Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Where We Aren't - By Pete Garcia - https://rev310.com/2019/10/where-we-arent-2
Originally published in The Omega Letter in 2015. Updated in 2019
I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:10-11
From the first century until 20th, there wasn't a whole lot of movement going on in God's prophetic, long-range calendar. Similar to the 'silent years' between the Old Testament and the New, we had been in an extended 'silent period' since Jerusalem fell to the Romans in AD70. During that time, kingdoms and empires came and went, Christianity waxed and waned across the world, and technology finally liberated man from being limited to the speed of horse. But in regards to where we were on God's calendar, no one really knew where that was exactly, that is, until 1948.
The two dominant forms of Christian Eschatology that existed from the 3rd century until the 19th, were Amillennialism, and Historic Premillennialism (now called the Post-Tribulation view). The former, stifled any potential understanding of God's prophetic word, by allegorizing everything into a wispy, unknown sphere of speculation. The latter attempted to label every aberrant leader and/or movement of their day, as The Beast.
Prior to the Dispensationalist movement of the early 19th century, about as close as anyone really came to really grasp where we were, was Sir Isaac Newton, and Archbishop Ussher. These two men did the yeoman's work of digging through ancient, secular, historical documents, and compared them to what Scripture said. By this, Ussher figured that creation happened on/about 4004 BC or year 1 Anno Mundi (AM counts from creation forward). He held to a six-day/ six-millennium model for the order of things. Sir Isaac Newton, a brilliant thinker in his own right and known best for his work in physics, was fascinated by Bible Prophecy. He figured the end would come somewhere in the middle of the 21st-century. Although not perfect in their findings, they did give us a pretty good idea of where we were with the information they had available to them at the time.
The reason it was difficult to gauge where we were on God's calendar from the first-century until the 20th, was because the only nation God ever used as His 'geo-political' time-piece, was Israel; and she hadn't been a nation for over 1,800 years (Daniel 2, 9). The 19th-century Dispensationalist's came to understand that the Jewish nation would HAVE to be reinserted onto the world's stage again because that is the conclusion God's word comes too if taken at face value. Isaiah 2, 11; Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 37-39; Amos 9; Zech. 12-14 all speak to Israel existing again as a nation, in her own ancient homeland, for the second time in the last days.
By the late 19th century (late 1880's onward), men like Sir Robert Anderson, Cyrus Scofield, and Clarence Larkin began to lay out a clearer understanding of where we were, and what needed to transpire in the not too distant future. While critics like to lay charges against these men for various issues, all three of them were correct in understanding decades before it happened, that Israel would have to become a nation again; and so it did, in 1948.
They understood that the first time Israel (Judah and Israel) went into Diaspora was when the Assyrians and Babylonians conquered them (Seventh and Sixth-century's BC respectively). Yet, they were regathered in the fifth-century BC back to their homeland by the Persians. The second diaspora began in AD70 when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. The second regathering if you will, would not occur until 1948, almost two millennia later.
Without Israel back in her land as a nation, there was no frame of reference by which to base God's timeline against. God's entire timeline centered on a 490-year cycle which was measured when Israel was in covenant with God. Dr. E.W. Bullinger did the yeoman's work on trying to understand how numbers and time figured into Scripture. (This, by the way, is not an endorsement of everything E.W. Bullinger did, taught, or believed, but he was very accurate on certain things) He came up with the following;
The Four Great Jubilee Redemption Cycles (70 Sabbatical Years)
Began with the decree by Persian King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and stopped at the 483 years with the death of Christ on the cross. (see Nehemiah 2)
With the death of Israel's true Messiah by her own decree (Matt. 27:23-26), Israel inadvertently postponed their own redemption by seven-years. Israel was promised Seventy Weeks of Years (or 490-years according to Daniel 9:24-27). When they crucified their Messiah (Yeshua), they cut that short by seven-years (or stopping at the 483rd-year). The final seven-years, also known as the Day of the Lord, Daniel's 70th Week, and the time of Jacob's Trouble, is still future and still owed to God.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12
At the heart of them, World War's I and II were not simply geo-political wars waged over money, land, ideology, or power. The Zionist movement in the 1890s triggered WWI because Satan did not want the Jews repatriating to what was then known as Palestine. But at the end of the Great War, the Ottoman's Turk's control over the Middle East was fractured, granting the victors (Great Britain and France) the custodial rights of redistributing the former Ottoman Empire territories back to the various tribal groups and peoples which is how the Balfour Declaration was decreed.
