on earth is water. There is nothing in all the world so precious to the eye and the imagination of the inhabitant of the dry, burning and thirsty East, as a plentiful supply of bright, pure, and living water.” (Seiss)
Matthew Poole wrote that this idea of this river was “To let us know, that in heaven there shall be no want of any thing that can make the saints happy.”
Verse 4 reveals that sin will be eradicated, as there is no more tempter of the people. And we will not have the ability to sin and submit to the will of the deceiver or to our prior evil ways.
“Henceforth, eternal praises to his name, the throne of God is the throne of the Lamb. It is a throne of righteousness, but no less a throne of grace. There, on the throne of the Almighty, mercy reigns. According to the merit of the sacrifice and the virtue of the atonement all the statutes and decrees of the kingdom of heaven are issued. The altar and the throne have become identical. From that throne no fiery bolt can ever again be hurled against the believer, for it is the throne of the Lamb as well as the throne of God.” (Spurgeon)
We will gladly submit to the will of God. And God will be among His people and His name shall be in their foreheads. Does this mean that it will be a brand, or that the thoughts of God and His glory will be foremost in our minds?. Everything will and always has been about Him. Here we will concentrate all our efforts to be the children, the obedient children of a wise and Living God as we will see His face, and we will have a personal one on one relationship with Him. NO barriers, no limitations, and no hindrances to come into His presence, as He will never tire, and since He never tires, neither will we. We will be as Paul said:
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.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16-19)
As John describes what he sees, it is something hard to understand and visualize, as the street has a river going down it, much as the canals of Holland have flowing water, but this water will be beyond anything we have seen in this life. There will be trees lining this street that will produce fruit every month. I see them be diverse and being better than apples, plums, or orange trees. Etc., but a fruit that will make the people of God gloriously happy and the water will be clear as crystal and we will never thirst. Some people wonder if we will eat in heaven. The best answer is that we can eat, but will not have to. In His resurrection body, Jesus enjoyed food (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14).
Angels ate with Abraham (Genesis 18:6-8). The great heavenly reunion between Jesus and His people is described as a marriage supper (Revelation 19:9). Even though man fell by what he ate, God will still allow us to eat in heaven.
Like the golden table of showbread which ever stood in the ancient Tabernacle and Temple for the priests to eat, so the Tree of Life stands in all the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, with its monthly fruit for the immortal king-priests of heaven.
We shall be able to enjoy food, because we will be flesh and bone, just as Jesus was, as He had no blood and needed none, as His life force was the Spirit of God. It will be the new source of our life as well.
5 “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:5-7)
The world we will live on will be totally different than the one we see now. There will be no sun for heat and light, as God will be the Light of our world and our universe. We shall reign with God forever and ever and one would be unable to even imagine what our duties will be in this new world. We will be able to go from planet to planet, or star to star in a flash. The universe will be our oyster and I don't believe there will be any limits to what we as God's Children will be able to accomplish. Who knows what other worlds there are out in the cosmos. Does anyone think that an eternal God has only created one species of life found only on our planet? God has always been and is always creating. Will He also allow us to help Him create and manage the affairs of other worlds?? This is questions that cannot be answered just yet, but God will not be idle, and neither will we.
The idea of sitting on a cloud strumming a harp is foolishness, as we will never tire and we will live forever. What can be accomplished in all of eternity. Does that make anyone get a little excited about the promise of our future? I know it does me.
8 “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 22:8-10)
Thus God is closing down this apocalyptic book and gives warning and admonitions to those who read these words. John falls down to worship the one who is showing him these things, as just as he had before, this elder admonishes him not to do so, as he is a fellowservant and of they brethren the prophets. This elder is a glorified man who has been showing John what is in store for those who believe on Jesus Christ and are adopted into the the family of God and it is almost too much for him to handle and he worships out of turn, and the elder says “Worship God”.
11 “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:11-12)
It is a warning to all those who read this book, no matter what part of time they inhabit and when and how they come to read this passage. But God says that He is coming quickly and will reward all those who have done works for the Kingdom of God and for His Son, Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the Bema Judgment seat of Christ when Jesus gives rewards for those things done in His Name and they stand forever. But everything else will be burned up.
