Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last Day(s) - By Pete Garcia -
Shortly after 9/11, a heartbroken and humbled America began asking in earnest if we were truly living in the last days. The response they got (from the so-called experts) was a cacophonic chorus of yes, no's, and everything in-between. It truly was a missed opportunity for the church to unite in message and declare the nearness of our Lord's return, and to be a witness to the nation. Instead, we wasted it arguing over hermeneutical primacy and archaic denominational traditions. God then gave the American churches a second opportunity to shine in unison during the 2008 economic meltdown. Again, not missing a beat, the American church quickly and efficiently formed its circular firing squad, and yelled, ready, fire, aim!
However, let us not kid ourselves.
God is both sovereign and omnipotent; therefore, the future is never hidden from Him (Isa. 46:9-10). He knew from before the foundation of the world that the western church would increasingly succumb too in an increasingly morally vacuous culture (Revelation 1-3). God's strategic coup de grâce against the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3), would be through a second wave (latter rain) of evangelical, guerilla, spiritual warfare. In such a time as this, the Holy Spirit would once again move through both nations and denominations, stirring select disciples with a passion to return to biblical literacy and accuracy.
Disciple, Scholar, Prophet
It is doubtful if there has been any other circle of men [dispensationalists] who have done more by their influence in preaching, teaching and writing to promote a love for Bible study, a hunger for the deeper Christian life, a passion for evangelism and zeal for missions in the history of American Christianity. -Dispensationalist Critic, George E. Ladd
In His foreknowledge of things to come (i.e., the increasingly perilous times of the 20th and 21st centuries), God spent the previous 100 years, raising up true, biblical scholars through the 19th-century Dispensationalist movement. The Holy Spirit began to stir men to study, moving them out of their slumbering Protestant denominations, and into a growing non-denominational movement of men and women who had a passion for a return to the literal, grammatical, and historical interpretation of Scripture.
Upon returning to a literal interpretation, these theological pioneers were awakened to the overwhelmingly prophetic and apocalyptic nature of the Bible. These were to become the biblical standard-bearers moving into the last days. They did not invent these prophetic revelations; they simply, rediscovered what the Bible has been saying all along. After removing the centuries-old blinders of dogmas and denominational biases, they began to look at scripture with fresh eyes. Dispensationalists from all stripes came to the same inescapable conclusion that the sine qua non of Scripture was recognizing the differences between the prophecies and promises related to national Israel, and to those of the New Testament Church.
"The essence of dispensationalism, then, is the distinction between Israel and the Church. This grows out of the dispensationalist's consistent employment of normal or plain or historical-grammatical interpretation, and it reflects an understanding of the basic purpose of God in all His dealings with mankind as that of glorifying Himself through salvation and other purposes as well." Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism, p. 41
Just as God used the first-century apostles to gather disciples to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, these early church fathers, were to be the biblical standard-bearers for the early church. Not only would these men and women contend for the faith against heresies and apostasies, (which were cropping up by the day), but were also called to be examples. They would be known for their love (agape and phileo), in contending for the one true faith, and even until their martyrdom, would safeguard the infant church against Gnosticism, legalism, and paganism, which were simply satanic attempts to strangle the early church in its cradle.
In these last days, God would once again stir up a new generation of disciples; men like John N. Darby, William Blackstone, Cyrus Scofield, and Clarence Larkin, who would depart from their traditional denominations and wholly devote themselves to a deeper understanding of God's word. I would include D. L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, and Billy Sunday to the groups as well. Although these last three were not necessarily dispensational in their hermeneutics, God impressed upon them lateness of the hour and their consuming passion for saving the lost. Regardless, their jobs was to wake the sleeping church (Revelation 3:3) out of its slumber and prepare her for what is about to come to pass.
Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
These 19th-century pioneers would come to greatly influence the 20th-century prophets and scholars. In the scholar category, I would include men like Lewis Sperry Chafer, Harry Ironside, J. Dwight Pentecost, Henry Morris, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Tommy Ice, and others. These men would come to possess millennia worth of academic, historical, archeological, philosophical, and geopolitical knowledge. As the world moved out of the industrial age, and into the age of information, their knowledge grafted into and contrasted what we knew/know, with a renewed understanding of God's word. This prophetic proliferation of knowledge was graciously encapsulated into the minds of these men, who would go on to share that knowledge with the last generation of believers.
"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Daniel 12:4
In regards to the 20th-century prophets, I would include men like Billy Graham, Hal Lindsey, J. Vernon McGee, Dave Hunt, J.R. Church, Tim LaHaye, Jack Kelley, and Jack Kinsella. These prophets did not call down fire out of heaven or shut up the rains for years on end, but they did possess the uncanny ability to present prophetic truths with level of precision and clarity rarely matched.
