Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Tying it All Together: Part 2 - Pete Garcia -
Into the Gap
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Last week we looked at where I believe the Rapture, the battle of Gog and Magog, and the start of the 70th Week occurs. This week, we will look at the aftermath and the seven months (or more) leading up to the 70th Week proper. First, let me add that the seven-months is just speculation on my part. I have always believed that there would be a gap between the Rapture of the Church, and the official starting of Daniel's 70th Week. That gap could be longer, or it could be shorter. No one knows for sure. No one will know either, until it comes to pass. Anything anyone has to say on this particular subject (gap or none), is speculating, regardless of their degrees, titles, or how many books they have written.
What I have previously mentioned in numerous briefs, is how and why the Rapture of the Church politically, culturally, and economically reconstructs this world. You cannot remove millions of people in the blink of an eye from around the world, and not have that make huge geopolitical impacts. Centers of power will shift. Military forces will change their allegiances. Economies will be restructured accordingly. Just as it was concerning the time of Christ's first coming, the conditions on the ground will be perfectly aligned for Bible prophecy to find its complete fulfillment. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law...Galatians 4:4
It has long been a goal of secret societies and powers to bring the entire world into a one-world system. To do this, they have organized the rise and fall of nations. They have financed revolutions. They have sown the seeds of economic and political disparity through socialist and Marxist (via universities and via media) doctrines. While they have been successful in steering the world in that direction over the past two centuries, what the Rapture (to them) represents, is the best of all possible crises.
The Rapture (Harpazo-Greek) was created and designed by God as an escape mechanism for His Body the Church (Matt. 16:18, Col. 1:18, Eph. 5:23, and Revelation). This divine plan has not gone unnoticed by Satan. If we understand that Satan and his fallen hordes influence the affairs on this planet then it makes sense why these secret groups have long sought to bring the entire world under one power. They think it is their power, but in reality, they are simply only willing stooges doing Satan's bidding.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
The Rapture is going to happen and it will happen prior to the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel. How do I know this? There are many reasons, but the main one I keep coming back too, is that the 70 Weeks (as given to Daniel), only concerns the nation of Israel. The Church is not found within the first 69 Weeks, it only makes sense we are not in the last week either. However, in order for the last Week to be only seven years in length and still accomplish everything Revelation chapters 4-19 says has to happen, then the political, technological, economical, and religious groundwork must be in place prior too.
Why then do I believe a gap must exist between the Rapture and the 70th Week? Primarily, because the Bible does not directly connect the two. We know each must happen, yet they do not have a direct cause vs. effect (or causality) relationship. The causation will be indirect (or second order effects). Put plainly, the Rapture only opens up the possibility for this "New World Order" to come about. However, the Rapture is only going to occur in the "fullness of time" so that the geopolitical (et. al.) outcomes happen according to Scripture. Politically speaking, the world has been in this "primed" position for the last seventy-years since the end of World War II.
So what was lacking?
Revelation 11 and 13 could not come about (as the world was then) because of these two chapters (in particular 11:9 and 13:16-17) which could not be fulfilled to the letter. The technology to use and enforce these mechanisms simply did not exist until just recently.
Still, these technological limitations do not directly correlate to the Rapture; yet, you can see the cause vs. effect situation the Rapture would have on the world. It could be that if the Rapture had occurred in the 1960s, or 70s, or even 80s, that the gap between the Rapture and the start of the 70th Week would by necessity be longer. Given where we are today and how interconnected the world is technologically and economically, that prophetic gap seems to be shrinking.
What is interesting is that the two limitations we have identified above, are the two which seems to be gaining the most advancements. In 2008, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and like media platforms were still in their infancy. Also since 2008, we have seen the rapid decline in the confidence of fiat currency as well as the increased digitization of all global currencies. Even now, we have seen the popularization of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other digital currencies using blockchain technologies.
These alternatives have to be able to take over once the Rapture occurs. That means an alternative to the US Dollar must be able to assume the role of global, reserve currency. That means another entity similar to the United States in size, authority, and power must be able to rise up and assume the role of global leadership as to fill the vacuum we leave. That means that another religious faith(s) must be able to fill the gap that true, biblical Christianity leaves. If we wonder why the Rapture has not happened yet (as of February 2018), it is because these things must exist prior to and for the last seven years to play out.
