Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Why the Rapture Hasn't Happened (Yet) - Greg Laurie -
When I first became a Christian back in 1970, lots of people were talking about the return of Jesus Christ. The top-selling book of that entire decade was The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, which spoke in depth about Bible prophecy and the signs of the times.
Driving around the roads and freeways, you would see bumper stickers with slogans like "Maranatha," "Jesus is coming" and "In case of rapture, this car will be left unmanned."
There was a sense of expectancy among so many of us that we could be the generation that would see the return of the Lord.
That was 40 years ago. I've gone through quite a few "Jesus is coming" bumper stickers since those days.
Was my hope displaced?
Did I get it wrong?
Did we misread the signs of the times?
Not at all.
God is not late, and the Lord will return to this earth at the appointed hour that has been predetermined in the councils of eternity. But there may be a reason why Jesus didn't come when we were hoping He would in 1970.
Consider this: Millions and millions of men and women, boys and girls have come to Jesus since 1970.
The Bible reminds us: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent" (2 Pet. 3:9, NLT).
It's all in the Lord's hands, of course, but I do believe that somewhere on this planet, there is a particular man or a woman for whom the Lord is waiting, and when that person finally places faith in Jesus Christ, we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, in what we call the rapture of the church.
Why do I believe this? Because all around me there are signs of the times. One of the "super signs" of the last days was the regathering of the nation of Israel in their ancient homeland.
That happened against all odds. It was an event without precedent in human history that a nation and a people who had been scattered throughout the four corners of the earth would gather again where they had once been and form a nation.
Jesus says the generation that sees this happen will not pass away until all these things have been fulfilled (see Matt. 24:34, Luke 21:32). Once the Jewish people returned to their homeland and became a nation on May 14, 1948, the prophetic clock started to tick. This is a very important date in Bible prophecy.
But the Bible not only says the Lord will gather the Jews back to their homeland again, it says Jerusalem will end up being a source of conflict in the end times. What's interesting to me is that on May 14, 1948, Israel did not possess all of Jerusalem. In fact, that didn't happen until the 1967 war, when Israeli forces captured the Old City and reunified all of Jerusalem, so the city was under Jewish control for the first time in centuries.
Of course, this is where the rub comes in. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with many Arab leaders worldwide insisting that Jerusalem and the entire West Bank are rightly Palestinian territory and must ultimately be given back as a condition of peace.
But here's the problem: God gave Israel and the city of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. He made them that promise, and they're not going to give their land up again. Nor should they.
The Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future. Not once, not twice, but hundreds of times. We can look back now and see that many of those prophecies have already been fulfilled-but not all of them. Some remain to be fulfilled, and we may be the generation where that begins to take place.
It's not a big stretch for God to predict the future. He can speak to future things as easily as you and I might discuss the past or present. In fact, God can predict the future far more accurately than you and I can recall the past. He sees the past, present and future simultaneously. Tomorrow is like yesterday to God. Every day lies before Him with equal clarity. The Lord does not forget things, nor does He learn new things.
He literally knows everything-past, present and future. So let's just take out our checklist of events and see what has already transpired.
The Bible says Israel will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will be regathered as a nation. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will regain the city of Jerusalem. Has that happened? Yes. Check.
Israel will be isolated from the other nations of the world. Is this happening? Yes. Check.
Israel will be attacked by a nation to her north, bent on her destruction. Has that happened? Not yet. But we could easily envision such a scenario.
Jerusalem-not Rome, Paris or New York City-will be at the center of the conflicts of the world. We read in Luke 21:20: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you know that its desolation has drawn near."
In Zechariah 12:2-3, God says, "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling before all the surrounding nations. And when there is a siege against Judah, it is also against Jerusalem. And it will be on that day that I will set Jerusalem as a weighty stone to all the peoples. All who carry it will surely gash themselves, and all the nations of the land will be gathered against it."
John Walvoord, a respected expert on Bible prophecy, made this statement: "The prophecies about Jerusalem make it clear that the holy city will be in the center of the world events in the end time. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs will focus more and more attention on Jerusalem. In all of the situations Jerusalem is the city to watch as the city of prophetic destiny prepares to act out her final role."
Israel is so tiny. At one point, the nation is only nine miles wide. Yet God says it will be at the center of the end-time events. And this is happening just as the Bible promised it would.
In Ezekiel 38, the Lord speaks of a large and powerful nation to the north of the newly established Jewish homeland, along with a number of this nation's allies, invading Israel. This has not yet happened. So let's see what Scripture says.
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say: Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal. And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet" (Ezek. 38:1-5).