All of the aforementioned did so based upon an accurate understanding of biblical prophecy. All of these would come to influence the growing and emerging mediums of communication (i.e., radio and internet platforms), with ministries such as: Thru the Bible, The Omega Letter, Grace Thru Faith, Olive Tree Ministries, Hal Lindsey Report, Behold Israel, CARM, Rapture Ready, Rapture Forums, and Got Questions (to name just a few). These candles in the night would become increasingly important sources of light for those living in an increasingly darkening world.
These ministries would become a standard for biblical truths in an information-saturated age. These ministries would also become a repository of sound biblical teachings and of prophetic truths, which were no longer coming from America's pulpits. This new medium of Internet-based ministries would come to impact millions of believers and seekers worldwide, in an age, where geopolitical tensions, terrorism, pandemics, lack of interest, and financial stress has put global missions on the decline.
The Last Days
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 1 Timothy 1:1-5
When the secular world talks about the last days, they normally associate "the end" as coming from a naturalistic (or at least, rationally explainable) cause. Simply turn on Nat-Geo or the History Channel any night of the week, and you will get an endless parade of "experts" presenting their theories on how they think the world will end. From their perspective, the most likely scenarios involve an event such as a rogue meteor, runaway climate change, mega-earthquake, or some type of pandemic. These are about the only academically acceptable extinction-level-event (ELE) or global cataclysmic scenarios.
Adding fuel to this particular fire, Hollywood has also long championed the naturalistic doom and gloom genre, because it gives a false sense of hope that we can avoid this seemingly fated, rendezvous with destiny (The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, and Interstellar). Hollywood also likes this genre, because it makes them a ridiculous amount of money, regardless of how preposterous their version of the end might be (ex. I am Legend, Sharknado, and World War Z). Hollywood especially delights in twisting and then capitalizing off misusing biblical terminology to present their interpretation in a non-biblical scenario for their version of the end (think 1998's Armageddon, Rapture-Palooza).
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" Matthew 24:3
When asked by His disciples about the last days as they understood it (i.e., Old Testament perspective), Jesus did not say there was any one particular sign that would signal the start of last days. Instead, He said the signs of the end (i.e., wars, rumors of war, pestilence, famines, earthquakes, and false teachers) would come like birth pangs, increasing in both frequency and intensity as the time drew closer. If there were any one particular sign, it would be the convergence of all these things.
A tempting, yet, highly inaccurate and unbiblical form of prophetic teachings is known as historicism. It attempts to force the news of the day onto the pages of bible prophecy, and vice versa. The end did not happen with the Roman siege of Jerusalem in AD70. The end did not start with the rise of the Roman Catholic Church. The end did not start with 14th-century Black Plague, or World War 1. The end did not start with the rise of Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich. The end did not start with AIDS, SARS, Ebola, or this new strand of Coronavirus. The end started, when Jesus ascended into heaven after His death, burial, and resurrection.
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2
During His earthly life and earthly ministry, Christ (as a man) limited His divinity in many ways. While He did perform miracles, He only did so only to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies to validate His claims of Messiahship. One of the things He willingly limited Himself on was knowing exactly when He would usher in His kingdom. That is not to say, Christ was any less of God for not knowing, but had He known, He could not have said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matt. 24:36). However, after His ascension, (this author's opinion) Christ is received into heaven to receive the Revelation.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants-things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3
This is what John is shown in Revelation chapter 5; the grand reception ceremony of Christ as the victorious conqueror over sin, death, hell, and Satan. Although He goes on to open the Sealed Scrolls during Revelation 6, we must remember that there is no "time" in the eternal realm. John had to step out of time in order to view the unveiling in heaven. In other words, John was shown this in AD95, some sixty years after the birth of the Church, yet, John was shown this as Christ's inaugural entrance right after His ascension. Somewhat confusing concept to wrap our minds around, yet, it is the only way that makes sense.
It is hard to blame the non-Christian for getting the last days wrong. Heck, most Christians cannot even agree on how and when the end happens. The reason for this growing divergence is that they have different forms of interpretation. The more allegorical or non-literal a denomination or theologian becomes; the less likely they are going to take the Bible at its word. Two points:
The Bible is by its very nature, an apocalyptic book. It is the world's first/original apocalyptic book. This dates all the way back to Enoch (seventh from Adam- Jude 1:14). The first book ever penned even before Genesis (circa 2100 BC), the book of Job presents his literal and physical belief that he would one day see the Redeemer on the earth (Job 19:25-27).