Therefore, in the aftermath of the Rapture and the restructuring the world will go through, a revived Roman Empire (the Beast) must still contend with one final geopolitical obstacle. That is the competing/threatening Russian alliance to the north and east. This is where the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) comes into play. Once God supernaturally destroys these invading armies on Israel's northern border, the world experience another major tectonic shift in power.
Imagine the European Union experiencing the reverse wealth-transfer from the US after the Rapture. Europe had surrendered much of that wealth, technology (people/systems) to the US before, during, and after WWII. Imagine them now, no longer having to compete with the US as rivals, and no longer facing an immediate threat to their east (namely Russia). They would by default (aside from China), become the major power player in the world.
Let me caveat on this real quick. I know the position of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is in large measure, predicated on imminency. I do not seek to diminish that by saying the Rapture is predicated on anything other than God's timing. Yet, here we are 2,000 years later. If the Rapture could have occurred at any moment over the past two millennia, and it has not, there must be a reason for this. We should not dismiss this out of hand. Where I believe imminence plays a factor, there is nothing scripturally that makes the Rapture dependent on something else for it to happen. To which I agree. Below is a plausible scenario given that the gap is seven-months. Granted, this is a gross-oversimplification of what could happen. I do not possess the time or space to list out every possible scenario or detail.
The United States
In large part, the US has fractured to the point of no return. Large portions of the US has become ungoverned and lawless. Society (or what remains), breaks down relatively quickly with urban areas experiencing the sharpest spike in looting and violence. Our system (a Constitutional Republic) is based on the rule of law to function properly. If the government is no longer functioning, this means our nation returns very much to the "Old West" days when states revert to largely lawless territories. Furthermore, with the realization of what has happened, the stock market will tank, and the subsequent bank-runs will cripple our financial sectors. Panic creates a 'herd-mentality' where huge swaths of people abandon their current situations to go back to family and home for protection, safety, and the necessities of life.
At this point (post-Rapture and post-Gog), Israel is doing massive cleanup operations to their immediate north. The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are destroyed (or damaged to the point of no return), which leaves Israel the opportunity to begin construction on their own Temple. Jews' from around the world continue to make Aliyah back to Israel, particularly those from the United States. Not only does Israel's population swell, but also her borders.
After the battle of Gog, Israel expands out her northern borders considerably to control what used to be Lebanon and Syria. The expansion also serves to make room for all the returning Jews coming from the west and the north. With Shia Islam (aligned with Russia) in shambles, and the Sunni-nations (aligned with the US and Turkey) in disarray, Israel no longer faces (or fears) the wrath of Islam nor the political meddling from the West. In addition, with the influx of Jews from around the world, she recognizes that now is the time to rebuild her temple.
The Rise of the Beast
Without the US taking the role as the world's superpower, the world looks to another powerful nation(s) to take charge. What rises in the midst of the chaos both in the Americas and in Eurasia, is a reenergized Europe. Although Europe does lose Christians and children to the Rapture, their loss is dramatically less destabilizing than what has occurred in the US. Since the EU military is still in its infancy, the NATO leadership structure converts to the long sought after European Defense Force.
Much, if not all of the US military-industrial complex corporations already share offices and headquarters with Europe, shifting their resources and assets to the EU would not be difficult. There would also be a need for a massive expansion in the business of private military companies/ mercenaries, who offer services for security and protection (ex. Blackwater). The EU's first priority would be securing the abandoned gold, ships, jets, tanks, missile systems, and nuclear weapons from what was left of the United States and Russia, before the Chinese (or anyone else) could get their hands on them. Even if the EU only secured what was on our east coast, this still would significantly bolster what they currently have.
Because the battle of Gog and Magog significantly drains much of the military-aged males in Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, and northern Africa, the EU's borders will significantly increase without much effort. Without a looming threat to the east (Russia), NATO is repurposed to act on the new global stage. This means securing the Mediterranean and what was western Russia and Turkey.