However, Satan wasn't done.
WWII wasn't just about the 'good guys vs. the bad guys', or creating a '1,000 year Reich'. It wasn't even about Nazism, although, those were the physical manifestations of the event. These may have all been by-products of the rise of Nazi Germany, but at the heart of it, stood one man, Adolph Hitler. He had survived WWI, witnessed the humiliating events that transpired in the Weimar Republic's demise. He had seen the bloody Bolshevik Revolution, which traded the Russian Czars for the Marxist's Politburo (Karl Marx was Jewish). The young Hitler may not have even understood that his hatred of the Jews went beyond even the political and ethnic differences he had with them, but was spurred on by a much older, sinister force at work in the unseen world. Hitler's heart had begun to be turned, being twisted and hardened by a seething darkness that stemmed from the father of lies himself, Satan.
Satan's hatred doesn't simply exist because of the Abrahamic covenant, or even that Christ came from the tribe of Judah. I mean, what's done is done and he knows he can't go back and undo that. However, Satan thinks by destroying the Jews, he can postpone his inevitable future because he knows everything hinges on them becoming a nation again...hence the repeated expulsions them from every country they'd ever settled in. And if expulsion couldn't stop them, then he would wipe them out as a people. (See Rev. 12)
Enter one Adolph Hitler.
At the end of WWII, the Allied Powers uncovered that Hitler's agenda went far beyond military hunger when they began discovering the various concentration camps spread throughout Europe. However, by this point, the victors were simply trying to grasp the depth and breadth of the genocide that had taken place under their noses.
Despite Satan's best efforts, the Jews survived WWII and the Holocaust, thus triggering a new set of dominoes to start falling into place. What Satan intended for evil, God turned for good, and by His own intrinsic purposes. Because of how horrific and terrible the Jewish Holocaust was, the world, for the briefest of moments, held enough collective guilt that they would allow for Israel to become a nation again.
A second time.
Just as the Bible predicted.
Satan had to readjust his strategy. He had taken another major defeat. Just as Israel was coming into her own again, Satan raised up two former adversaries, the Muslim world (who had largely been neutralized for the better part of 400-years, and the old Roman Empire). So he sets out a new, multi-domain strategy:
The inertial navigation system uses deviations to generate corrective commands to drive the system from a position where it is, to a position where it isn't. Arriving at the position where it wasn't, it now is. Consequently, the position where it is is now the position where it wasn't and so it follows that the position where it was, is now the position where it isn't. (ARINC 561 Manual August 1976)
In layman's terms, the inertial navigation system figures out where it is, by movement, and then predicts where it will be, based off of where it isn't. Make sense? Another way to think about it is, if this object never moved, it would have no frame of reference to fix itself on. Ergo, the greatest weakness of the inertial navigation system is at its beginning. But once it starts moving, it (said object) can figure out where it is relatively quickly. So where it was, will soon be the position where it isn't. Think about that for a second.
How and when do God's prophetic plans, marry up with the geopolitical reality we are living in? Just as the 'silent years' between the Old and New Testaments were void of any true prophets proclaiming God's truth to the world, these years were NOT absent of God's plans being enacted through the Gentile world to bring about what had to come to pass, in order to fulfill previous prophecies already foretold. For example, we know historically that in what we call the 'silent years', Nebuchadnezzar's multi-metallic statue (see Daniel 2) representing the Gentile world powers, had to play out, and they did.
Where we aren't, is where we used to be, that is before Israel was rebirthed as a nation again. This may also be how we reconcile what Jesus said about 'no man knows the day or the hour', with Paul's statement that we (watching believers) would not be caught by surprise by that day because we'd recognize the season of our Lord's return. (1 Thess. 5:1-10)
While I can't tell you exactly where we are or how close, other than to say we are at the very end of the current age we live in, (Luke 21:24) I can tell you where we aren't...