The Bible is meant to be taken literally. When it is not, it either tells you or is so nonsensical that it could not be taken literally. For example, when Jesus said, "I am the door," (John 10:9) we know He is not saying He is a literal door with wood, handle, and hinges. We get the meaning of the symbolism because of the surrounding context. It is only through Him, that one can find salvation (John 14:6). Therefore, the correct and only legitimate way to interpret the bible is with a common sense, literal, grammatical, and historical interpretation (hermeneutic).
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:24
Jesus warned His Jewish disciples, that the temple and the city (Jerusalem) would be destroyed fulfilling Daniel 9:24-27. History has borne that out to be historically accurate. This was the second time Jerusalem was sacked and its temple leveled. The first was by the Babylonians in the 6th-century BC, this time it would be the Romans. The prophet Jeremiah warned the people that their captivity in Babylon would last seventy years. Moses warned them that if they disobeyed God (crucifying their Messiah certainly qualified), they would be scattered throughout the earth for a very long time (Deut. 30). The prophet Ezekiel was told that the nation of Israel would be like a valley of dry bones, who would again rise up in the last days, and would become a mighty nation (Ez. 37). This came to pass at the conclusion of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust. In 1948, the Jews declared their statehood and became a nation again in one day (May 14, 1948).
Jesus stated that the generation who saw the fig tree bloom (Israel nationally was often referred to as a fig tree in the Old Testament). The fig tree lay dead and barren for nearly two-thousand years, suddenly and miraculously, brought back to life at the conclusion of World War II. Jesus warned that the Gentiles would trample Jerusalem down until the time of the end. That end came to its partial conclusion in 1967 when the Israelis retook the whole city in the Six-Day War.
Although the birth pangs serve as prophetic-markers for signaling the end of the age (i.e., the convergence), they also serve a practical purpose in desensitizing the secular world. But why would God do that? I suppose it is the same reason that Jesus routinely taught in parables and hard sayings.
Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given . . . . And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive, for the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them' (Matthew 13:11,14,15).
Unwillingness on the part of the people to receive Jesus' message of the kingdom was the reason that He taught in parables. The truths of the kingdom of God were heard by them but not understood. It was not because God was hiding the truth from them-it was because they did not want to hear.
God has given us the foreknowledge (bible prophecy) and the signs to know when He would be returning to judge the world and restore it to its intended purposes (Jer. 30:7-11). Yet, most people do not want to believe. Most people will accept any reason (aliens, meteors, pandemics, zombies, etc.) before they accept the biblical explanation for how this age ends. They are not only rejecting the repeated warnings, but they are even embracing catastrophism as the new normal (climate change).
In keeping with the 7,000-year theory (I happen to believe this without reservation), which matches God's seven-days of Creation, God has only given the Church two-millennial days to bring as many with us as we can, before He ends this present reality. Think about it this way, it was two-thousand years (two millennial days) from Adam to Abraham. It was two-thousand years (two millennial days) from Abraham to Jesus. Depending on when we start the clock (either Christ's birth or crucifixion); we are at two-thousand years from Jesus to the present. Remember that national Israel was not in existence for most of these last two-thousand years.
God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. He did not have to do that. He could have spoken everything into existence in a fraction of a second, and it would have been just as perfect. He used the seven-days as a model for us to live by, as well as a model for how long He would deal with mankind. Notice here, that when comparing a day to a thousand years, the Bible does not say thousands (plural), but thousand (singular).
~For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4 (author-Moses)
~But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 (author-Peter)
Lastly, we have the key to our prophetic understanding. The prophet Hosea, who, speaking to the restoration of Israel, noted,
Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth Hosea 6:1-3
We are in the last moments, of the last day (the second day). We have witnessed two-thousand years of church history, the rebirth of the nation Israel, and the convergence of all the signs given to us in the Olivet Discourse, the epistles, and the Revelation have either been fulfilled, or is coming to its economic, geopolitical, and technological fulfillment. Maranatha
COVID-19 - God's Parable For Mankind - By Deborah Lynn Homeister - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3964
A 'New Thought' -
As I was praying with my children a few days ago, a new thought came to me that was a bit startling, but not because of the thought itself. I was startled, by the fact that I had not had this thought or question before now.
As I peered at that global map lit with the areas of the world where COVID 19 was ablaze, it occurred to me that the entire globe was in a - 'time out'.
In a matter of a few short weeks, thanks to this miniscule virus, global commerce had come to a halt. For large swathes of this blue planet, in the developed world, there were no more traffic jams on the freeways, or on the runways. The skyscrapers were dark as many worked from home, many others could no longer work anywhere.
Great University halls of learning were silent, and pews once filled with those who still attended weekly church gatherings, were empty. And, weddings that had been months in the making were canceled overnight.