10 “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.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 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.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:10-15)
Each man and woman will receive reward for service in His Name, and some will rule many cities, and some just a community based on their service. But we all we be rewarded eternal life and would not anyone think that is a reward enough? The rest will be gravy and beyond our scope of understanding. It will be that glorious that no one, not even John could fully use the words enough to describe what is in store for us. The Amplified Bible uses adjectives that flesh out the King James version to describe this:
“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].” (2nd Corinthians 2:9)
13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:13-16)
As Jesus told John at the very beginning, it is He who is doing the revealing of what will be the final reward of the righteous, right along with the wicked. God will eradicate from His presence all wickedness and separate them from Him for all eternity. Some call that hell, or the Lake of Fire. But to have no hope, and nothing that anyone can call good for all eternity, is beyond the description of hell. It is the second death. Jesus is the bright and morning Star and He has revealed to all of us what is coming. From the beginning of the Tribulation, to the Millennial reign, to the beginning of eternity that will have no end.
I find the closing verses of this chapter most revealing of who it is that Jesus speaks to and who will be preeminent in the New World. As The Bride of Christ along with the Spirit of God beckons to all who read this message.
17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:17-21)
The Bride of Christ is already in heaven, even before the foundation of this world. God knew who would be His bride, who would love Him and come to Him, and who would do His commandments, because of this love for our Bridegroom and our Savior. Each beckons to all who will not be the bride YET, but can be part of that heavenly body before the end of this Age of Grace which is close at hand. Would you like to experience all the blessings that I have described in these last two chapters? Or would you rather experience the horror, the wrath, and eternal destruction from a God who takes vengeance against all unrighteousness? The choice is definitely up to each individual. No one can coerce anyone to accept anything, as each of us have our own free will. Choose today who you will serve. Either the gods on the other side of the flood, (paganism), or serve the Living God? As Joshua said “
15"If it is disagreeable in your site to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day who you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
The choice is yours, my friend, but the ability to choose life is so easy that a child can do it...it comes down to two simple passages, not counting all the others that say the same thing.
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)
Let that confession flow into all the world and make others know that Jesus has become your Lord. As God will proclaim those who do not deny His Name to the Father in heaven, but deny those who do.
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, witnessing to you that this earth in its evil form is about to be consumed. Do not be left behind when Jesus comes for the Church, as the alternative is fraught with pain and suffering. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or vist me online for more biblical lessons that proclaim the nearnes of our Lord. God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
The Great Debate About America’s Future - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/the-great-debate-about-americas-future/
Are you surprised by America’s sudden meltdown? Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed the greatest public health crisis in 100 years, the lockdowns that were instituted to control the pandemic resulted in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, widespread civil unrest erupted in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and has not stopped since, and now we are witnessing the greatest political turmoil since the Civil War. Despite all of this chaos, many Americans remain absolutely convinced that the greatest days of the United States are still ahead of us. To them, the current problems we are facing are just minor bumps in the road that will soon be resolved as we continue to steamroll toward an incredibly glorious future.
Personally, I don’t see how this makes any sense at all, but there are millions upon millions of people out there that actually believe this.
Of course millions of other Americans believe that we will surely reap what we have sown. More than 60 million unborn Americans have been slaughtered since 1973, just about every form of wickedness that you can possibly imagine is absolutely exploding in our society, and we continue to push God out of every aspect of public life.
Does it make any sense that God would bless us more than ever before when we have completely and utterly rejected Him as a nation?
Once upon a time America was a Christian nation, but that is definitely not the case anymore. But for those that still claim to be Christians, a great debate about the future destiny of our nation has been raging, and recent events have brought that debate to the forefront.
On one side are believers that are convinced that these are the end times that are described in the Bible. Jesus warned us that the times just before His return would be the most difficult in all of human history, but He didn’t want us to be afraid. He wanted us to know that He knew about all of these things in advance, that He has a plan, and that He is in control.
In Matthew 24, Jesus warned us that there would be “pestilences” in the last days. Of course we are already going through the COVID pandemic, but in my new book I explain that much worse is coming.