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:28
Next Generation Weapons & The New World Order - By Britt Gillette/EndTimesBibleProphecy.com -
In World War I, generals who studied Napoleon sent waves of troops into a barrage of machine gun fire. The rapid-fire weapons mowed down thousands in minutes. Was this necessary? No. Thousands of young men died all because their commanders focused on fighting the last war. They didn't adjust to new developments and new technologies.
In World War II, the Polish army defended itself from Nazi and Soviet invaders with horse-mounted troops. They also focused on fighting the last war and were quickly defeated. A few years later, World War II ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.
Ever since, most people have held the belief World War III will start the same way World War II ended. Anyone who believes this makes the same mistake as those who came before them. They prepare to fight the last war.
Complacency is the Enemy
Our tendency to focus on the past creates a sense of familiarity and comfort, and comfort breeds complacency. When it comes to warfare, complacency is the enemy. For over seventy years, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) prevented all-out nuclear war between the major powers. The world emerged from the Cold War intact. Following decades of uncertainty, nuclear war never came. We didn't destroy ourselves. This lulled many into a false sense of security, and complacency set in.
The majority of people now think World War III is unwinnable. They think possession of nuclear weapons make a nation invulnerable. Because they do, they think World War III will never happen. They're wrong.
The global stability of the post-war era is coming to an end. With the exception of a few moments such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, you have to go back to the years just before World War II to find a time when the world was more dangerous than it is right now. Why do I say that? Again, complacency.
During the Gulf War in 1991, the United States displayed a dominant edge in military technology. Its armed forces were declared superior to any on the planet. But dominance doesn't last forever. The nature of war has changed.
Nations now use terrorists, proxy armies, and cyber attacks to wage war anonymously. Conventional weapons can't effectively counter these types of attacks. Moreover, Russia and China have gone to great lengths to close the technology gap since the early 1990's. The result? The world power structure is on the verge of a major shift.
The AI/Swarm Era
Today, the world is entering a new era in warfare. September 14, 2019 marked the beginning. On that day, someone (either Iran or their proxies in Yemen) launched a successful drone attack on two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Approximately five percent of the world's daily oil consumption flowed through those two facilities. The news made headlines for a few days. Then, just as quickly as it hit the news cycle, it disappeared.
Most people forgot all about it. But for many, it remains a significant event. In fact, for many, it's a terrifying event. Why? Because it exposed conventional defenses as inadequate. Saudi Arabia invested millions to secure its facilities. But in mere minutes, those defenses proved useless.
Because of the success of this strike, expect more drone attacks. Expect smaller drones arriving in larger swarms. Why? They can inflict just as much damage as any conventional weapon, and because they're unmanned, the attacking nation can deny any involvement.
Drones are inexpensive to produce and easy to deploy. They can mimic flocks of birds and even evade radar. Because they blend into the environment, they can appear out of nowhere, surprising the enemy. They present a new threat, and most conventional armies are unprepared to defend against them.
Still don't see the threat? Imagine this. It's inauguration day. As the new president prepares to speak, an assassin launches a fleet of drones from just a few hundred yards away. The swarm contains several hundred drones, each the size of a small bird. Each one carries an explosive. They converge on the president. How do you protect the president? Conventional defenses won't work. You can't tackle a drone. Firearms might take out a few, but not an entire swarm.
On August 4, 2018, a scenario similar to this took place in Venezuela. As President Nicolas Maduro addressed a crowd at a military parade, two drones exploded nearby, prompting security to surround him with blast shields. The explosions caused no harm to Maduro, and many believe he orchestrated the entire event so he could crack down on political opponents. But whether it was real or staged, the attack shows a new danger people need to protect against.
And it's not just assassins who will look to use drones. With such technology, terrorists could take destruction to new heights. Imagine this. It's Super Bowl Sunday. A hundred thousand fans crowd into a stadium to watch the excitement. But before the first score, a flock of thousands of drones descend on the stadium. They hover above the crowd and release chemical weapons on those below. Everyone dies. And unless every point of entry is secured, even an indoor stadium is vulnerable to such an attack.
Drone attacks are more than just a novel way to assassinate or a new method to unleash terrorism. Swarming drones are the future of warfare, and they're coming sooner than most people think. Drone swarms using artificial intelligence offer a number of benefits and advantages to nation states. They're less expensive to build and maintain than large standing armies.
