Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Fate of the World (and one small Book) - Pete Garcia -
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues its march toward cinematic history this month with their upcoming 19th project, Infinity War. The movie finally introduces the ultimate baddy (Thanos) from the planet Saturn who seeks to destroy the earth and her heroes. Thanos had been teased from the earliest Avenger's film in post-credit scenes, and finally serves to unite the divided group once again to prevent the world from total calamity. Another "good vs. evil" film which finds its new nemesis in the person of Thanos.
The MCU frequently presents a reality in which multiple dimensions are simultaneously in play, but does not describe in any way, biblical creation or truth. Despite their overt effort to avoid controversial issues such as religion and politics, true biblical messages still manage to find its way through the sequenced action scenes and interwoven drama. The truth is, we are and have been in a war since the dawn of man. Our archenemy's name is Lucifer, and he also hails from another dimension, the spiritual realm. While hardly an 'infinite war,' Lucifer's usurpation has lasted from before the creation of the earth, and will continue until after the thousand year reign of Christ is complete.
Ironically, the slippage of biblical truths regarding the true nature of man and our nefarious nature actually comes from two of the film's main antagonists. In the first Avenger's movie, Loki (god of mischief and adopted-brother to Thor), tries to conquer earth with an alien army, but has this conversation earlier in the film with Thor.
I remember you tossing me into an abyss. I who was and should be king!" (Loki)
"So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights? No, the Earth is under my protection, Loki." (Thor)
"And you're doing a marvelous job with that. The Humans slaughter each other in droves, while you ideally threat. I mean to rule them." (Loki) (Marvel: The Avenger's)
Loki has a point. I mean, if Thor was tasked with protecting the earth, he's doing a pretty shoddy job. And from the most recent Avenger's film, Age of Ultron, the bad guy (who is actually a sentient, artificially intelligent robot named Ultron), makes a statement that rings unbelievably true regarding the state of affairs here on Earth.
"I'm sorry, I know you mean well. You just didn't think it through. You want to protect the world but you don't want it to change. How is humanity saved if it's not allowed to... evolve? (Ultron: Avenger's Age of Ultron)
Unfortunately, superheroes do not even attempt to change the world, or deal with the world that is. They do not tackle the truly egregious and devastating effects that consumes the earth's population like a life-sucking black hole: Poverty, war, abortion, hunger, disease, socialism, natural disasters, terrorism, violence, etc. Even still, these are only the symptoms of a far more devastating effect that was unleashed by man at the Garden of Eden, sin.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-Romans 5:12
Humans are a complex yet uncomplicated beings. Mankind is uncomplicated in what motivates us. Mankind generally only ever works towards his or her own best interests, whatever those might be. Even still, there are sporadic altruistic moments when man does things seemingly at odds with this egocentric nature. Humans are complex in the sense that we function almost entirely under a system of free will (unless living in forced conditions such as slavery or servitude).
However, the story of man is even more complex, especially if you take into account each family's ethnic history dating back into antiquity. Truth and legend are often intermingled when comprising ancient man's history. Who and what can you trust? What is real, and what is myth? If we were to take a relativistic approach and give each origin story credence and authoritative legitimacy, then we end up with a series of seriously contradicting natures of both creation and apocalypse, and everything in between.
What I mean by that is if the Hindus version of creation were true, then that would, by necessity, invalidate the Nordic version, or Egyptian version of how we came to be. Now add in thousands of other origin-stories from every other civilization, and we have an enormous mess on our hands. To untangle that, requires a basic understanding of us as a race of beings. We all share the same planet, same moon, same sun, natural resources, etc., thus there must be a common origin story mankind. Furthermore, if humans are genetically the same (we are, aside from our cosmetic differences), then there must be a source document detailing our beginning.
Enter the Holy Bible.
The Bible is not just one book, but really one book comprised of sixty-six smaller books with a common narrative running through them all. An estimated forty authors wrote the Bible over a span of sixteen-hundred years. The first book chronologically written is believed to be the book of Job (suggested authors include Elihu, Abraham, Moses, David, or Solomon). The last book written was the book of Revelation circa 95AD. In its entirety, the Bible comprises the history of mankind from creation through eternity future.