The Bible also speaks of economic turmoil in the last days, and that definitely kicked into high gear in 2020. Americans filed more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits, and that was the worst year in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. In my new book I warn that things will continue to unravel and that eventually conditions will become so dire that we will actually see famine in the United States.
In the book I also have an entire chapter on civil unrest. So many people have had supernatural experiences in which they were shown the great civil unrest that would come to America, and now civil unrest is in the headlines on a daily basis.
Moving forward, there will be more wars, unprecedented natural disasters, nightmarish plagues and great chaos all over the globe.
But despite all of the signs that have already been fulfilled, many Christians absolutely refuse to believe that these are the end times. Instead, they are absolutely convinced that we are headed directly into times that will be more glorious than ever before.
So why do so many believe this?
Well, it is because of a relatively new theology that has been spreading like wildfire in recent years. It is called “Kingdom Now theology”, and this is how it is described on a Christian apologetics website called “Got Questions”…
Kingdom Now theology is a theological belief within the Charismatic movement of Protestant Christianity, mainly in the United States. Kingdom Now proponents believe that God lost control over the world to Satan when Adam and Eve sinned. Since then, the theology goes, God has been trying to reestablish control over the world by seeking a special group of believers—known variously as “covenant people,” “overcomers,” or “Joel’s army”—and that through these people, social institutions (including governments and laws) would be brought under God’s authority. The belief is that, since believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth; we have the power to believe for and speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age.
At the heart of this theology is a belief that things are going to steadily get better and better as Christians progressively take over every realm of society.
Ultimately, proponents of this theology believe that Christians will eventually take over literally everything and establish God’s Kingdom on Earth. Once Christians have taken over everything, they will simply hand the keys of the Kingdom over to Jesus once He finally returns. Here is more from “Got Questions”…
Among the most controversial tenets of the theology is the belief that secular or non-Christian society will never succeed. Hence, Kingdom Now opposes a separation of church and state. Other beliefs include the idea that, as the Body of Christ, we are Christ. In other words, we have His divine nature. Proponents of Kingdom Now teaching also don’t believe in the rapture, which is explained away as a feeling of rapture or excitement when the Lord returns to receive the kingdom from our hands. In other words, everyone will be “caught up” emotionally when He returns. Also among the unbiblical beliefs is the idea that all prophecies regarding future Israel—both in the Old and New Testaments—actually apply to the church.
Kingdom Now theology sees the second coming of Jesus in two stages: first through the flesh of the believers (and in particular the flesh of today’s apostles and prophets), and then in person to take over the kingdom handed to Him by those who have been victorious (the “overcomers”). Prior to the second coming, overcomers must purge the earth of all evil influences. Kingdom Now claims that Jesus cannot return until all His enemies have been put under the feet of the church (including death, presumably).
This is the reason why some Christians are so obsessed with politics right now. They literally believe that our politicians will be used as instruments to establish God’s Kingdom on this planet.
Of course all of this is the complete opposite of what we find in the Bible. Jesus is not going to return to a planet that is filled with peace and prosperity because believers have successfully established a political “Kingdom of God” over the entire world. Rather, the entire Book of Revelation and other passages throughout the Scriptures make it exceedingly clear that the last days are going to be the worst times in all of human history.
Sadly, the reason why Kingdom Now theology can flourish is because so many people are Biblically illiterate today. The proponents of this theology depend on the fact that people do not know their Bibles, and they have become masters of telling people what they want to hear.
For millions of American Christians, it is very appealing to hear that everything is going to be greater than ever before and that Christians are literally going to take over the entire planet.
To many, that certainly sounds a whole lot more appealing than suffering, persecution and martyrdom.
It is not an accident that many of those that are teaching “Kingdom Now theology” are also teaching “the prosperity gospel”.
When the prosperity gospel started to become hugely popular in the 1980s and 1990s, leaders of the movement struggled to harmonize that message with what the Bible has to say about the end times.
They needed a new end times theology that fit with the prosperity gospel, and “Kingdom Now theology” ended up fitting the bill perfectly.
The only problem is that it is completely and utterly untrue.
Unfortunately, “Kingdom Now theology” has actually become the dominant view in many evangelical circles today.