Drop down to verses 8-11: "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely. You shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord God: It shall come to pass on that day that things shall come into your mind and you shall think an evil thought, and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.'"
Many believe "Magog" refers to modern-day Russia. The reasoning goes like this: Magog was the second son of Noah's son Japheth who, according to the ancient historian Josephus, settled north of the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshech, also mentioned here in Ezekiel 38, were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, whose descendants settled south of the Black Sea.
These tribes intermarried and became known as Magog. They settled to the north of Israel. In Ezekiel 39:2, God says to them, "I will turn you back, drive you on, and take you up the north parts and bring you against the mountains of Israel."
So all Bible directions are given in relation to Israel. And if you look to the extreme north of Israel today, you will find the mighty nation of Russia.
Now here is where things really get interesting. Look at the allies that march with Russia. We have Ethiopia (modern-day Sudan), Libya and Persia, which is modern-day Iran. These are all Islamic cultures, and they are all anti-Israel. Russia has had arms deals with Libya. And Persia? It wasn't until March 21, 1935, that Persia changed her name to what we now call Iran, a recent ally of Russia.
So here is the alliance God says will form against Israel, and there's nothing about it that surprises us. It's already taking shape before our eyes.
Consider this: When Magog and her allies attack Israel, God will intervene and decimate her army and the armies of the allies as well. And because of this, the Jewish people will give glory to God.
When you go to Israel today, you may be surprised to learn that most Israelis are not believers in God. Many of them are atheistic. Certainly, you will find very few Jewish people who believe in Jesus as their Messiah. There are some, thank God, but not many.
But when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon Israel after He drives back the invading armies of Magog, there will be a revival in Israel, and many Jewish people will come to believe Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus [is] the Messiah.
This outpouring of the Spirit on Israel, however, can't happen until the full gathering of the Gentiles is accomplished. What does that mean? Most people who read these pages are Gentiles, not Jewish by birth. As Paul explains in Romans 11, we have been effectively grafted into the promises God originally offered to Israel. Now is the time when God is working with the non-Jews, the Gentiles. But this time will come to a close, and then the Spirit will be poured out again on the land and people of Israel. But before that can happen, God needs to wrap things up with us.
In Romans 11:25, Paul says, "For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you be wise in your own estimation, for a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
In other words, the "partial hardening" will endure until the last Gentile person finally believes in Jesus-and then we will be gone. Raptured. We will meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever.
So that means when we see these events in the world beginning to happen, we need to look up, for our redemption is drawing near (see Luke 21:28).
When we speak of the rapture of the church, there are some who will say, "The word 'rapture' isn't even in the Bible." Maybe not, but the event certainly is.
First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call 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 so we shall be forever with the Lord."
Over in John 14:2-3, Jesus says, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also."
That phrase "receive you" means "to take you by force."
And then in Matthew 24:40-42, Jesus says, "Two will be in the field; one will be taken, and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord will come."
John addresses it as well in 1 John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
Paul speaks of this same event in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Now imagine this for a moment. In an instant, all over the world, millions of believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Let's just briefly consider some of the effects the rapture will have on each of us.
The rapture means no death. There is a generation that will not see death. These believers will go straight into the presence of God.
The rapture is instantaneous. It has been said that the twinkling of an eye (mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:51-52) is about 1/1000 of a second. How fast is a second? And this is a thousandth of that? If we have the privilege of being raptured, there will no real sense of departure and arrival; we will simply be there, in the Lord's presence.
The rapture is a transformation. In that moment, God will give you a brand-new resurrection body. Perhaps you struggle now with the effects of old age, disease or some other physical difficulty or problem. All of that will be gone in an instant. Age melts away. Disability disappears. Sorrows are replaced by pure joy.
Philippians 3:20-21 gives us these glorious words: "But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to Himself."
The rapture will be a rescue operation. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Paul writes, "They themselves declare ... how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come."
From what is He rescuing us? The wrath to come. What does that refer to? The tribulation period, inaugurated by the emergence of the Antichrist and lasting for seven years. So God is sending his special operations team of Michael and His angels to evacuate the church-to get us out of here before the Tribulation begins. Sometimes there is confusion about the Second Coming and the rapture. Some people think it is one event. But the Bible is very clear; it speaks of two distinct events.
The rapture will be a stealth event; the Second Coming will be a very public one.
In the rapture, we meet the Lord in the air; in the Second Coming, He returns to the earth.
In the rapture, He comes for His church; in the Second Coming, He returns with His church.
In the rapture, He comes before judgment; in the Second Coming, He comes with judgment.
So how should this affect us today? How should I respond to these truths? Very simply, I need to walk with God.