Here in the west, there was no more March Madness, no more rock concerts, vacations, dinner or dance parties or Saint Patty's Day karaoke at the bars. Even the 'city that never sleeps' appeared to have settled in for a late winter nap. Small social gatherings for a game of cards ended, the grand halls where live Theater was performed, were silent.
Neither were there anymore throngs of young people making their early rush for popcorn before trying to grab the best seats in their favorite movie theater... No more after school activities...no more Friday night sleepovers.
Living, seemed to have stopped. Except in the Hospitals, where health care workers of every stripe began the fight to keep others and themselves, from dying.
Yet, even with all of the loss of life before, and with even more to come....there would be no end of life ceremonies, no mourners to gather in loving memory, no arms to offer comfort, no words of hope spoken over the life that was no more. But, how could this be so?
No shots had been exchanged, no bombs had been dropped, no new foreign armies had invaded and yet ... virtually the whole planet appeared to be on: pause.
For now and for an undetermined time to come, the one commodity that always seemed in such short supply; that elusive thing that the young take for granted and the old continually grasp for more of - is the one thing that for some, there is now too much of.
There are those whom have never truly been alone with their own thoughts, before now.
Perhaps this new found experience will for them, be frightening. For others, it will lead to a freedom they never knew existed.
That 'new thought' that I cannot escape:
What if -the entire globe has been given a 'time out'?
What if - everything this world revolves around, has been put on 'pause'?
What if - everything that distracts us has been set aside for a specific purpose?
What if - in the midst of this horrendous epoch in human history, the author of time was granting humanity - A time out?
What if - for one brief time in human history, humanity was given 'extra' time? And if so, why?
What if - it was to enable us to consider perhaps for the first time - why we are here, to be given the time (and the absence of busyness) to genuinely consider the most important matters in the entire universe? Time to ponder good and evil, if man can have peace, where we go when we die, and why? Is there really any hope?
And what if - we only had a short window of time, to find the evidence that answers these questions and many more besides?
Is there anyone who has the power to take something horrendous, something more wretched than COVID 19, an instrument of pain and death - and use it as a means of accomplishing something so beautiful, so momentous that the greatest minds that ever lived, could not have conceived of it? It happened once before.
This tiny little virus that is not a respecter of persons, which has sent the whole world into hiding, will not have the final say. Long ago, there was another virus, and this one which had a 100% mortality rate, infected the entire human race. The one who released it thought he found the means to utterly destroy the human race, permanently. He was wrong.
It is a sobering thought, that because of that virus, there is a fixed day for every human being ever born, when time will be 'up'. No matter how powerful, no matter how intelligent, no matter how wealthy, no matter how attractive we are - NO ONE - is promised tomorrow.
The brightest scientific minds are seeking to find a cure for COVID 19; others are furiously searching for a vaccine to prevent anyone from ever getting this dreaded virus, which at this writing just topped 1 million cases.
Imagine with me that the cure for the Corona Virus has been identified, and has been made available for all people, from all nations, from all socio-economic backgrounds? Can you conceive of any scenario wherein the cure that will prevent death is being made available to ALL and without cost?
But, what if it were true? And what if - someone offered his own wealth to cover the cost to give this cure to every human being on the earth? And what if - this man was also the one to receive the live virus, knowing it would lead to his own death?
One person, offering to give their own life, in order to save the human race. Can you even fathom a scenario in which anyone, anywhere on earth, would say 'No thanks'? Such a scenario involving a cure for COVID 19 is of course, hypothetical.
But in a similar way, such a scenario has happened.
Earlier, I spoke of another, more deadly virus. At extreme personal cost, the cure for this virus, was developed and then purchased for - all - of humanity. Yet, shocking as it is, countless people the world over have rejected the only available cure. Why? You will have to ask them.
I can tell you that this cure was given to me some 44 years ago and not only did it save my life, it changed my life as well. Those who knew me best, saw a new and very different person. Since then, guilt is gone and every day is a new start, everyday holds the promise of hope and a deep, abiding peace that does not make sense - even when all that can go wrong, does. Even, now.
Earlier, I asked a provocative question: 'Is there anyone who has the power to take something horrendous, something more wretched than COVID 19, an instrument of pain and death - and use it as a means of accomplishing something so beautiful, so momentous that the greatest minds that ever lived, could not have conceived of it?' I mentioned that it happened once before.
On April 10th I will spend the day meditating on that one Friday some 2,000 years ago, when the most painful instrument of death ever devised by man, was turned into the most wonderful, most beautiful gift ever offered to man: the Roman cross became the instrument used to produce the cure for the virus that leads to eternal death, eternal separation from the One who created us for a relationship with Him, who loves us more than we could ever begin to imagine!