They don't require large numbers of highly trained personnel. They can be controlled from a remote, secure location. They can be deployed anywhere in the world, often undetected. This means they magnify the military capabilities of smaller nations. They close the gap between weaker nations and world superpowers.
Imagine conventional forces trying to counter an attacking swarm of drones. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry advance on the battlefield. From the sky, a swarm of millions of drones the size of bees descend on the conventional army. They cover every tank, vehicle, and piece of equipment.
In minutes, they quickly disable the entire army, leaving them defenseless. Firearms, artillery shells, and missiles have little impact on a swarm. Think of a swarm of locusts descending on a field. A farmer can fire his shotgun and swat at them all he wants. But in mere minutes, they'll devour all his crops. Drone warfare will bring the same impact to the battlefield.
Certainly, military forces will develop new weapons and defensive measures to counter such attacks. But these too will be vulnerable to a surprise attack. However, no matter what new techniques are developed, you can be sure of one thing - the next great war will be far different from the last one. The first nation to develop these new weapons will have a decisive advantage. And that's why you can be sure the world's governments are racing to develop them.
What It Means
The rise of artificial intelligence and drone swarms is a destabilizing event. Together, these new technologies will overturn the post-war stability of MAD. Once this happens, World War III will break out. When the dust settles, one nation will dominate the globe. That nation will be the leader in the development of these new military technologies.
Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. The Bible says another world war is in our future (Revelation 6:4). It also tells us what the world will look like when World War III ends. One nation will control the earth (Revelation 13:7). Is this just a coincidence? No. It's yet another sign we're on the verge of the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This means you should take advantage of every opportunity you have to spread the Gospel and tell others about the love of Jesus. Time is short. He's coming soon!
Why Are Palestinians 'Disappearing' in Saudi Arabia? - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
Dozens of Palestinians have been "disappearing" in Saudi Arabia in recent months and are believed are being held in detention in the kingdom's prisons, according to Palestinian sources and international human rights organizations.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in the West Bank, which regularly condemns Israel for arresting Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorism and other anti-Israel activities, has been reluctant to speak out against the Saudi purge of Palestinians, ostensibly for security reasons, not to harm its relations with the kingdom.
The PA is not only keeping mum about the unprecedented Saudi crackdown, but it is also trying to prevent the families of the detainees from protesting in public. Last week, the PA's Preventive Security Service summoned the family of Palestinian engineer Abdullah Odeh, being held in a Saudi prison, and warned them not to protest their son's detention.
Odeh's family was planning to arrive at a football match between Saudi Arabia's national soccer team and the Palestinian national soccer team as part of the World Cup qualifier held on October 15 near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The family was warned that they would be beaten and arrested if they arrived at the Faisal al-Husseini Football Stadium to protest their son's incarceration in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the family was ordered to remove all social media posts denouncing the arrest of Odeh and calling for his release.
Odeh's brother, Baraa, wrote on his Facebook page on September 6:
"My brother, engineer Abdullah Odeh, has been held in a Saudi prison for the past month and we don't know anything about him. This is not how a prisoner should be treated in an Islamic country."
In another Facebook post on September 11, Odeh's brother wrote:
"My dear brother, engineer Abdullah. I hope you ate doing well and in good health. I wanted to let you know that we have appealed to the [Palestinian Authority] president, the government and ministries and embassies to get information about your condition... but they don't care because your life, and the lives of those with you, are too cheap for them to pay any attention. Why is an expatriate who goes to earn a living being held without trial?"
Last week, Baraa Odeh was forced by the Palestinian Authority security forces to remove another Facebook post deemed offensive to the Saudis. In that post, he commented on the warm welcome the Saudi national soccer team received upon its arrival in Ramallah ahead of the match with the Palestinians. He wrote:
"My dear brother, engineer Abdullah. I apologize to you. My people gave a warm welcome to the Saudi national soccer team. We are proud of this reception. A Palestinian family has been subjected to injustice by Saudi Arabia, which has been holding my brother in detention without trial for the past two months. My brother worked as an electrical engineer in Saudi Arabia for five years. Tomorrow I will go to the stadium to hold a peaceful protest and carry my brother's photo."
The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med), a youth-led independent organization that advocates for human rights across Europe and the Middle East, said it has collected names of about 60 Palestinians detained by the Saudi authorities in recent months.