While differing translations vary on the exact number of words, we shall (for today's purposes) use the King James Authorized Bible. It contains exactly 783,137 words. In terms of word-length, the KJV Bible comfortably fits between Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (at 645,000 words) and Luo Guanzhong's Romance of the Three Kingdoms (800,000 words). The Bible is not a novel, and has various genres in which it deals with and in. However;
It is (quoting Chuck Missler) "...an integrated message system from outside our time and space domain." Even though the books contain all the aforementioned topics, yet is not defined exclusively by any one of them, all of these same genres validate and authenticate every subject it covers with precision. There is no other book like it in the world. Put another way, it is both a historical and futuristic narrative, divinely written through men, detailing the origin of mankind and their ongoing relationship with their Creator.
The Bible starts large by dealing with humanity as a whole from Genesis 1-11 (macro-view), but then narrows itself down to a micro-view of a particular people (the Israelites) by whom the Creator would come through and become part of His creation. He did this in order to do for us, what we could not do for ourselves. The Bible also highlights particular start and stop points for humanity, as well as overlapping ages that bring us through to today. This author identifies these as dispensations, which comes from the Greek word oikonomia which means economy or law of the house.
In terms of total volume, Christian literature has produced more written literature in the world than any other belief system. Simply look at the total number of translations we have versus any other "sacred text." Though Christianity may have generated the most in terms of volume, orthodox Christians do not hold non-canonical books, letters, gnostic gospels, apocryphal writings, pseudepigrapha works, etc. as authoritative.
The Old Testament was established by the time Jesus Christ walked the earth, and even He did not authenticate the intertestamental writings that we call the apocrypha today (Matthew 23:35, Genesis 4:8, 2 Chronicles 24:20). Nor do orthodox Christian's accept as authoritative anything else that falls outside the confines set forth for divine inspiration. The criteria for the New Testament books was that it must have been written either by an apostle, or an eyewitness to Christ (such as Luke or James) to be considered canon. By definition, an apostle would need to meet the following criteria;
This specific type of apostle is not present in the church today. The qualifications of this type of apostle were: (1) to have been a witness of the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1), (2) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:15), and (3) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The role of the twelve apostles, laying the foundation of the church, would also argue for their uniqueness. Two thousand years later, we are not still working on the foundation.
Even still, there were other writings that established apostles such as Peter, John, and Paul wrote, that still did not make their way into Biblical canon. Not only did God the Holy Spirit empower which men would write, what to write, but also guided the direction and overall shape of our Holy Scripture as well as preserving it over these last two-thousand years.
But the one definable and distinguishable difference between the Holy Bible and all the other so called sacred texts, (i.e., the Koran, Hindu Vedas, writings of Confucius, Buddha, Joseph Smith, etc.) is the Bible's prophetic messages. Because God declares the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10), and since the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10), it is prophecy, which most powerfully serves as the eyewitness to events yet to come.
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 2 Peter 1:16
Here are at the end of the age, the fate of the world hinges not upon fictitious superheroes and villains, nor of humanity's progress, but upon a Book. This same Book has revealed to our generation many centuries later, the Man, Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ was foretold and appeared hundreds and even thousands of years before His birth, as detailed (Exodus 6:2-3) in the Old Testament in prophetic word, type, and shadow. In the New Testament, Jesus's life laid bare in the four Gospels. Just as the number four speaks to the earth centric nature of life (four seasons, four elements, four cardinal directions, etc.), the four Gospels were written with four different human audiences in mind.
The rest of the epistles and books likewise forecast His coming, first for His Bride the Church, and then after the 70th Week of Daniel, the triumphal return at His Second Coming. Here is why prophecy is so important; at the core of Scripture is the Gospel (or Good News). At the core of the Gospel is Jesus Christ. At the core of prophecy, is Jesus Christ. The Gospel tells us what Christ did at Calvary, defeating death and hell and making permanent sanctification (spiritual union) possible. Prophecy tells us what Christ will do, i.e., defeating evil forever and reestablishing the physical reunion between God and man for all of eternity.
