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Contrasting Conditions at Rapture & Second Coming - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/10/31/contrasting-conditions-at-rapture-second-coming-by-gene-lawley/
About Contrasting Conditions at Rapture & Second Coming
What the conditions of the economic, social and geophysical in the world are likely to be at the Second Coming of Christ seem to be overlooked when placing some Scripture passages into the correct timeline. Those things make a great difference in how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Getting that scenario straight is always important for knowing how prophetic passages fit together properly.
Let’s consider some factors that will contribute to those conditions at that time of the Second Coming. We believe the Scriptures clearly pinpoint the Rapture of the body of believers, the church, at the beginning of the seven-year period of tribulation, the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It is not the “time of judgment on the saved in Christ.” At the time of the Rapture, the Bible says there will be “sudden destruction,” and one can easily envision the chaos that will take place when millions of people from all walks-of-life situations will suddenly disappear. They will leave their clothing and any non-body, non-flesh items lying where the person was sitting or standing. The Scripture times the disappearance as “in the twinkling of an eye” it will happen. That full passage is very worthy to be quoted here:
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, 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, 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” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
How many fatalities will result from the chaos that will occur at that time cannot be imagined. Then, the preview in Revelation 6 of what is coming in those seven years only increases the horror. First, the Antichrist comes on the scene, riding a white horse and deceitfully posing as the Redeemer, but instead, “conquering and to conquer.” That means he will be taking charge of all things as he presses toward the time of his final judgment. Knowing that his modus operandi is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10), one can clearly expect things to be very terrible clear to the end of the age. With that view in mind, what conditions of economic, social, and otherwise should we expect to see at that time? It will not be a pleasing environment, for sure.
That preview in Revelation 6 continues with three other horses, each having a rider, who certainly must represent that first rider in his conquering mode. Those horses are colored red, black, and gray or pale. They represent warfare, famine, and death, the conditions that will be predominant in the seven years—not peaceable, happy or prosperous at all. As one reads through Revelation 7 to 19, he will discover the judgments on the earth will be very destructive. A third of mankind will be killed, a third of the sea will be turned to blood, a third of the green foliage will be burned up—and that is just in the early phases of that time.
When the heavens begin to explode, with hailstones of a hundred pounds weight falling from the sky, earthquakes in multitude, waves of the oceans creating havoc, it will not be a place of safety and security for anyone. It will be a time of judgment upon Jacob, that rebellious nature of the Jewish race, and all of those who will have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior. Two-thirds of the Jews will be killed, and one-third will have God’s protection in a wilderness hiding place (Zechariah 13:8), but they will recognize Christ as their Atonement and turn to Him in fulfillment of the Feast of the Atonement (Zechariah 12:10).
The final half of those seven years will be very, very terrible, for the Antichrist will have imposed a Mark of the Beast upon all people, and those who do not accept that mark, a mark of submission to his authority and lordship, will be killed. The false prophet who is introduced in Revelation 13 will be readily available to do the Antichrist’s bidding in all of those evil actions.
Those who are shown in Revelation 7, standing before the throne of God, souls in white robes, are identified as those who have been killed in the “Great Tribulation,” the last half of the seven years. There are multitudes standing there, not in resurrection bodies, but souls. Thus, they are not the raptured saints, for they have been “snatched away” before the tribulation gets underway. Remember how Luke 17:31-36 relates it: “Two will be sleeping; one will be taken and the other left; two will be grinding meal, one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left.” As Noah and Lot were taken out of the way of judgment, so are those taken out of the way of judgment that will occur on earth to all those left behind.
It is not at all likely there will be any “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, buying and selling, building and planting” going on during those seven years, especially at the end of that time, for it is far more likely there will be a total effort being made merely for survival, even to those who have taken the Mark of the Beast. And given the multitude already killed for not taking that Mark, the few, if any, who still survive, their motivation may well be only to survive over multiple oppositions.
Now take a look at conditions well described when the Son of Man will be revealed. Both Matthew 24:38-39 and Luke 17:26-30 describe the physical and social conditions when the Lord comes, although Luke includes Lot’s time, additionally. Both passages in their extended contexts describe the “taken and left behind” actions, however, which are clearly a pre-tribulation action not later timed for nor mentioned at the end of the tribulation in Revelation 19 when Jesus returns to the earth. Following is the Matthew description of conditions at Noah’s time:
“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:38-39).