So even though signs of the end times are happening all around us, many Christians are in a deep state of denial, and they are going to be completely blindsided by the historic events that are going to take place in 2021 and beyond.
Nearing Midnight: One Disaster After Another – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The worst possible outcome of the Georgia vote took place. Radical Democrats by hook or by crook now control the presidency, both houses of Congress, and nearly all media. If they move to pack the Supreme Court, we will become a one-party-rule nation. The Republican Party is dead of its own incompetence.
Voters in Georgia had an easy decision to make about basic financial mathematics. If you vote Democrat, you collect $2,000. If you vote Republican, you don’t collect $2,000. The Republicans, having already given trillions over the past year, thought they were reasonable in rejecting the $2,000 stimulus check.
Mitch McConnell will soon be the minority leader because he failed to realize that an election is an advanced auction of stolen goods. People didn’t need to “Advance to Go” to collect $2,000. All they needed to do was to vote Democrat.
Goldman Sachs expects another big stimulus package to the tune of $750 billion in the near term now that Democrats have taken the Senate. We are now set to have a $7 trillion deficit within a year’s time.
The Democrats clearly have some type of well-oiled machine that allows them to magically pull out a win by the narrowest of margins. In the November elections, Trump was leading Pennsylvania by 200,000 votes, then suddenly a big democratic county came along, which gave Biden a lead of a few thousand. The same thing happened in three other states, and it happened again in the second round of the Georgia elections. Both Republican candidates had a lead of 50,000 to 100,000 votes. After most Republican counties were reporting 95% of their vote total, Dekalb County shows up with just enough votes to give the Democrats a double win.
The storming of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters was incredibly foolish. At that point, there was no way to change the outcome of the electoral college vote. Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a purely ceremonial role. If changes were to be made, they had to be made back in the states.
The events of last week bring to mind the shooting at the United States Capitol in 1954. It was an attack by four Puerto Rican nationalists; they shot 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols from the visitor gallery of the House of Representatives chamber. They wanted to highlight their desire for Puerto Rican independence from US rule.
Because of the 1954 attack, security on Capitol Hill was greatly increased. When our country was young, you could walk right up to the White House and make an appointment to meet the president. Today, White House security resembles a super-max prison. This latest attack will only work to turn Washington, DC, into a military complex that is totally isolated from the people it represents.
My greatest fear for the future of America is civil war. Now that the Democrats are back in power, they have the means to pass laws that will shred our basic rights. People on both sides are so radicalized, a state of open warfare is only a matter of time. The only common agreement is that anyone who urges Americans to exercise restraint is viewed as an enemy.
Senator Chuck Schumer never misses a chance to wildly exaggerate events. He compares Wednesday’s chaos to Pearl Harbor:
“Franklin Roosevelt set a day aside that will live in infamy. Unfortunately, we can now add January 6, 2021, to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy.”
These people were a bunch of clowns who didn’t have any idea what they were trying to achieve. The most shocking thing is how easily they were able to invade the building.
Schumer’s Pearl Harbor II will quickly fade when the next mob that storms Capitol Hill comes armed with AR-15s. It won’t take anything like the meltdown of the dollar to trigger an insurrection. No one could have predicted that the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers would have been the spark to last year’s riots.
When we ended 2020, many people expected it to be the worst year of their life. I don’t share this optimistic view. I think by June, we might remember 2020 as a time of relative tranquility. The Bible predicts that the lead-up to the rapture will be marked by things progressively getting worse. This pattern is so well established, end-time prophecy is the only explanation for our prolonged run of bad luck.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains” (Matthew 24:7-8).
In Times Like These – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2021/1/8/in-times-like-these
When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of the end of the age, Jesus began His answer with these words, “See that no one leads you astray” (Matt. 24:4). Jesus’ first warning about the last days concerned those who would seek to deceive His followers and lead them away from the truth.
We cannot trust the vast majority of news sources in America, not at all. They purposely deceive people in order to promote their socialist agenda. We live in an age where deception is king and sadly some of those who deceive us also lead churches.
In Colossians 2:4, Paul cautioned the new believers in Colossae about those who would lead them into error, “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” Paul, fully aware of the devil’s tactics (2 Cor. 2:10-11), warned his readers that false teachers would come along with persuasive but erroneous reasoning in order to deceive them. Does this not depict the day in which we live?