Even though bible prophecy is considered secondary or tertiary in terms of doctrinal importance, without prophecy, the Bible becomes a series of disconnected stories put together in an incoherent fashion. Prophecy is interwoven throughout the entirety of Scripture to demonstrate the supernatural nature of the Book. Furthermore, prophecy paints a picture far more fantastic and hopeful than any superhero movie ever could. Christ not only deals with all the evil in the world, but deals with sin, and vanquishes the evil one for a thousand years (see Rev. 20:7-10). True peace finally comes to earth where God and man can dwell in harmony for the first time since the Garden of Eden.
All this to say that I am not knocking superhero movies, either as a past time or as a pleasure, but if I had to choose between superheroes in spandex fighting bad guys, only to provide temporary relief from horror, versus choosing Christ who has defeated death, hell, and evil in its every form forever, I choose Christ. From Revelation 19:11-16;
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
Even so, Maranatha!
Did Jeremiah Predict Israeli Missile Attack In Syria? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/105558/was-mondays-strike-in-syria-the-damascus-fire-prophesied-by-jeremiah/#x7Ayj1zwPvtw0SKC.99
"I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, And it shall consume the fortresses of Ben-hadad." Jeremiah 48:27 (The Israel Bible™)
A missile attack against an Assad regime base on Sunday is being seen as a serious escalation in the regional conflict though one end-of-days expert see it as the Syrian despot taking his prophesied place as the "Nero of the East". Another prominent rabbi has an inciteful understanding that clearly divides the multinational powder keg forming on Israel's northern border into two camps based on Biblical parameters.
On Sunday, an airstrike of unknown origin hit a Syrian military base near Homs, destroying a joint Syrian-Iranian drone command center. Initially, the Syrian government accused the United States since just a few hours before the strike, US President Donald Trump condemned the Syrian regime. Trump accused the regime of perpetrating a chlorine chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday night that killed at least 40 Syrians. In a tweet, President Trump referred to the Syrian president as "Animal Assad", warning there would be a "big price to pay". After the missile attack against the military base in Syria, the US State Department denied the accusations that the US was behind the attack.
On Monday, the Russian Interfax news agency reported that the strike was carried out by two Israeli F-15's, which fired eight missiles from Lebanese airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Syrian defenses shot down five of those missiles. Though the Israeli government did not confirm or deny the claim, Israel has attacked the base twice in the past, destroying an Iranian drone control center.
Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, known in Israel as the author of the Torah blog "Sod Ha'Chashmal," understands the recent attack as having serious end-of-days ramifications.
"Jeremiah predicted a fire in the fortresses of Damascus that will presage Messiah," Rabbi Fish told Breaking Israel News.
I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, And it shall consume the fortresses of Ben-hadad. Jeremiah 48:27
"Ben-hadad in gematria (Hebrew numerology) equals 65, the same as 'Assad,'" Rabbi Fish said. "This recent attack in Syria conforms to the prophet's description."
According to Rabbi Fish, Assad has an integral role to play in Moshiach Ben David (Messiah, son of David) the second half of the Messianic process that will include the return of the Davidic Dynasty and the building of the Third Temple. The rabbi cited a Midrash (homiletic) teaching attributed to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the redactor of the Zohar, the seminal source-book for Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism).
"And a star will grow in the east and it will have a tribe on its head, and it is the star of Israel, and then the Messiah, the son of David, will grow," the Midrash read. "And it will be a sign for you, that when you will see that Niron Mizrachi has fallen in Damascus, then the kingdom of the people of the east will have fallen, and then will grow the salvation for Israel."
"Though the Arabs certainly did not intend a reference to the Midrash, Assad is referred to in the Arab world as the 'Nero of the East," Rabbi Fish explained.
"To further emphasize Assad's connection to the Nero of the East that will bring Moshiach Ben David, his name (בַּשַׁאר אַסַאד) in gematria (Hebrew numerology) equals to נִרוֹן מִזְרָחִי (Nero of the East)."