The organization said that it has documented testimonies from 11 Palestinian families whose sons have been detained or were forcibly "disappeared" during their stay in, or visit to, Saudi Arabia. The detainees include students, residents, academics and businessmen, Euro-Med said in a statement, adding:
"In fact, those people were isolated from the outside world without any specific indictments against them. They were not brought before the public prosecution, nor allowed to communicate with their relatives, or communicate with their lawyers."
Selin Yasar, Euro-Med's communication and media officer, said that the "campaign in Saudi Arabia of arresting Palestinians is but one in a long series of human rights violations in the country."
The family of one of the Palestinian detainees in Saudi Arabia told the organization that they were prevented from asking about his fate or the place of detention. "My biggest heartache is not knowing anything about my husband," the detainee's wife complained. "I don't know if he is alive, dead, healthy or tortured, and this made his disappearance more painful for my children, his parents, and his siblings."
Another Palestinian family whose son is being held in Saudi Arabia said they lost contact with him last July; since then, they have heard nothing about his fate or whereabouts. During the same month, the Saudi authorities also arrested a 60-year-old Palestinian businessman who has been living in Jeddah for decades. Euro-Med reported that one of the detainee's sons said that the Saudi authorities confiscated his money, threatened his family members to keep silent, and prevented them from leaving Saudi Arabia. Even Palestinians who went to Mecca for the Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) have fallen victim to the Saudi "security-motivated" detentions. According to Euro-Med, the families of the detainees remain silent on the matter "in the hope that the nightmare of enforced disappearance would come to an end, and they would return to normal life."
Euro-Med wrote in another statement:
"The Euro-Med considered the practices of the Saudi authorities a flagrant violation of the requirements of justice, which guaranteed everyone the right to a fair trial including knowing charges against them, the right to defense and access to a lawyer...
"It also affirms that the relevant authorities do not comply with the international legal rules that guarantee the simplest rights of litigation for any individual, the most important of which are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."
While the PA leadership has been silent over the "enforced disappearances" of Palestinians in Saudi Arabia, other Palestinians, including Hamas, the terrorist group in control of the Gaza Strip, have been vocal in their protests and are calling on the Saudi authorities to release the detainees. Hamas says that one of its leaders, Mohammed al-Khoudari, was also arrested several months ago by the Saudi authorities. Earlier this week, the families of some of the detainees protested in the Gaza Strip against the arrest of their sons in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi authorities have offered no explanation for the widespread campaign targeting Palestinians in the kingdom. It appears that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his officials in Ramallah fear that any criticism of this behavior would jeopardize the financial handouts and political support they receive from Saudi Arabia. Abbas and the PA leadership have long tip-toed around any Arab country that mistreats Palestinians or subjects them to discriminatory laws, as in Lebanon.
Abbas was scheduled to arrive in Riyadh this week for talks with King Salman bin Abdel Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on ways of strengthening bilateral relations. The issue of the Palestinian detainees in Saudi Arabia seems to have missed the agenda of the discussions. For Palestinian leaders, Saudi money and political backing far outweigh the fate of a few dozen Palestinians held without trial in an Arab country.
It is only Palestinians who are held by Israel for terrorist-related crimes who Abbas and his friends remember to mention in their endless litanies of complaints. Why spoil relations with Saudi Arabia, one of the PA's prime cash cows, because of a handful of Palestinians who, together with their families, are being denied basic rights in an Arab country that continues, in public, to state its full support for the Palestinians and what they perceive as their rights?
Comfort For These Last Days - By Grant Phillips -
The United States of America has been so gloriously blessed by the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the apostles Paul, Peter and John. Most of us in this country are probably more intimidated from fear in these last days than any other group of people in the world. The reasons for this are; we are probably softer in nature and have a great deal more to lose in general. What I mean by that is we are used to having life easy; i.e. big cars, big houses, big paychecks, great medical care, freedom to do as we please, everything at our fingertips. In other words, we are quite spoiled. Now I don't know about you, but I like being spoiled. On the other hand, I also know what is of the greatest importance.