We have a great Old Testament prototype of these things in the life of a man named Enoch. Enoch had what we might describe as a solo rapture. Genesis 5:24 says, "Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God took him." That phrase "God took him" could be rendered, "God translated him." In other words, God carried him over or across. Enoch didn't have to die like everybody else. He just took a walk one day and didn't come home. He started on one shore and ended up on another.
He walked with God.
Are you walking with God? Notice it doesn't say, "Enoch sprinted with God." He walked with God.
Many people have a burst of energy and say, "I love the Lord so much. I'm really going to follow Him." But all too soon, they crash and burn. Then they get up again and go for a while-only to crash and burn again.
"As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Col. 2:6).
Here's the thing: Just walk with God.
Don't be in a big hurry. Be regular, be consistent and stay at it. Be disciplined enough to maintain that relationship. Walking implies steady effort and speaks of regularity-doing something over and over. You just stay with it, day by day, hour by hour, step by step, and seek to be consistent in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is coming back, and it could happen at any time. This year. This month. This week. Today. And when He comes, I want Him to find me walking with Him. Isn't that a great thought? You could take one step on earth, and then find that your next step is into His presence.
Come soon, Lord. Come soon.
To Whom Does the Land of Israel Belong? - By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-6-18-2020/
In 2007, the powers that run this world aimed their big guns at Israel... and shot themselves in the foot.
That year, the UN General Assembly voted for something known as The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, often shortened to UNDRIP. One hundred forty-four countries voted in favor, 4 against, with 11 abstentions. The US voted against it during those Bush years, but under the Obama Administration formally endorsed it in 2010.
Many had hoped to use UNDRIP as a means of leveraging power for the Palestinians. They should have realized there was a problem with their plan when Israel voted for the resolution.
Why? Because the Jews are the indigenous people in the land of Israel. It goes back 3,500 years. UNDRIP specifically says that it cannot be used for the purpose of racial discrimination. If anyone says this doesn't apply to Jews, they are violating the resolution's provision against discrimination.
Over the years, a series of international treaties have confirmed the historical right of the Jews as the indigenous people of the land, including Judea and Samaria (known in the media as "the West Bank"). Michel Calvo is a lawyer specializing in international law. Last month for the Gatestone Institute, he wrote, "After the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), British Mandate for Palestine (1922), San Remo Resolution (1920), and Treaty of Sevres (1920) created international law, and recognized and re-established the historical indigenous rights of the Jews to their land."
In 1922, the League of Nations recognized and affirmed "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." The UN Charter specifically forbids the United Nations from undoing international law and agreements written prior to the formation of the UN. Article 80 says, "Nothing in this Charter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."
Calvo also says, "Recent UN General Assembly Resolutions stating that the settlement of Jews in Judea Samaria is contrary to international law are no more than recommendations and have never led to amendments of existing binding treaties. UN Security Council Resolutions, stating that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, are not binding. Only resolutions taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter are binding on all UN member states."
In recent years, Israel has been depicted in the media as a rogue state, flaunting international law by allowing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. But that simply isn't true. International law gives them clear rights to all of the land. They are willing to negotiate with Palestinians and give up part of that land. But it isn't something required by international law. It is a possible political solution to an ongoing political problem.
Not everyone accepts the authority of the Bible. But those people can simply look to international law and see the rights of the Jews to the Holy Land.
For those who believe the Bible, this issue shouldn't even be a question. God gave title deed to the Holy Land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He reaffirmed it again and again. In this case, there's no conflict between international law and God's law. If you say you believe the Bible, it should be obvious. God gave the Holy Land to the Jews forever!
Rare Solar Eclipse Marks 3,332nd Anniversary of 12 Spies Entering Land of Israel - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." Joshua 10:13 (The Israel Bible™)
The first solar eclipse of 2020, a rare annular eclipse, will appear in the heavens over Israel on Sunday, precisely coinciding with the anniversary of the day that Moses sent 12 spies into the Land of Israel.
The eclipse will be visible for a very short time in a 60-kilometer wide path traversing Africa and the Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, and China. The eclipse will begin to be visible in Israel at 7:26 AM local time, reach its peak one hour later, and disappear at 9:26. The sun will be 99% obscured by the moon, making the sun's corona appear as a ring of fire around the dark circle of the moon. Israel experienced a very brief ring of fire eclipse last December during the holiday of Hannukah.
An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line with the Earth, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon. This is, essentially, the opposite of a supermoon, when the moon is close to the earth making it appear larger. Sunday's annular eclipse is especially rare as it comes in the summer. The Earth's orbit around the Sun is elliptical, making the Earth's distance from the Sun vary throughout the year. This affects the apparent size of the Sun. When Earth is at its farthest distance from the Sun in early July, a total eclipse is somewhat more likely, whereas conditions favor an annular eclipse when Earth approaches its closest distance to the Sun in early January.