"There is an additional hint that the fall of Damascus is linked to the building of the Mikdash (Temple)," Rabbi Fish said. "The Hebrew letters used to spell Damascus (דמשק) can be rearranged to spell 'Mikdash' (מקדש)."
Syria's civil war has become a powder keg bringing the militaries from many nations into close proximity with one another, creating shifting alliances that sometimes seem incomprehensible. An American-led coalition is faced off against Russian troops sent to prop up Assad's faltering regime. Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, believes that the battle-lines are actually quite clear when viewed from a Torah perspective.
"In the international mix of armies that are poised to explode in Syria, it is basically objective truth and Torah morality against the subjective truth," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News.
"Russia and the Arab nations are united by a common reality based on an entirely subjective perception of truth. This is the basis of Russia, which believes in that might makes right. This creates an illusory reality that allows them to do whatever is necessary to survive, or achieve and conquer what they desire."
"Arab Muslims are the most subjective people in the world," Rabbi Winston added. "There is no room for anyone else's belief except their own."
Rabbi Winston compared this to the left-wing in America that favors socialism.
"In socialism, anyone who believes that someone else's property is theirs, they are justified in taking it," he said. "This is the basis of the liberal narrative in left-wing America today, subjective reality. It unites them with Russia and Islamists, even though they all seem to have opposing value systems."
Attention Getters - By Daymond Duck -
Below are some facts from the news that recently caught my attention.
One: In early March 2018, it was reported that Israel is surrounded by enemies and the situation is becoming ominous. This is clearly that inner circle of nations that is not mentioned in the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39).
Israel is responding by preparing for war on five fronts. Some prophecy teachers see this as the Psa. 83 War. Others see it as part of the Battle of Gog and Magog or the war between Israel and Syria (Isa. 17).
Either way a person looks at it, Israel is preparing for war with her neighbors.
And incidentally, Israel acknowledged that her military is taking into consideration the presence of Russian planes in Syria.
Two: As far as I know, the U.S. has approved the sale of 33 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Israel. Seven have been delivered and put into service to date with more to arrive soon.
It was recently reported that, during the month of March 2018, two of those jets flew in Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian airspace without being detected by Russian Radar.
Three: On Mar. 25, 2018, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired several missiles at Saudi Arabia's capital, International airport and other targets.
A Saudi spokesperson said, we "reserve the right to respond against Iran at the right time and right place."
Iran's aggression is forcing Saudi Arabia toward a regional peace treaty with Israel.
Four: On Mar. 27, 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman spent just over an hour in a New York meeting with leaders of several influential U.S. Jewish groups.
The purpose of the meeting was not revealed; but the descendants of Jacob and Esau have been fighting for thousands of years, so the fact that a Crown Prince from an Arab nation held a public meeting with a group of Jews in New York is astounding.
Five: The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has decided to investigate China's growing military and economic power in Africa.
If the Tribulation Period is near and the leader of the kings of the East is China, her growing military and economic power should be expected.
Six: In late Mar. 2018, it was reported that recently uncovered documents strongly suggest collusion between the Obama Administration, CIA, FBI, DOJ and Clinton Campaign to prevent the election of Pres. Trump; and after they failed, they launched an effort to remove him from office (treason).
Because the danger is so great, it is critical for U.S. voters to understand that the New World Order (NWO) with its shadow government, deep state, swamp, globalists, progressives, or whatever one wants to call it is the real threat to America.
These people include both Republicans (RINOS) and Democrats that are entrenched in Washington politics and secretly cooperate in an effort to surrender the sovereignty of the U.S.
They are bound together by their globalist agenda, not their political party.
They deny what they are doing, but FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, was recently fired for lying about it (at least twice to the Inspector General while under oath).
God will allow Satan's globalist dream to succeed (witches are casting spells against Pres. Trump at every waning moon), and they will get their satanic world government after the Rapture of the church; billions of people will die and the world will suffer unimaginable destruction for seven years.