Most people in our country attribute their happiness to money and personal items, in other words material things of the world. It would be a catastrophic loss for them to lose it all. Unfortunately, those days are coming. Think about this also; those who have a lot and lose it all will hurt worse than those who have little and lose it all. However, in reality, do any of us really have anything? Name one thing we can take with us after we die. Get my point?
This article is supposed to be about 'comfort.' How can there be any comfort in these first two introductory paragraphs? Well, there isn't any comfort apart from Jesus Christ and His Word we call the Bible. If our faith is in Jesus we have nothing to fear and everything to rejoice about. In the Bible we have the promises of God, Jesus, to provide the comfort we so desire.
Those who do not have Jesus as their Savior and Lord have only gods of their own making. These gods come from many different areas. Brief examples would be; dead men of the past, money, popularity, power, possessions, etc., and by the way, I really don't believe in such a thing as atheism. Everyone has either false gods in their life, or the one and only true God. Those without God have everything to fear, but that can be changed if they will repent (change their mind) and put their trust in Jesus Christ and Him only. The only comfort for those without Christ is that they may be saved if they turn to Jesus. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) So from here on I speak to those who are the family of God.
The Bible is replete with verses that can provide real comfort to a child of God. The only problem is; Ya gotta read it, and ya gotta believe it. Far too many Christians have so much dust on their Bibles they would choke if they were to blow it off. Allow me to provide just a few verses out of the many in God's Word.
In this first verse Jesus lets us know that He knows of our burdens. He knows how weary we are, but even though we're broken down from trials and tribulations, He will give us rest. He says for us to take His yoke, but how can toil provide us rest? When two oxen are yoked together, one is always the leader. Jesus says that He will lead and bear the load. Just walk with Him and He will take care of us. We know that to be true because He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Why is that again? It is easy and light because we can lean on Him.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus tells us in this next verse that He has overcome the world. Many of us today can only shake our heads at the mess our world is in and in particular our beloved country. We look around us and can only conclude that the world has gone mad.
There is an overwhelming degree of immorality, crime, hate and vindictiveness from our government leaders, apostasy from most churches, crime and illicit drug usage. The world is ready to blow itself up and we wonder who will be the first to push the red button. Jesus said that He has forewarned us of all this, and there is no need to worry. Even while the world falls apart around our ears, we are reminded of, "I have overcome the world." It's already a done deal. Jesus is in control. The enemy is already defeated. He just doesn't know it yet.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
King David tells us in the following verse to cast all our cares upon Jesus, not just some of them, but all of them. David had a lot of problems. Some were of his own making and some were not, but if you have read the Psalms you know David cast all his cares upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have cares and sometimes they are so heavy they bow our backs from the load we lug around. Jesus wants us to let Him carry the load and He will hold us up and keep us strong.
"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." (Psalms 55:22)
Do you trust God? The Holy Spirit says through Nahum that He cares for those who trust in Him. Are you undergoing trouble in your life? Jesus is our refuge. In other words, He is our shelter where we can stay while the storm passes us by. Whatever is troubling you in your life, you are not alone. Jesus has already been there and He cares. (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus wants to cover us as a hen covers her chicks. Jerusalem was not willing. Are you? (John 23:37-39)
"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him," (Nahum 1:7)
Now that big fisherman, Peter, reminds us to cast all our anxiety upon the Lord Jesus. It is interesting to note that "cast" means to throw, "all" means all, and "anxiety" means worries. So let us throw every single one of all our worries upon Jesus. Don't keep any back! He can carry that load. We can't. He wants us to trust Him with everything in our lives because He cares.