SUNDAY'S ROLE AS AN OMEN
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that eclipses, both solar and lunar, are described in Jewish tradition as being powerful omens.
In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifically described solar eclipses as being a bad omen for the nations who base their calendars on the solar cycle.
At the end of this section describing the omens contained within eclipses, the Talmud states a disclaimer: "When Israel does the will of the place (God), they have nothing to fear from all of this," citing the Prophet Jeremiah as a source.
Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2
Indeed, the complete solar eclipse that transversed the continental United States in August 2017 ushered in the most devastating hurricane season in US history.
"Indeed, a solar eclipse on Sun-day, the Christian sabbath, is particularly concerning," Rabbi Berger said. He noted that Saturday night begins the 29th day of the Hebrew month Tammuz, marking the 3,332nd anniversary of Moses sending 12 spies into the Land of Israel (Talmud Taanit 29a, Seder Olam Rabbah). Their subsequent 'bad report' was the basis for all of the Children of Israel, save Joshua and Caleb, being forced to wander in the desert for 40 years until they died in the wilderness.
It is interesting to note that in a paper published in the scientific journal Astronomy and Geophysics in 2017, researchers from England's Cambridge University confirmed a theory that Joshua's miraculous 'stopping of the sun' during a battle to allow the Israelites more time to defeat their enemies was actually an annular solar eclipse identical to the one that will appear on Sunday.
"Normally, this would be an internal concern, a time for Jews to introspect on their connection with the Land of Israel," Rabbi Berger said. "The sin of the spies was their rejection of the Land of Israel. Jews who refuse to come to Israel despite the obvious benefits of the country are certainly reenacting the sin."
"However the eclipse adds an additional element clearly intended as an omen for the nations," Rabbi Berger said. "Joshua made two errors. He did not entirely conquer the land, choosing to relinquish some parts, The Gibeonites sent emissaries under false pretenses, thereby tricking Joshua into making a treaty. This is similar to nations and leaders who are making alliances or gestures of friendship with Israel with the intention of tricking us into going against Biblical law by giving up land in Israel."
"This eclipse is clearly a warning to the nations that the Jew were commanded to live in all of Israel," Rabbi Berger said.
The Thunder Heard 'Round The World - By Daniel Payne - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/06/18/the-thunder-heard-round-the-world-by-daniel-payne/
A recent article posted by a brother here on R.R. got me thinking: what exactly will the rest of the world hear the moment that the true remnant church is snatched from the face of the earth?
The Rapture will, of course, involve the entire surface of the planet. The Rapture will likely be a physical, as well as a spiritual event. God's Word says that, at the Rapture, believers will be given their physical bodies, equipped for life in eternity with the Lord:
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (Corinthians 15:52-53).
From living believers positioned at various locations above ground, and the earthly bodies of those returning with Jesus buried at various locations underground and underwater, it's possible a type of nuclear fission/fusion will shake nearly every molecule in every location on earth.
According to the Duke Energy Nuclear Information Center, fission is the splitting of a heavy, unstable nucleus into two lighter nuclei, and fusion is the process where two light nuclei combine together, releasing vast amounts of energy.
Not only will a widespread physical event take place at the Rapture, but the voice of the Lord will also ring out.
Incidentally, the trumpet that will sound at the Rapture will be the last trumpet blown for the true remnant church. More trumpet blasts will be heard by the rest of the world in the days following the Rapture.
Along with the sound of a trumpet at the Rapture, there will also be the sound of the Lord's voice. Speaking of the Lord's voice, this is what those who were with Jesus heard when the Father spoke to Him from heaven:
"'Father, glorify Your name.' Then a voice came out of heaven: 'I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.' So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, 'An angel has spoken to Him'" (John 12:28-29).
Some people in the crowd understood that a voice spoke from heaven, yet others who were there only heard thunder. A similar situation occurred when the Lord spoke from heaven to Paul, prior to his conversion:
"And he said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.' The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one" (Acts 9:5-7).
Some of those with Saul understood that they heard a voice from heaven, yet apparently there were others present who did not understand:
"And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.' And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me" (Acts 22:8-9).
Could it be that those who were with Paul when the Lord spoke to him from heaven, and did not understand His voice, also heard thunder like those without understanding who were with Jesus? Maybe.
According to various examples in the Word of God, the voice of God resembles the sound of thunder. The voice of an angel can also sound like thunder. Even when what the Lord speaks is understood, those who hear His voice still describe it as sounding like thunder:
Job 37:4-5a, "After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice."