In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, apostle Paul also wrote about the departure from truth during the last days. In verse 4, he warned that many would “turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” or false narratives that would appear valid, but contradict Scripture.
How do we deal with the myriad of opinions and doctrines that daily confront us in today’s world?
WE NEED THE BIBLE
During the past week, I have often had the song In Times Like These in my head. Ruth Caye Jones, a mother of five, wrote the words and music for it during World War II. The second stanza begins with these words, “In times like these you need the Bible.” Because of the rampant deception and misinformation of our day, we need Scripture just as much now, if not more than in 1944 when Jones penned these words.
In Proverbs 2:6 we read, “For the LORD gives wisdom; / from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” It was the phrase “from his mouth” that catches my attention every time I read this verse. 2 Timothy 3:16 similarly begins with these words, “All Scripture is breathed out by God. . . .” Scripture is our ultimate source of “knowledge and understanding” because its words come directly from God’s mouth to us (see also 2 Peter 1:21).
I believe we can trace much of the widespread apostasy we see in today’s church to either a rejection of the words of Scripture or a lack of knowledge of what it says.
The understanding that the Holy Spirit gives us through God’s written word guards us against error in more than just doctrinal matters. People who know and understand Scripture, particularly its message regarding the end times, are less susceptible to the deception of the media or the lies they read or hear on social media.
There are many exceptions to this, of course. However, from what I have observed, those who know Scripture, understand the Gospel message, and believe what the Bible says about the end times are less likely to fall for the lies and deception so rampant in the news and on social media.
WE NEED A SAVIOR
I have never in my life been more disappointed with human leadership than I have been in the past two years. Even pastors I once looked up to for guidance have let me down in various ways. Politicians that I once regarded as trustworthy and in one case godly have sorely betrayed any confidence I ever had in them.
The words of Psalm 118:8-9 have never been truer for me than they are in this present day, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. / It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”
This again brings me back to the song In Times Like These, which begins with these words, “In times like these you need a Savior. In times like these you need an anchor; be very sure, be very sure your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.” That Rock, of course is Jesus.
As we face perilous times in the remaining time before the rapture, we need our Savior as never before. We need the anchor of our soul firmly secured in our Rock.
I believe the year ahead for us will be more turbulent than 2020, especially for Bible-believing followers of Jesus. We will see increased opposition and persecution here in America, which will grow steadily worse and likely turn violent if Jesus does not come first to take us to our home in heaven.
WE NEED OUR ANCHOR SECURED IN THE ROCK
If you have never put your faith in Jesus alone for the salvation of your soul, now is the time to do so. Just hours before His death on the cross in our place, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way of salvation; He is the only path the leads to eternal life rather than the seven-year tribulation and eternal death in hell. The familiar verse, John 3:16, contains this same message, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
I love the simplicity of the Apostle John’s words in 1 John 5:11-12: “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Knowing Jesus as your Savior equals eternal life. Please do not delay; call upon Him now before it is too late to avoid experiencing the Lord’s wrath upon the Christ-rejecting world.
This is why I say now is the time to put your faith in Jesus.
For those of us securely in the arms of the Savior, now is the time to recognize we may soon be with Jesus in paradise via the rapture. Now is the time to hold our future dreams and earthly aspirations loosely in our hands.
I am not saying it’s wrong to plan or look to the future, but we must do so with hearts and minds open to Bible prophecy and our eyes aware of the growing storms clouds in our world that grow darker and more ominous each and every week.
I do not know the timing of the rapture or the start of the seven-year tribulation, but I recognize the multitude of signs throughout the world pointing to the soon arrival of the seven-year tribulation and thus to the rapture that happens before its start.
For example, the statements I hear coming from members of the incoming Biden administration tell me that his presidency will hasten the arrival of The Great Reset in America, which will in turn accelerate the arrival of the antichrist on the world scene.
Biden’s own words foreshadow a time of forceful opposition toward those of us who hold to a biblical worldview and accept all of Scripture as the Word of God. Biden once said that that Christians who oppose the LBGTQ agenda are the “dregs of society.” He still holds firmly to this opinion.