Luke reports what he has learned, guided by the Holy Spirit:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
The spiritual conditions of the times of Noah and of Lot, in Genesis 6:5 and Genesis 18-19, respectively, were marked by a saturation of sinfulness. In Noah’s time, God’s observation was “that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In Lot’s time, the whole city of Sodom was saturated with all the men of the city filled with the lust of homosexuality.
It is clear that those physical and social conditions are not like what the results of the tribulation will leave behind. It is also clear that such conditions of all things being as they have been, generally, will make the coming of the Lord “as a thief in the night” much more of an unsuspected surprise. Peter wrote of this in 2 Peter 3:3-4: “…knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.'”
While the exact time of the Lord’s coming to meet His saints in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) is said to be unknown by anyone except the Father in heaven, there are many clues toward the general time of His return at the Rapture event. These references to the conditions on earth tell us much about the timing. Realizing that the Lord never made a promise that He did not intend to keep gives us much more guidance to the timing. It is so told in Luke 21:28, where Jesus announced, “When you see these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption draws near!” He said this in context with descriptions of extreme physical disturbances in the earth and the restoration of Israel to its statehood in the far-off future of the year 1948—the blossoming of the fig tree (Luke 21:29).
Then, the timing of the confirming of a covenant foretold in Daniel 9:27, along with the exclamation in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, saying, “Peace and safety,” tells us more of the timing of the Rapture. God has appointed the day and the hour before time began, and I submit that it will not be “some day and some hour” that occurs, but on the day and the hour so appointed (italics used for emphasis).
One important thing we must not forget is distinctly mentioned by Jesus in John 7:6 that brings home the significance of our mortal uncertainty: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.'” He said this in reference to His coming death on the cross, but it is equally true in these last days that His appointed time has not yet come, but every mortal person could face death at any time. And that means eternity is merely a heartbeat away for any of us.
No one can mentally picture or imagine the breadth and depth of that “sudden destruction” that will occur around the world when that “last trumpet” sounds and Jesus calls the dead in Christ out of their graves and up to Him in the air, along with those who are alive, all in transformed, resurrected bodies.
Again and again, we acclaim the victorious “blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ!” (Titus 2:13).
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The quadruple threat: North Korea, China, Pakistan and Iran – Danny Shoham - https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/290342
North Korea renews cooperation with Iran on weapons development, with broader links to China and Pakistan.
On Sept. 8, 2020, a meeting took place between Mojtaba Zolnouri, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, and North Korean Ambassador to Iran Han Sung-joo. The meeting was held to discuss the launch of financial and barter networks between the two countries. U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams responded by saying, “We are very concerned about Iran‘s cooperation with North Korea. …We will be watching the cooperation with North Korea very carefully and doing what we can to prevent it.”
A senior U.S. administration official who preferred to remain anonymous recently said that “Iran and North Korea have resumed cooperation in the framework of a project on long-range missiles that includes the transfer of core components,” a venture that is subject to interpretation. A “transfer of core components” might well extend beyond items related to solely conventional-warhead-carrying missiles. No matter what it will in fact entail, the transfer will likely be insufficiently monitored due to the parties’ ability to make untraceable transfers on land across their contiguous territories. Non-commercial transportation flights along the same uninterrupted corridor are also not easily monitored.
The other two countries in the contiguous nexus, China and Pakistan, are not likely to interfere. On the contrary: they are essential parts of the complex.
The Pyongyang regime is an unpredictable and often indecipherable tyranny, and a proliferator of WMDs plus ballistics expertise and components. It is a threatening element for the following reasons:
• It managed to avoid any agreement with the United States regarding its development of ballistic and nuclear capabilities.
• It possesses nuclear, biological and chemical weapon arsenals.
• It may be actively assisting the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
• There is a concealed terrestrial interface between North Korea and Pakistan via China. Intelligence satellites have detected that the Karakoram Highway has been used to supply illicit nuclear material and dual-use items for missiles.
• North Korea has been increasingly close to China since 2018, especially after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in June 2019.