Israel (now larger) remains a friendly, yet potential contender in the Mediterranean. She has nuclear weapons, a functioning government, and a powerful military. In fact, from the EU's perspective, Israel remains the only "potential" threat to the EU's unlimited expansionistic ideas. While other nations in the Middle East remain relatively intact (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.) none possess the strength Israel has regarding energy (natural gas), weapons (Iron Dome, nuclear weapons, F35's, etc.), and experience to repel both immediate and far threats to their sovereignty. At some point, the EU's hot/cold relationship with Israel would need to be cemented into a mutual defense contract/covenant to prevent either a future clash, or existential threat.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate." Daniel 9:27
Hamas And Fatah Unite Against Trump Peace Plan - By Khaled Abu Toameh -
Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction are continuing to contest control of the Gaza Strip.
However, the two rival parties are prepared to lay aside their differences and work together to foil US President Donald Trump's plan for peace in the Middle East, the details of which remain unknown.
Thwarting Trump's peace plan has become a top priority for Hamas and Fatah. This is a mission that seems to be much more important than alleviating the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where 65% of families live under the poverty line.
Although the details of the Trump plan still have not been made public, Palestinians across the political spectrum say they will never accept any peace initiative presented by the Trump administration. Whatever the peace plan will be, the answer is No.
In the eyes of the Palestinian leaders, the US administration has shown unprecedented "hostility" towards the Palestinians.
The Palestinians are not only voicing strong opposition to Trump's plan, which is known as the "deal of the century." Hamas and Fatah are now saying that they will do their utmost to thwart it.
They say they see the plan as being as a "conspiracy aimed at eliminating the Palestinian cause and national rights." It is not clear why the Palestinians are opposed to a plan the details of which have not yet been made public.
The Palestinian rejection to the plan is evidently based on unconfirmed media reports and rumors.
In any event, the Palestinians know that no US peace plan would comply with their demands.
Abbas's Fatah is demanding 100% of the territories Israel secured in 1967, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Hamas, for its part, is demanding 100% of everything, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. As Hamas leaders repeatedly affirm, the goal is to "liberate all of Palestine," meaning all of Israel.
The Palestinians have not presented precisely how they intend to foil Trump's plan, if and when it is made public. At the very least, street protests and strong condemnations of the US, Israel and any Arab country that accepts the peace plan can be expected.
Hamas and Fatah, however, are still quarreling over the "reconciliation" agreement they signed in Cairo in November 2017.
According to Hamas, the agreement has failed because of Abbas's refusal to lift the sanctions he imposed on the Gaza Strip last year.
The sanctions include the forced retirement of thousands of Palestinian Authority civil servants and the suspension of social assistance to hundreds of families. In addition, Abbas has refused to pay Israel for electricity and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.
Turning the tables, however, Abbas and his government hold Hamas responsible for hindering the implementation of the "reconciliation" accord, which was achieved under the auspices of Egypt.
Hamas's refusal to disarm and cede military and political control of the Gaza Strip is the main obstacle threatening to sabotage the agreement, they charge.
Evidently, Hamas and Fatah care more about their wrangling for power than about the well-being of their people in the Gaza Strip.
The arm-twisting between the two rival parties is spurring intense suffering in the Gaza Strip, where a number of hospitals have been forced to close down as a result of severe shortage in medicine and generator fuel.
While Fatah and Hamas are continuing to hurl abuses at each other, however, they see eye to eye on the issue of Trump's "deal of the century."
Hamas and Fatah are willing to support each other and join forces in the war on the US administration's plan.
Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has gone so far as to praise Abbas for his staunch opposition to the "deal of the century." The former Hamas leader said that his movement would even support Abbas in a standoff with the US administration.
In statements published on February 17, Mashaal said that Abbas was "the strongest party that is obstructing" Trump's plan. The Palestinians, Mashaal added, will be the only ones to stand against the plan.
Mashaal said that he was even prepared to forgive Abbas for punishing the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip -- all for the sake of thwarting the US peace plan.
"In spite of the measures he's imposing against the Gaza Strip and Hamas, the best solution would be to support Abbas in his opposition to the plan," he said. "Trump's 'deal of the century' won't pass as long as the Palestinians categorically reject it."
Mashaal's remarks echo those of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups that have also emphasized that Trump's peace plan "won't pass." His remarks are also compatible with those made by Abbas and Fatah, who in the past few weeks have used every platform to express their rejection of the plan.