The cure? The God who made us, left His throne and came to earth for the sole purpose of taking the 'virus' Himself, in order to produce the only Cure. And with His own blood, He paid the price in order to be able to offer the Cure to all, without cost. In effect, He took our illness, and in exchange gave us His life.
And the one who gave the original virus to all of humanity, who thought he found the means to utterly destroy the human race, permanently? I told you he was wrong.
The proof? The first day of the week after that Friday, the One who took my death, was raised from the grave to prove that the Cure worked, and that is the Cure He offers to ALL who will come to Him and ask for it. Because He lives, I and all who accept His payment for the Cure, will never experience eternal death.
His Name is Jesus the Christ, the only Son of the Living GOD, and He sits at the right hand of the Father, one day to return to this earth, again.
Are you ready to learn more about the cure that God provides for our disease called sin?
Is COVID-19 the End of the Beginning of Sorrows? - By Joe Southerland - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/04/09/is-covid-19-the-end-of-the-beginning-of-sorrows-by-joe-southerland/
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:3-8).
"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill (November 10, 1942)
Where does the COVID-19 birth-pain sorrow fall?
As stated in my previous COVID-19 articles, I believe this pandemic is but one of many sorrows in a long line of birth pains. Jesus prophesied that these sorrows would increase in intensity and frequency until His two distinctive returns; first in the Blessed hope of the Rapture, and then later in His triumphant return. However, where exactly does this birth pain, COVID-19, fall within the prophetic timeline that the Holy Spirit provides us in GOD's WORD?
A First for Me - a non-Biblical Quote
I have never previously quoted anything but GOD'S WORD to begin my articles, teaching, and sermons. However, I open with an oft-quoted phrase, from one of the greatest modern statesmen in the history of Great Britain, Prime Minister Churchill. This quote is uniquely suited to help us consider the prophetic timing of COVID-19 as we await the imminent return of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, for His Bride, the Church, at the Rapture, and Jesus Christ's triumphant return as the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.*
The Second World War was arguably the greatest global threat to modern Mankind, in terms of ideology, treasure, and blood. During this turbulent time, Prime Minister Churchill provided these weighty words during The Lord Mayor's Luncheon, Mansion House, on November 10, 1942. It was given after a series of defeats from Dunkirk to Singapore. Churchill could finally tell the House of Commons that "we have a new experience. We have victory - a remarkable and definite victory." Alexander and Montgomery turned back Rommel's forces at El Alamein, thus winning what Churchill called "The Battle of Egypt."**
Amidst this backdrop of struggle and hardship coming upon the United Kingdom, and in order to provide a perspective timeline on the arduous days that lay ahead for his people, Prime Minister Churchill coined the phrase, "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
So, with these famous words in mind, let us further examine Matthew 24:8 scripture, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." Since the beginning of sorrows had a starting point, that naturally implies there will one day be an end of sorrows. Which means between the beginning of these sorrows and the end of these sorrows there exists a timeline, a period of sorrows, if you will.
Given this period of sorrows, just where do we place the COVID-19 plague/pestilence/pandemic in the period of sorrows on the prophetic timeline God presents in His Holy Word? Where does this pestilence fit in terms of the End Times? Are we nearing the two returns of Jesus Christ?
Considering Biblical Prophecy against Prime Minister Churchill's event categorizations:
1) Is COVID-19 the end of the period of sorrows? Which would mean after COVID-19 there are no more sorrows prophesied in the Bible.
2) Is COVID-19 the beginning of an end period of sorrows? Which would mean COVID-19 triggers the beginning of a prophesied End-Times schedule of events.
3) Is COVID-19 perhaps the end of the beginning of sorrows? Which would mean COVID-19 represent the final birth pain before transition into other events specifically prophesied in the Bible.
Is COVID-19 the end of the sorrows?
According to God's Word, no. For that to occur, you would have to dismiss the End-Times prophecies of Jesus, the beloved Prophet Daniel, the beloved Apostle John, Peter the Rock, and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, and many of the other writers of the Bible. The sorrows shall continue.
I fully understand in my earthly flesh that Mankind desires that COVID-19 shall pass and all will return to normal, but the signs of the times and the unfolding of other prophecies say otherwise. Though sorrows shall not end until Jesus Christ returns to earth and makes His enemies His footstool (Psalms 101:1, Isaiah 66:1, Hebrews 10:3) and He creates this fallen earth anew.
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2nd Peter 3:12-13).
Is COVID-19 the beginning of the end of the sorrows?
No, for the scriptures tell of two other times of tremendous sorrows coming upon Mankind. The first period of horrific war, famine, and pestilence shall occur during the first half of Daniel's prophesied Seven-Year Tribulation of Daniel 9:24-27, which commences in Revelation Chapter Six.