If one anchors his or her life to anything else but Jesus in times like these or in those that lie on the horizon for us, that anchor will not hold. Jesus alone is our secure Rock.
Hebrews 6:18-19 says this about our need for such an anchor, “So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain” (Heb. 6:18-19). Jesus alone is Our Refuge, our rock, and the Anchor of our soul for times like these and those that lie ahead for us.
I encourage you to listen to the hymn, In Times Like These, and reread hopeful and encouraging passages such as 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, and Revelation 20-22. These texts unveil the many promises regarding our future that the Lord has placed there for our comfort and encouragement.
I have also found it helpful to read through the book of Proverbs each month but reading once chapter a day that corresponds to the day of the month. The “wisdom” of the book points us to Jesus.
Daily Jot: The Week After reality check – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
As the mainstream news media, technology and Wall Street corporations, and the Democratic Party leadership continue to censor and rage against President Trump and all Trump supporters for the riot a week ago at the Capitol, there is tremendous hypocrisy. For example, out of one side of his mouth, President-elect Joe Biden* says his is the presidency of all Americans and it is time to heal, the other side of his mouth is labeling Trump supporters, saying, “Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.” Records validate that a small portion of protesters at the Capitol became rioters, and they are being arrested and dealt with accordingly.
The greater issue at hand is that this single event has evolved into a narrative that all conservatives and Christian conservatives are “domestic terrorists.” That means that 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump are somehow painted with the same broad-brush with the handful that stormed the Capitol, and are somehow now something less than deserving of a job, and having life and liberty. The amplification that the riot last week was a coup attempt, an insurrection, clearly is not the truth. Coup attempts and insurrections are conducted with weapons, mass violence, executions, and mob-generated detentions aimed at heads of state, not inept legislative bodies. This was not close to that. Let us, however, not excuse this event. The Constitution guarantees the right to peaceably assemble, and that’s not what happened.
The Epoch Times chronology of January 6 documents that there were those with violent intent and there were those among the protesters who were trying to prevent such violence. Once again, however, Democrats are using the event and Trump’s remarks to impeach him and impugn his supporters. His remarks did not advocate or call for violence: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women…Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong…We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated—lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Observations: The left harshly criticizes others for broad-brushing and stereotyping people, yet they are doing this with anyone who supported Trump; The censorship and canceling of dissenters’ is alarming; Passing on outrageous conspiracy theories as fact are counterproductive to solving the challenges we have as a nation; Advocating dictatorial, unconstitutional actions should be avoided; Protests and civil disobedience are never successful unless there is a clear objective; Violence should be an extraordinary last resort unless in self-defense (History of Concord, Lexington). The Christian standard was established by Christ who said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Christ kept the law. He was a light to the world. He changed the world. You can, too.
Daily Devotion: An Attitude of Anticipation - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! —Revelation 22:20
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/an-attitude-of-anticipation/ - Listen
We once had a dog that slept outside our bedroom door every night. He leaned against the door, so in the morning when I opened it, he’d roll into the room. Then he’d jump to his feet and run around in circles because he knew he was going on a walk.
That’s how we ought to be as Christians who are waiting for the Lord’s return. Jesus said, “You yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching” (Luke 12:36–37 NKJV).
For instance, let’s say that a loved one whom you haven’t seen for months was coming to visit. They text you to say their plane just landed. Then you get another text saying they picked up their luggage. A few minutes later, you get another text telling you they’re on the way.
You’re anxiously awaiting their arrival. In fact, you can’t even wait until they knock on the door, so you run outside to meet them in the driveway.
We should be that way as we wait for the return of Jesus Christ. We should be looking forward to it, not dreading it. For example, if we knew that Jesus was coming back at 3:00 PM tomorrow, I’m sure we’d be wearing our Sunday smiles and our come-quickly-Jesus attitudes at 2:45.
So shouldn’t we live every day with that very attitude?
Jesus said, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Along with the apostle John, the answer of the true Christian always will be, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20 NKJV).
If there’s anything that would stop you from saying that today, then you shouldn’t hesitate to remove it from your life.
FROM THE HEART
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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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