Take, for example, a recent statement issued by Fatah regarding the plan:
"Without Palestinian compliance, the 'deal of the century' won't pass. The Palestinians reject it. They (the Trump administration) won't find one Arab who will agree to betray Jerusalem and the Palestinian people."
In recent weeks, Abbas himself has also come out against Trump's plan - a move that has clearly earned him the backing of the former Hamas leader. Abbas says that he sees the plan as an attempt by the US administration to "impose dictates" on the Palestinians.
"We don't take instructions from anyone," Abbas was quoted as saying. " We have said 'no' to Trump and we won't accept his plan. We say 'no' and 1,000'no-s' when it comes to our fate, cause and people. We don't accept the US as a broker between us and Israel."
The Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip who are dying for lack of proper medical treatment care little about Trump -- or about any peace plan. Neither do the thousands of employees who have been deprived of their salaries or the students who are unable to leave the Gaza Strip because of the continued closure (by Egypt) of the Rafah border crossing. For them, this is a battle of survival.
Hamas and Fatah leaders, meanwhile, are engaged in a rather different battle of survival: that of their leaders to retain their power.
They are prepared to continue fighting each other to the last Palestinian. It may be true that the Egyptians, in the "reconciliation" their brokered, failed to achieve Palestinian unity. The Trump administration has apparently succeeded where the Egyptians failed: in uniting Hamas and Fatah against an initiative for peace.
Billy Graham, The Third Temple, And Purim - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"Thus declares Hashem, Who gathers the dispersed of Yisrael: "I will gather still more to those already gathered." Isaiah 56:8 (The Israel Bible™)
Strangely and unexpectedly, Reverend Billy Graham will be buried on the upcoming Purim festival, a Jewish holiday that signaled the hidden beginnings of a redemption process that culminated in the building of the Second Hebrew Temple.
Reverend Graham's pioneering of a new framework for Jewish-Christian relations based on not proselytizing to Jews was revolutionary, changing a millennium of difficult interactions between the two religions. This was expressed by Reverend Graham himself in his description of his first visit to Israel in 1960 at the behest of his friend, former US President Dwight Eisenhower.
"When I first took a preaching tour of Israel, I stayed with Mrs. Golda Meir, who was then foreign secretary, and promised her that I was not there to proselytize," Graham wrote of that trip. "Rather, I was there to thank the Jewish people for proselytizing me."
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365 and publisher of Breaking Israel News, believes that Reverend Graham was a revolutionary in relating to Jews and Judaism in this manner.
"This approach by Reverend Graham's went contrary to his background as an Evangelical," Rabbi Weisz told Breaking Israel News.
Rabbi Weisz touches upon this in an op-ed titled, 'Billy Graham and the Topsy-Turvy Holiday of Purim,' which will be published in the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
In the editorial, Rabbi Weisz writes that "Graham was one of the first Christian leaders to publicly acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed toward Judaism and to move Evangelicals away from evangelizing Jews."
Tommy Waller, the founder of "Hayovel," an organization that brings Christian volunteers to work in the vineyards of Samaria, never met Reverend Graham but views him as one of the pioneers of the evangelical Christian movement that his organization is part of.
In particular, Waller agrees with Rabbi Weisz that Reverend Graham's positive relationship with the Jews was a revolution in the Christian world.
"Reverend Graham had a huge respect for the Jewish people and Jewish identity," Waller told Breaking Israel News. "There was a gospel that if you agree with Christianity, then you can be saved. This was exemplified in the Inquisition and a lot of Christians still operate from this assumption."
Waller believes that the state of Israel was an essential factor in bringing about this revolutionary change in the perception that many Christians have of the Jewish people.
"The change in Christianity happened when we witnessed Israel become a nation in 1947 and we realized we were seeing God move outside of Christian dogma," Waller explained. "Billy Graham obviously saw this as prophecy being revealed through Israel."
"Christianity disconnected from prophecy and Jerusalem but this is beginning to change," he continued. "When Christians agree that God placed his name on the Temple and Jerusalem, then we can walk together."
Reverend Graham's prophetic vision of Jerusalem and the Jewish Third temple was illustrated in a little-known story told in the book, "A Day in the Life of Billy Graham: Living the Message," written by Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober. The Strobers related how, during a visit at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, the reverend arrived in Jerusalem where he was led on a tour of the city by then-Mayor Teddy Kollek.