Seven: In late Mar. 2018, reports that Facebook and Twitter have been mining and selling people's personal information, and YouTube (Google) has been censoring conservative and Christian groups caused an uproar.
This is strong evidence that the long-held belief that the shadow government is building a left-leaning surveillance society that will eventually track and control everything people say, do, buy and sell is true.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Heaven isn't for 'good' people - Greg Laurie -
Greg Laurie notes, 'I don't want to become a religious person'
A retail chain commissioned a survey by a team of psychologists to try and crack a key demographic: millennials. Their research revealed something so startling that they tested 800 more people because they thought they had made a mistake.
The same answers came back, however, and researchers found an alarming picture of an increasingly lonely and lost generation. The average social media use for millennials is six-and-a half hours a day. The researchers concluded that people in this demographic have a large number of friends but an increasing sense of loneliness.
Loneliness can drive you to despondency. When the lead singer of a well-known rock band committed suicide, he left a suicide note that said, "I am a lonely soul."
Not only are we empty and not only are we lonely, but we are afraid to die. The Bible speaks of those who are held in slavery by their fear of death. Of course, death is the fear of the unknown. It has been said there are two things that are true of every person: Everyone wants to be happy, and everyone is going to die.
We are all going to die one day, but I want to tell you that when you leave this earth, whenever that may be, there is a way you can know with absolute certainty that you will go to heaven.
The gospel of John, chapter 4, tells us about a woman from Samaria. We do know this much about her: She had been married and divorced five times, and she was living with a guy as well. She was trying to fill the hole in her heart with relationships with men and even with sex. She had no faith to speak of, but she had her life changed by Jesus Christ.
So when Jesus saw her one day sitting by a well at noon, he looked at her with great love and compassion. She would go there to draw water at that time of day because none of the other women wanted to have anything to do with her. She would come alone to the well, and little did she know that she had an appointment with Jesus that day.
He was waiting there for her, and he asked her for a drink of water.
The woman said, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?" (verse 9 NLT).
Jesus answered, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water" (verse 10 NLT).
Jesus was using the well using as a metaphor, saying, "If you drink of this water, you will thirst again."
You could write that over many things in life. If you drink of the well of materialism, you will thirst again.
Maybe you've thought, "When I get this one car, I'm going to be happy." Then you got that car. You were so excited about it. It had the new car smell. You promised yourself, "I will never eat in this car, ever." But then you were late for work one day. You went through a drive-thru and got a burrito. While you were eating it, you dropped it. You found it three weeks later, in the process of becoming a new life-form. Then you got your first dent in the mall parking lot.
Everything that is new is cool at first, including cars. But then they get older. They get dented or something else happens. That is the way it is with things.
If you drink of the well of so-called experiences, you will thirst again. The Bible says, "But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives" (1 Timothy 5:6 NKJV).
Some people think, "If I could just be famous, I know I would be happy." Would they? I read an article that pointed out there have been 21 suicides over the last decade by people who have been on reality shows. One reality show contestant said, "You go off the show and back to your job at Target or bartending, and all of a sudden you're depressed. It's just inevitable."
Of course. That's because fame isn't going to satisfy us. As comedian and actor Jim Carey said in a Sept. 10, 2017, tweet, "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer."
If you drink of the well of religion, you will thirst again. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian. Even reading the Bible doesn't make you a Christian. There has to be a moment when you believe in Jesus.
I am not a religious person. I don't want to become a religious person. Religion, simplified, is man's attempt to reach God. Religion effectively says, "If you do this, you will reach God one day. ... If you do that, you will find inner peace. ... If you do this other thing, you will find satisfaction." It is do, do, do.
Christianity, on the other hand, is God's attempt to reach man through Jesus Christ. It is not what we do for God. It is what God has done for us in sending his son, Jesus, to die on the cross. It is done. It is finished. And it is a gift - a gift you can reach out and accept as your own.
Conventional wisdom says that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. But here's something that may surprise you. There are going to be some "good" people who will not make it to heaven, because no one is good enough to get there on their own. And there are some "bad" people who will be in heaven because they realized they were bad, and they called out to God for forgiveness.