This second period of tribulation will unfold in the later three- and one-half years of Daniel's Seven-Year Tribulation, and is called the Time of Jacob's Trouble. It will further escalate the violence, carnage and horrors to an unimaginable level. Both of these climactic End-Times events each have specific triggers indicated in prophesy, but a COVID-19-like pandemic is not indicated in scripture to immediately precede these unparalleled times of sorrows.
Is COVID-19 perhaps the end of the beginning of sorrows?
Perhaps this is the case. Perhaps we are transitioning into a new phase in God's prophetic timeline. However, that knowledge resides within the realm of God the Father which I have previously stated will remain at least partially veiled from Mankind by God.***
If COVID-19 is indeed the end of the beginning of sorrows, we will be transitioning from the time of unspecified prophetic fulfillment of Matthew 24:3-8 into the specified End-Time prophetic events the prophecy watchers know are yet to be fulfilled...the Rapture of the Church, the Psalms 83 Battle, Isaiah 17 Destruction Oracle, and the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39.
Sorrows Coming on Us Like a Flood
In terms of continuing sorrows impacting upon our normal lives, the best we can hope for is to remain within the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew 24:8, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." Considering the global impact of COVID-19, what lies ahead if the birth pains are continuing in magnitude is nearly impossible to imagine.
Especially when we consider the beloved prophet of God, Daniel, relaying this portion of the angel Gabriel's prophecy... "the end thereof shall be with a [ flood] and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (Daniel 9:26). At this point, it sure does feel like a flood is upon us.
Accordingly, let us focus on what Jesus told us in Matthew7:24-25, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."
Jesus Christ is our blessed Rock; only those who build their lives upon the Rock shall endure.
My next article will provide an overview on what the scriptures say is yet to pass, which shall make COVID-19 appear to be but the calm before the coming storm. Perhaps not immediately, but God's Word will be fulfilled according to His pleasure.
Time is short! The harvest fields are ripe! Shine forth with the light of Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!
The Passover: History And Prophecy - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/the-passover-history-and-prophecy/
The Feasts of Israel have both a historical and a prophetic fulfillment. In this study we'll review the account of Passover, the world's oldest continuously celebrated Holy Day, from these two perspectives.
First, here's the background. God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham. But before Abraham could actually take possession, the Canaanite people still had 400 years to decide if they were going to repent of their pagan ways and return to God. He already knew they weren't going to decide in His favor and He would have to evict them, but He was committed to giving them the 400 years first. So it would actually be Abraham's descendants who would take possession of the land. In the interim, God said, they would migrate to Egypt and eventually become enslaved there. When the 400 years were up, God would bring them back to give them the land and would also give them the wealth of Egypt, as compensation for their time of slavery (Genesis 15:13-21).
To make sure there was no confusion about this, God repeated His promise to both Isaac (Genesis 26:2-3) and Jacob (Genesis 28:10-15), Abraham's son and grandson.
When the time came, God called Moses to be the deliverer of the Jewish people (Exodus 3) and appointed his brother Aaron to help him bring Abraham's descendants back to the Promised Land (Exodus 4:14-17). But when they approached Pharaoh, he flatly refused to let the people go (Exodus 5:1-3). After nine judgments that nearly destroyed Egypt (Exodus 7:14-10:29), God told Moses and Aaron how to prepare the people so they could protect themselves from the 10th and final judgment, the death of the firstborn.
The Historical Fulfillment
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. (Exod. 12:1-5)
From the dawn of the Age of Man until that time, the month to which the Lord referred had been the 7th month, called Nisan. In the announcement above He basically ordered a 6 month shift in their calendar. The 7th month was now the 1st. Because of their dependence on agricultural cycles, the Israelites retained their original calendar, with its Fall beginning, and super-imposed this new calendar over it. From then on they had a religious calendar, beginning in the Spring, and an agricultural calendar, beginning in the Fall. (That's why Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, comes in the Fall.)
Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire-head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover. (Exod. 12:6-11)
Until the 14th means through the end of the 13th, just like a present marked "do not open until Christmas" can't be opened until the 24th is over. Also, Jewish days begin at sunset in line with the Biblical account of Creation, "There was evening and there was morning..." (Genesis 1:5, etc.). As the sun was setting on the 13th, the Lambs were to be slaughtered and roasted. Some of the lamb's blood was to be painted on the lintel and post of the door to each family's house. Then, when the lambs were cooked, they were to be eaten in haste, along with some unleavened bread and bitter herbs (horseradish). Thus, the Passover meal was the first meal of the 14th, eaten after the sunset that marked the beginning of the day. It was a quick meal, more like a sandwich really, bearing no resemblance at all to the leisurely and sumptuous festival meals of today.