Prior to his visit, Graham had read in evangelical publications that many Israelis wanted to build a third temple and pressing Kolleck about the subject, Graham asked if there were such plans in the works.
"We have absolutely no interest in constructing another Temple," Kolleck had responded. "We feel that the wall is enough of a sacred place to provide a focus for Jewish spiritual observance."
In his upcoming op-ed, Rabbi Weisz referenced analyses of Jewish commentators on the Book of Esther to connect Reverend Graham's revolutionary relationship with the Jews to that the way many gentiles in the Persian empire looked at Jews by the end of the Purim story.
And in every province and in every city, when the king's command and decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Yehudim, a feast and a holiday. And many of the people of the land professed to be Yehudim (mityahadim), for the fear of the Yehudim had fallen upon them. Esther 8:17
"Bible commentators debate the meaning of mityahadim, which comes from the same Hebrew word Yehudim, referring to the Jews," Rabbi Weisz wrote. "[Some commentators] explain that the local gentiles ... developed fondness towards the Jews. Mordechai went from being an outcast to a respected leader, and those who were anti-Semites earlier became our allies at the end of the story."
Since his death, some of Graham's critics have focused on an anti-Semitic comment he had made many years ago to former US President Richard Nixon. Rabbi Weisz feels that people have unfairly placed too much emphasis on that one mistake by the reverend.
"The Jewish People really need to show appreciation for him and his legacy," Rabbi Weisz emphasized to Breaking Israel News. "It is sad to see people focusing on one anti-Semitic conversation he had with President Nixon."
Tommy Waller is in full agreement with Rabbi Weisz.
"Reverend Graham said that if he could take back one thing it would be that thing he said," Waller said. "Reverend Graham repented. I think people should accept his repentance."
Ultimately, Graham's burial on Friday, which is the day that Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem, could not be more timely. He envisioned the rebuilding of the Hebrew temple and Jerusalem, and Purim was the beginning of the process that led to the building of the Second Temple. Moreover, as the Purim story took place in the 70th year of Babylonian exile, Graham's passing happens to occur not just before Purim but on the 70th year since Israel's rebirth.
My Thoughts on Six Recent Events - By Daymond Duck -
First, some of my thoughts on the shooting at Parkland High School.
I attended High School in the mid-to-late fifties. We had chapel with preaching in the gym once a week. It was okay to pray at the beginning of the school day, read the Bible in the Library and Study Hall, post the Ten Commandments in our classrooms and to tell our students that life is sacred.
It was okay to tell students that the Word of God says, "Thou shalt not kill." Every student heard it and it didn't seem to harm any of them.
Many students lived in the country (outside of the city limits). Most of their parents were gun owners. Some of those students hunted for sport or for food.
There was an occasional bully, occasional anger and some fights, but no school shootings.
Approximately ten years after I graduated, God and His teachings were being kicked out of most schools.
Some pastors were trying to avoid being controversial and they minimized sin from their pulpits.
Violence and substance abuse were being glorified on TV and in the movies.
Today, society is seeing the result of the spiritual and moral failure of our politicians and courts, and the soft approach to sin in our churches.
It may be too late to stop all school shootings and there are many aspects to the problem (psychiatric drugs, single-parent homes, etc.); but if the U.S. doesn't return to the teachings of God in our schools and pulpits, sin will grow worse, not better.
Revival would help. Also, copy what is going on in the Israeli school system.
Second, some of my thoughts on Joy Behar's suggestion that Vice Pres. Mike Pence is mentally ill because he thinks Jesus speaks to him (Note: Just before this article was sent in and after ABC received more than 25,000 complaints, Behar said she was joking, but few believed her).
The Bible says, "Thus saith the Lord" too many times for me to count; Jesus taught that demons can speak; He taught that His sheep know His voice; Peter taught that Bible prophecy came from holy men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and more.
Thus, the Bible teaches that people can hear the voice of Jesus and the voice of demons.
This makes it important for people to know the difference between good and evil, to identify the source of the voice and to listen to the good voice, not the evil voice.
Nikolas Cruz said voices told him to shoot the students at Parkland High School. Joy Behar's rant proves her bigotry so she won't understand this, but Nikolas Cruz should have been taught that God said, "Thou shalt not kill."