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
We all suffer to one degree or another. Many of God's children right now are suffering horribly. Many question God about that. Others turn their back on Him because they blame Him for all the suffering. Folks, I've pretty much had it when I hear people blaming God. There are two reasons we all suffer. First is primarily that snake in the grass Satan. Give him the credit for a change! He deserves it! Secondly we often bring suffering upon ourselves. God came down to earth, became a man just like us, and suffered with us. Then He died on a cross, and rose from the grave three days later to provide us the only way of salvation. Anything we suffer now on earth can never be compared to the glory that awaits us.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)
Are you comforted yet? One of those many glories mentioned in the verse above is told to us by Jesus in our next passage. He is preparing us a home in Heaven where we will reign with Him for eternity. Think about this now. He is preparing a place for me, Grant Phillips, and He is preparing a place for you, __________________, (enter your name on the line). Now He isn't finished. He also says that He is coming back to snatch us up from this earth in the blink of an eye and take us home before the really nasty stuff starts with the Tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3)
This next passage has always been one of my favorites. Jesus says through the apostle Paul; (1) don't worry about anything, (2) but in everything, (3) present your requests to God. How do I do that? I present my requests to Him by just talking to Him, presenting my need and thanking Him. And then He says that we will receive peace that comes from Him that we won't be able to explain, because it is beyond our understanding. Yes folks, it is true. That peace from God does come, and even though it is hard to understand how we can have peace in the fiery furnace, it is real. Our whole person is in the shelter of His wings.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
I would ask that you notice the question God presents to us. It demands the answer of, "No, nothing is too hard for God." Most everything that comes our way is too hard for us to deal with, but it is not too hard for God. If we can just remember that and trust Him, maybe our problems won't seem so big after all.
"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)
Well I feel comforted. How about you?
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
A Few Thoughts on the Last Days! - Gary Stearman -
In the book of Acts, on the day of Pentecost, the power and presence of the Holy Spirit opened a new era on planet Earth ... the age of the Church. There were amazing signs ... tongues of fire ... prophecy ... and inspired interpretation. What was happening? In the well-known narrative, Peter rose to speak, quoting the words of an ancient prophet:
"17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:17-21).
Led by the Spirit of God, Peter applied the prophet Joel's words to the beginning (and end) of the Church Age. But notice what's included in his explanation. As he spoke, the New Testament had not yet been written. But this new outpouring of the Spirit would result in its completion. There would be an enormous outpouring of prophecy. Millions would be saved. Then, at the end of this period (which we believe to be about two thousand years long), natural law would be suspended in the apocalyptic "day of the Lord."
Most amazingly of all, however, was the promise of salvation for those who would call upon the name of the Lord. Led by God's Spirit, Peter had quoted Joel 2:28-32, which ends in a similar way, but with one major difference:
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call" (Joel 2:32).
In Joel's view, it is "deliverance" that is promised to the faithful. The Hebrew word he used implies "escape."
Furthermore, it is promised to those located in "mount Zion and Jerusalem." His focus is upon latter-day Israel. Joel's original prophecy referred to Israel and the Jewish nation, but when Peter quoted it, it was worded so that "whosoever" [meaning "anyone"] who called upon the Lord would be granted salvation.
The day of the Lord still lies in our future. It's not too late to call upon His name. If you call out before judgment comes, you'll escape the horrors of the Tribulation. If not, you'll have a first-hand acquaintance with all those "wonders," blood, fire, smoke and darkness.
As this is written, we're still living in the day of grace. But global society is reverberating with revolution. It's not too late to call upon His Name.
Daily Devotion: The Most Difficult Part of Evangelism - by Greg Laurie - www.harevst.org
And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.-1 Corinthians 2:4
I think the most difficult part of evangelism is getting the conversation started. When I preach, it's a monologue. Basically I get up and speak and then ask people to make a decision. But when I talk to people one-on-one, it's a dialogue.
As I've said before, everyone's favorite subject is themselves. People love to talk about themselves. So I ask questions and listen for an area where I can appropriately apply the gospel to the conversation. Then I try to find that bridge to build to take us to the next place.
The objective in sharing your faith is to build a bridge, not burn one. A lot of times evangelistic conversations end before they start because we're unnecessarily offensive or weird. Or, we simply put people off.
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake" (Matthew 5:10 NKJV). So be persecuted for being righteous . . . not for being weird.
Also, the objective in sharing your faith is not to win the argument; it's to win the soul. I've seen people armed with the latest apologetics, with their gospel guns ready, and they blow the nonbeliever out of the water. They won the argument, and the other person walks away feeling humiliated and offended. That is not good evangelism. We want to win the soul.
Think of Jesus with the woman at the well in Samaria. He could have said, "Look, let's just cut to the chase. You're an immoral woman. I'm God in human form. So repent."
Would that have been true? Yes.
Is that what He said? No.
Instead, He engaged her in conversation and drew her in. So don't try to win the argument; try to win the soul. Be a nice person. If you want to win some, be winsome.
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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