"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt (Exod. 12:12-13).
Around midnight, after their hasty meal, the destroying angel passed through Egypt and the firstborn of man and animal perished. The angel passed over homes where the doorposts had been painted with lamb's blood, sparing the people huddled trembling within. They weren't spared because they were Jewish, or because they had eaten lamb for dinner. They were spared because they had the faith to paint their doorposts with blood. They were saved by faith through the blood of the lamb.
Many years later, when the Passover Seder had become a traditional celebration, it became common for the participants to dip a finger into their wine glass to collect a drop of wine which they then let fall onto their plate. They do this for each of the 10 plagues of Egypt, each time saying, "We are saved by the blood of the lamb."
"This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat-that is all you may do.
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread." (Exod. 12:14-20)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th and lasted through the 21st. No yeast could be used in any food preparation, nor could any be present in the house during that time. When they settled in Israel, since the 15th was a major feast day and special sabbath, after the ceremonial "lamb sandwich" was consumed the rest of the 14th was spent in preparation because no work could be done after sundown. Any yeast found in the house was discarded, and the bulk of the food purchasing and preparation was done. This is how the 14th became known as Preparation Day (John 19:31).
From that day in the wilderness till this, the Lord's Passover has been celebrated, one of the most dramatic displays of His power ever seen. During the meal they drink four special cups of wine, one each for the four promises God made to Moses from the burning bush.
"Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD , and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians (First cup, Sanctification). I will free you from being slaves to them (Second cup, Deliverance). I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment (Third cup, Redemption). I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God."(Fourth cup, Acceptance) (Exod. 6:6-7).
He freed His people from the bonds of slavery, defeating the world's most powerful country without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His outstretched arm. Over a million former slaves walked out of Egypt the next morning carrying the wealth of their former captives, back wages for their hard labor. The sick were healed, the lame walked, and the weak were made strong. Not a single one was left behind. This detail was overshadowed by other events of the day, but it was most likely the greatest healing miracle of all time.
In the first chapter of John's gospel, Jesus was introduced as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Throughout His ministry people proclaimed Him as Israel's Messiah, but only on one day did He encourage it. On the Jewish calendar, it was the 10th day of the first month. We know it as Palm Sunday. Through out Jerusalem Passover lambs were being selected, but on the Mount of Olives The Passover Lamb was being welcomed into the city with shouts of "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord." (Matt. 21:9)
From then until the end of the 13th He received the most aggressively intense questioning of His ministry. He was being carefully scrutinized for some defect in His teaching until finally "no one dared ask Him any more questions" (Matt 23:46).
Sundown at the end of the 13th brought the Passover, called Preparation Day in His time. He ate an abbreviated Passover meal with His disciples, stopping at the 3rd cup, the Cup of Redemption. It was a Thursday, the 14th of the month, and before the day was over He had been arrested, tried, convicted and executed by crucifixion. The Passover Lamb had been put to death on Passover. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed, Paul would later say (1 Cor. 5:7).
Just before He died, knowing that all had been completed and so the Scriptures would be fulfilled, He asked for a drink (John 19:28-29). In taking the wine they offered, He drank the 4th Cup of the Passover, the Cup of Acceptance. "I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God." From that day forward, anyone who accepted His death as payment for their sins would in turn be accepted into the family of God and receive eternal life. They are saved by faith through the Blood of the Lamb.
Earlier a group of Jewish officials had asked Jesus for a miraculous sign to prove that He was who He claimed to be. He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt. 12:39-40). They would get their sign but only after they had put Him to death. And it would be unmistakable. No one had ever come out of the grave in a resurrection body before.
The day following the crucifixion would be Friday the 15th, the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a special Sabbath where no work could be done (John 19:31). Knowing this, the chief priests asked Pilate to hasten the deaths of the condemned men so they could get them off their crosses before sundown. But Jesus was already dead. He had died at three o'clock and though His body was still on the cross, His spirit was already in Sheol, the abode of the dead. Day one.
At sundown the Feast of Unleavened Bread began, and with it Night One, followed in the morning by Day Two. Saturday the 16th was the regular weekly Sabbath and again no work could be done. It began with Night Two and in the morning became Day Three. Then at sundown it was Sunday the 17th, Night Three. Three days and three nights, just as He had prophesied.
At sunrise Sunday morning the 17th, the Feast of First Fruits was being observed at the Temple when the women came to the tomb where He'd been laid to rest (Matt. 28:1). It was their first chance to anoint the body for burial since both Friday and Saturday had been Sabbaths. But the tomb was empty. He had risen, the First Fruits of the First Resurrection.