Sadly, the fact that Behar doesn't hear the voice of Jesus today means that she will hear it at the Great White Throne, if she doesn't change.
Third, some of my thoughts on spirituality in the White House.
As I am writing this article, Pres. Trump's Faith Advisory Board is in Israel.
On Feb. 20, 2018, they launched a first in history: Jewish-Christian Bible Study at the Israeli Knesset (Israel's legislative branch; about 200 people attended).
It is impossible to predict the outcome of such a Bible Study (salvation of 144,000; salvation of all Israel; etc.), but there has never been a time when it was more important to strengthen our Judeo-Christian roots (Pres. Trump is working on a peace proposal; the Battle of Gog and Magog could be looming, etc.).
Fourth, on Feb. 20, 2018, members of Pres. Trump's administration briefed UN Security Council members on the President's Peace Proposal. They plan to release the details soon and believe the Arab nations are ready to settle the conflict.
Israel will probably be asked to give up more land, and this is not good.
Fifth, war is still raging in Syria and the situation is growing more dangerous by the day. One bad move could trigger any number of wars, including the destruction of Damascus and the Battle of Gog and Magog.
Sixth, it has been reported that the FBI, DHS and DNI will soon release a report documenting massive Democratic Party Voter fraud in the 2016 elections. The effort of Pres. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to undermine the 2015 election of Prime Min. Netanyahu in Israel seems to be coming back on them.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
A Closer Look at The Rapture (Part 1) - A.V. Rauf -
There are people today denying there will be a rapture, or catching up, to be with the Lord Jesus. As absurd as this sounds, even within the Body of Christ many believers are being told that there is no rapture. I wrote this three-part post a few years ago. However, in light of the acceleration of prophetic events I really sensed a nudging from the Spirit of God to repost them. Please read them. I trust you will be blessed:
When studying our Bibles, we have to look at what else happened in a given location to understand the full dimension of its spiritual and theological significance. That being said, let's look at some of the people who were raptured and some who were resurrected:
Genesis 5:21-27-And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
A couple of interesting points in this reference to note here is that for starters, Enoch walked or fellowshipped with God. In otherwords, He knew God and He obeyed God despite the world that was in contrast around him. From the very beginning, God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that found them "walking in the garden in the cool of the day"
Genesis 3:8-And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
So God created man for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. Prior to the rapture of the Church, the Church must be doing so likewise. Here is the interesting part: Enoch must have discovered something even Adam may not have experience. He pressed into God until he learned how to commune with God through every facet of life. To find that dimension of relationship certainly required an intense spiritual pursuit, and then when he found it, the Lord made a graphic statement by taking him up to heaven.
As we walk with Him, he will open the Scriptures to us through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and reveal to us the light of the glory of God that is to be found in Him.
When we walk with God, we enter the dimension where God unfolds the secrets of his kingdom.
Deuteronomy 29:29-The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (in this case, law = the teaching and instructions of God.)
Matthew 13:11-16- He answered and said unto them, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, 'By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For this people's heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
These are the paths that the Old Testament Patriarchs travelled before us. Noah knew the secret of walking with God:
Genesis 6:9-These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Although he was not raptured, Noah and his family were spared from the judgment which was in the form of the global flood. Abraham also knew the secret of walking with God.
Genesis 24:40- And he (Abraham) said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house....
Even Daniel understood the secret things of God:
Daniel 4:7-9-Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them, but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream, saying,
9 'O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen and the interpretation thereof.
As New Testament believers, we are instructed to "walk," by faith:
2 Corinthians 5:1-7-For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Through Christ, we can explore the glorious riches of knowing God like they did-and to even a greater degree because of the Spirit which has been given to us! The mysteries of God are always unveiled to the faithful Church. In preparing for the return of the LORD, there are three specific mysteries which must be unveiled in order to fully comprehend the end-time events that are to come. They are:
1. The mystery of Iniquity:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-7-Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if from us that the Day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come, unless there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth as God in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. 5 Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth back will hold him back, until he is taken out of the way.