Heaven isn't for good people; heaven is for forgiven people. You must say, "God I'm sorry for my sin," and turn from it. Your life can be changed by Jesus Christ. He is alive. He is standing at the door of your life and knocking. And he is saying that if you will hear his voice and open the door, he will come in.
No matter what you have done, don't despair. God will forgive you of any sin you have committed - if you will ask him for his forgiveness.
Daily Jot: I can only imagine - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
I could count on one hand the number of movies I've paid to see over the last five years. I don't like what Hollywood produces and what the actors stand for. To me, many are un-American and their craft portrays a world of bad things on steroids. My movie watching is by extreme selection usually in the privacy of my home. I like the older works-like pre-1970. My favorite, though, is "Remember the Titans." Maybe "Gone with the Wind" is a close second. It's difficult for me to remember movies and I have a hard time recognizing actors. I guess it just doesn't matter enough to me. There was, however, a movie that we went to see over the weekend, and I actually paid to see it, that I can strongly recommend.
Many of you may remember the song "I Can Only Imagine." The lyrics are: "I can only imagine What it would be like When I walk by your side I can only imagine What my eyes would see When your face is before me I can only imagine I can only imagine Surrounded by your glory What will my heart feel Will I dance for you Jesus Or in awe of You be still Will I stand in your presence To my knees will I fall Will I sing hallelujah Will I be able to speak at all I can only imagine I can only imagine I can only imagine When that day comes When I find myself Standing in the Son I can only imagine When all I will do Is forever, forever worship you I can only imagine I can only imagine."
It's a MercyMe song written by Bart Millard. The Movie, "I Can Only Imagine," takes viewers on the journey of Bart Millard's life, of which the ingredients were mixed to bring him to a moment when he penned the words to the three time platinum song. Amy Grant played by Nicole DuPort was going to record the song and she was talking to Millard about how long it took to write it. Millard, played by J. Michael Finley, told her it only took about ten minutes and the music took about the same amount of time. She said that she believed a song like that took a lifetime to write. From there, we learn the story behind the song and Millard's life of abuse, abandonment, soul-searching, and reconciliation.
This is a compelling story. The acting is very good. The filmography is very good. It was produced on a $7 million budget and Variety.com reports that the movie grossed over $15 million the first weekend it was released. It has already grossed over $59 million, according to moviedguide.org. This means that a lot of people are seeing it. This is a story of how the relationship of a son and a father is restored through the redemptive powers of Jesus Christ. We can all relate to it in one way or another. It doesn't twist the gospel. It stays true to its intent. It's not preachy, it's real. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14, "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." "I Can Only Imagine" addresses forgiveness in a way that can be an example to us all. You'll be blessed if you see it.
Daily Devotion: Curious, Convinced, or Committed? - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. -John 2:11
When Christ walked our planet, He spent a lot of time with twelve handpicked disciples. In Matthew 5:1-2 we read, "And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them" (NKJV). After that came the Sermon on the Mount, which was given to His disciples who had gathered around Him. Jesus took time for His disciples. He spent time with them.
The word disciple means "a learner." If you're a disciple of Jesus, then you're a learner. You're someone who is listening and processing. These disciples listened to Jesus and followed Him.
Dwight Pentecost used three words to describe the different phases of where people are spiritually: curious, convinced, and committed.
During Jesus' earthly ministry, He had a lot of curious people gather around Him, especially when He performed a miracle like multiplying the loaves and fish. A free lunch? Now we're talking. Jesus would show up, and the crowds would show up. They listened to Him, but it didn't impact them for the most part.
Then there are the convinced. These people aren't impacted personally by what they hear, but they give intellectual assent to it, which is an important step. For example, we read that the first miracle Jesus did was turn water into wine in Cana of Galilee. John 2:11 tells us, "This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him" (NKJV). The disciples had gone from curious to convinced. They were so convinced that they were starting to follow Him. But at that point, after that miracle, they went from convinced to committed.
Which of these categories best describes you? Have you gone from curious to committed?
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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Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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