Psalm 18:13, "The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire."
Ezekiel 3:12-13, "Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: 'Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!' I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise."
Revelation 6:1, "Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, 'Come and see.'"
Job 40:9, "Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?"
Psalm 77:18, "The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook."
Psalm 104:7, "At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away."
Revelation 14:2, "And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps."
Revelation 19:6, "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!'"
Since obviously no one who is left behind will have the discernment of the Holy Spirit to allow understanding of the Lord's shout from heaven, it stands to reason that the only sound they will hear is thunder.
The Rapture will very likely be a thunderous noise the likes of which the world's ears have never heard. If a sonic boom is loud, the hypersonic boom of Jesus arriving from heaven will be much louder.
Another interesting point as recorded in Acts, is that when the Lord Jesus spoke to Paul from heaven, a very bright light flashed all around Paul, like lightning.
"But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me" (Acts 22:6).
One can only imagine the combination of the nuclear physics of the event of the Rapture along with the thunder of God's voice, hypersonic booms, and a very bright flash of light. Planet Earth will indeed be shaken!
Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: The proposition - Bill Wilson - www.harvest.org
In November 1965, my brother was killed by a drunk driver. He was 24, had landed his dream job as basketball coach of the high school we all attended, and he and his wife had just two days before announced they were having their first child. It was a very, very difficult time for all of us. In the spring of 1966, the Heft's-Bill, Martha and their daughters Jean and Nancy-invited us to their house for dinner. We knew the Heft's, but not as well as some others in the community, so it was kind of a mystery as to why they invited us. They lived in a beautiful farm house on top of a hill about four miles from our farm. Bill was an executive at Packard Electric and part time farmer. Martha was a well-educated and proper lady.
As it turned out, they had a plan. They acknowledged Chuck's death and told Mom and Dad how sorry they were. While many people expressed their sympathy during that time, it was a tragedy the community really didn't want to discuss. There were very few people that were comfortable enough to take the issue head on, especially those who were not very, very close to our family. That night, the Heft's became very close to our family. They had been talking about their idea with the McCarthy's-Warren and Sue-who were my parent's best friends. Bill and Martha wanted to take Mom, Dad and I on vacation with them for a week at Myrtle Beach, SC. They felt it would be good for all of us to get away.
Jean and Nancy were about nine and five years older than me, respectively. They were beautiful, not only like models on the outside, but the most wonderful people on the inside. They took a special interest in me, a geeky and awkward 10 year old cowboy kid. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how that night they were so enthusiastic to meet me and how they talked to me, showed me around the house, and played games with me. They really made me feel welcomed, and I was star-struck by both of them. Many years later when Jean got married, I think I made her husband jealous when I told her that I was hoping she would wait for me. Everybody got a good chuckle out of it, anyway.
That night was a changing point for a grieving family. The ride home was full of wonder. How would Dad squeeze in the time between haying season and the gas and oil delivery business to take a week's vacation? Would we get along with the Heft's living together for a week? How were we going to make it work? It got our minds off of the grim months behind us and gave us something to look forward to. There are many adventures that the Heft's and us had at Myrtle Beach as it became a tradition with wonderful friends and memories that you will hear more about. Christ said in Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." The Heft's were a comfort to our family, one that I will never forget. Remember, your kindness to others has lasting impact.
Daily Devotion: A Lifestyle of Prayer - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.' -Luke 11:1
Imagine if you could attend a class taught by the finest person in their field from any period in history.
For instance, you could study music under Beethoven. You could go to a drama class where Shakespeare is the professor. Maybe you'd like to study philosophy under C. S. Lewis.
How about a class on prayer taught by Jesus Christ? That sounds good to me. I'd be in that class.
The disciples had the same idea. Luke's Gospel tells us, "Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples'" (11:1 NLT).
So, Jesus gave them this prayer, which we often refer to as the Lord's Prayer. The Bible, however, never addresses it as such. In fact, I don't think it was a prayer that Jesus Himself prayed because He would never need to pray, "And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us." Jesus never sinned.
I think it could better be described as the Disciples' Prayer. But call it what you like. It's a model for all prayer.
It's sort of like when you want to build a home. Maybe you visit a model home first, which is supposed to feel like an actual home. In the same way, this is a model, a template, for all prayer.
Jesus gave us this prayer, which shows that prayer can be taught. We learn by listening to others pray, and we learn by reading the Scriptures. But we need to learn how to pray.
We also need to get into a lifestyle of prayer because we have complete access to the Creator of the universe through prayer.
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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