2. The mystery of Israel and the Church
Romans 11:25-32-For I, brethren, would not have you be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 For this is My covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins." 28 Concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as in times past ye have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief, 31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
3. The mystery of the Rapture itself:
1 Corinthians 15:51-58- Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
In addition, it merits mentioning here also that for those who do not comprehend the mystery of faith, the mystery of the Gospel and the mystery of Christ, they may not truly comprehend the mystery of the return of Christ:
1 Timothy 3:7-9-Moreover he must have a good reputation with those who are outsiders, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be serious, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy lucre, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
Ephesians 6:18-20- praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 19 And pray for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds, that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 3:1-6- For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles- 2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you, 3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, 4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,
Now getting back to Enoch. It is very important to know that the Bible clearly tells us in addition, when Enoch was raptured, his son, who represented the next generation lived for 969 years which is close to 1,000 years. We know that the name Methuselah means, "when he is dead it shall be sent." Notice that after the Rapture, ultimately the next generation that will continue into the Millennial Kingdom will also last 1,000 years. As grim as this may sound, in addition, after the Rapture of the Church, death will be sent as the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgments in the Book of Revelation come to pass.
Revelation 6:4- And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Revelation 6:7-8-7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
(To be Continued...)
Daily Jot: Common Sense not Political Sense - Bill Wilson -
The Florida school shooting that left 17 dead has sparked once again a nationwide debate over whether the 2nd Amendment should be revisited and guns should be banned. This is a call for common sense. There are several issues at play. Extreme leftists want to ban guns because they see this as a key strategic kingpin in expanding powerful government and controlling people. Every time there is a mass shooting in this country, these people stir the pot with a willing media to ban guns. It's just like they did with homosexual marriage-keep pounding the drum until the people give in. But this is not a common sense approach to solving problems. It is a path toward tyranny.
At some point, the American people need to weigh what is the greater risk-tyrannical government such as the likes we have in countries like Argentina, China, Cuba, just to name a few-or solving the problem of mass shootings within the framework of the Constitution. Certainly, we are a nation of innovators and smart people. This is a problem, a danger, we can solve. But we have to solve it together, using common sense not political sense. All the politicians left and right and middle need to sit on the sidelines. The news media, because it is so biased toward a communistic agenda, needs to sit on the sidelines. American citizens, with their diverse and innovative approaches toward living life, need to speak up.
For far too long we have allowed these elected con artists called politicians try to solve our problems for us. They are hirelings who flee to their strongest loyalty at any sign of trouble-their political parties. They are more loyal to their political party than they are to this country and to the people that voted them into office. Last week, Jot subscribers had many good ideas. Some don't like arming teachers because many teachers are the very ones standing against guns. Some say we should highly train and arm some teachers. Others say we should build fences around our schools and have a single security check point going into the school (Israel does this and it works).
We have a responsibility to defend life. Christians are consistent on this issue. We have the 1st Amendment that protects our right to free speech and to worship as we see fit. We need to put our common sense solutions to the public forum. It is a witness of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. I love how Paul writes in Ephesians 6:19, "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel." We know 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Let us so instruct boldly as the world has no answer for the evil within it.
Daily Devotion: Just Beyond Our Grasp - By Greg Laurie -
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. -Philippians 4:11
We tend to think that contentment comes from what we have. If I just had more money, then I would be content. . . . If I were a bit more intelligent. . . . If I were more good looking. . . . If I were a little more successful. . . . If I had more ministry opportunities. . . . It's a never-ending pursuit of something that is always just beyond our grasp.
The apostle Paul said, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Philippians 4:11).
Paul was in prison when he made that statement. He didn't receive his contentment out of a theory in a classroom; it was from the school life, the school of hard knocks. He had experienced pain and pleasure, health and sickness, weakness and strength, wealth and poverty. He was a hero to some and a villain to others. And he was a man who had found complete contentment.
It's interesting that Paul used the term learned: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." In the original language, this word for learned was generally used by the pagans at the time to speak of some special attainment or of having been initiated into a hidden truth. Paul was saying, "Check this out! I've been initiated. I have found the hidden truth. I have found the secret of contentment."
The word Paul used for content is important as well. It means self-sufficient. In the context of this epistle, it speaks of a sufficiency in Jesus Christ. Paul was saying, in effect, "It doesn't matter where I am. I am content." It was all about his relationship with God.
Our contentment does not come from what we have; it comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
FROM THE HEART
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