The two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus that Sunday (Resurrection Day) help us to confirm this sequence (Luke 24:13-35). At first they thought the Lord must have been a very recent visitor to the area when He asked them to explain why they were so sad. In the course of the discussion they indicated it was the third day since the crucifixion. It being Sunday, the previous day, Saturday, would have been the 2nd day since it happened, and Friday would have been the first day since, making Thursday the day it happened.
By His death, He freed His people from their slavery to sin, defeating Heaven's most powerful adversary without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His sacrificial life. Billions of former slaves will walk out of this world one day soon, receiving wealth beyond measure. The sick will be healed, the lame will walk, and the weak will be made strong. Not a single one will be left behind. It's the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover Prophecy.
Shabbat Shalom. May the peace of the Sabbath rest upon you, and may the Grace of our Lord Jesus abide within you, both now and forever more.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Three strand chord - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
My mother's last words when Dad and I were getting in the truck were, "Carl, don't you and Bill run that ribbon race." We were going to an all-contest horse show in Orville around July 1969. All-contest means all the events are timed, fastest horse and rider wins. "That ribbon race" referred to by my mother was the last race of the day. It was the fastest timed event and the most dangerous. Two horses with two riders are timed around the arena with the riders holding a three feet strand of crepe paper ribbon between them. They can go as fast as they want, but the ribbon must remain unbroken as they cross the finish line. Just so happened that Dad and I had the fastest two horses in the state. Temptation ahead.
We didn't sign up for the ribbon race-at least right away. As the day went on, we were accumulating trophies-Dad on Hollywood Hummer and me on My Holly String. Both horses were natural competitors. It had taken me a long time to get Holly quieted down to do the non-timed events, but now we were letting her run some timed events. And she was like lightening. Hollywood, a golden palomino, had never been beaten in the barrel race, and he had run the quarter mile within two-tenths of a second of the world record-with a full western saddle and a grown man, not a jockey. The more we won, the more the temptation of the ribbon race. Finally, I talked Dad into letting us enter. It was just the beginning of sorrows.
We lined up with the ribbon stretched between us, me on the inside, Dad on the outside. With a nod of the head, we burst out at a full gallop. Heading for the turn in the arena, Dad was leaning way to the inside to compensate for my smaller speedy horse. Then he leaned too far, Hollywood slipped and Dad and him went down. We broke the ribbon, otherwise when they regained footing we probably would have still won the race. People said it was the fastest half they had ever seen. But Dad had a problem when he dismounted. He couldn't walk very well. It appeared that he had hurt his ankle in the fall. But we walked the horses out, and loaded up to get on the road.
A couple of miles out of town, the truck started wobbling. A flat tire. Dad could hardly get out of the truck, and of course we had to unload the horses, unhook the horse trailer, to jack up the truck and change the tire, which was mounted under the truck held in place with rusted bolts. When we got home, so late, Mom was furious that we did what we did. And after cutting Dad's boot off, Doc Owens said the ankle was broken, but the boot actually set it and served as a cast. I think about this adventure often, and I still remember Dad herding cattle on Hollywood with his leg in a cast after being told not to ride for six weeks. I often ponder that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12 that says, "a chord of three strands is not easily broken." I wonder sometimes "what if" that ribbon hadn't broken We will never know. We never ran that race together again-Mom saw to that.
Daily Devotion: The Day That Death Died - by Greg Laurie -
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 15:57
During an interview with a magazine editor a few years ago, actor Bradley Cooper reflected on his father's death and how it caused him to address his own mortality.
He said "All of a sudden I was like, 'Oh, right, I'm going to die too.' . . . I was like, 'Okay. This is death. And this is going to happen to me one day.'"
It's true. One out of every one person will die. Yet something significant happened when Jesus rose from the grave.
Easter was the day that death died, because Jesus died. When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered sin. When Jesus rose from the dead, He defeated death.
He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying" (John 11:25 NLT). Death died when Christ rose.
Now I don't have to fear death as a Christian.
I'm not denying the fact that our bodies will stop functioning one day. I'm not ignoring the dangers we face. I know that people die. I know it well. My mother has gone on to Heaven. My father who adopted me is there too. And my son, Christopher, has been in Heaven for almost 12 years now.
But what I am saying is that our souls will live on in another place. That's all because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
He took upon Himself the judgment of the Father that we should have faced so that we can have the hope of eternal life.
If you were to die today, do you have complete confidence that you will go to Heaven? Do you know that your sin is forgiven? Have you asked Jesus to come into your life? He's just waiting for your invitation. He is just a prayer away.
FROM THE HEART
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