• In August 2019, Kim Su-gil, director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA, visited Beijing to meet with Zhang Youxia, the second-ranked vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. Zhang told Kim that the delegation’s visit was of “crucial significance in bilateral exchange.”
North Korea shares an 880-mile land border with China.
A new long-range missile was recently displayed by North Korea during its 75th anniversary military parade. This missile, together with its heavily modified TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher), appear to represent a quantum leap beyond Pyongyang’s Hwasong-15 ballistic missile. It is unlikely that North Korea attained these upgraded capacities without assistance.
China is a matter of serious concern for these reasons:
• It possesses nuclear, biological and chemical weapon arsenals. Its biological weapons arsenal is the most advanced in the world.
• It strives to match and eventually surpass the West, both scientifically and technologically.
• It is a “great pretender” that is inclined to overshadow competitors, including friendly competitors, in all fields,
• Globally, it seeks to attain a geostrategic position through which it can exercise definitive, if largely unseen, influence upon international bodies. One example is its current interface with the World Health Organization.
• It has boundless ambition: It is pursuing hegemony in Asia (and beyond) through economic and military predominance. Two outcomes are the remarkable support lent by China to North Korea and Iran (essentially against the United States) and to Pakistan (essentially against India)
China shares a 368-mile land border with Pakistan.
• In possession of nuclear, biological and chemical weapon arsenals.
• The only Muslim country to possess a stockpile of nuclear weapons.
• Reportedly collaborating with and being assisted by China in the development and field testing of biological warfare agents.
China is an important source of Pakistan’s missile technology.
Islamabad’s tight military cooperation with Beijing consists mainly of purchasing attack submarines and developing fighter jets, with the addition of other faculties under so-called “scientific” frameworks. Military-to-military cooperation between the countries has strengthened in recent years, with Pakistani military personnel being trained in Chinese military institutions. The two countries often conduct joint military exercises.
Pakistan has a 596-mile land border with Iran, a link that remains useful despite the fact that existing Pakistani interfaces are complex and in some cases substandard. The Pakistani-Iranian border represents the final western terrestrial passage to and from Iran along the uninterrupted quadruple territory under discussion (irrespective of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and the overland Silk Road Economic Belt project).
The German report
In June 2020, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for the German state of Baden-Württemberg issued a report for the year 2019 that provided an explication of the illicit North Korea-Pakistan-China relationship. With reference to the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs of North Korea and Pakistan, the report states:
“They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, deployability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapons systems. They are trying to obtain the necessary products and relevant knowhow through illegal procurement efforts in Germany. In order to circumvent existing export restrictions and embargoes, risk states must constantly develop and optimize their procurement methods. To conceal the actual end user, they can procure goods in Germany and Europe with the help of specially established cover companies and, in particular, transport dual-use goods to risk states. Typical bypass countries include Turkey and China.”
Additionally, of course, single-use “goods” related to WMDs are clandestinely transported internally along the North Korea-China-Pakistan axis.
Iran can certainly be added to the extensively Chinese-supported duo of North Korea and Pakistan, with one key difference: Iran is the only one of the four to still be without nuclear weapons, though it is in active pursuit of them. On Oct. 16, the Iranian opposition group The National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed the existence of a secret facility in Sorkheh Hessar, east of Tehran, for producing nuclear weapons.
Iran possesses biological and chemical weapons arsenals, is upgrading its ballistic capabilities, fosters relations with North Korea and China and keeps its land border with Pakistan safe and exploitable for transportation. Moreover, to the west, Iran is endeavoring to construct a sound terrestrial bridge to Syria (and Lebanon) through Iraq, which would significantly lengthen the transportation axis of the uninterrupted quadruple territory.
Finally, on the military level, Iran and China recently tentatively agreed to extend their joint research and development of weapons, intelligence sharing and joint training plus exercises. This is in parallel to their intention to form a broad and long-term logistical and economic cooperation. China stands to attain a great many footholds in Iran.
The Islamic regime in Iran has always been a radically oriented disguised tyranny, the deeds of which were often marked by elegance and sophistication. The disguise has at last begun to disintegrate, even in the eyes of inexplicably sympathetic European countries. Iran’s bonding with China could prove disastrous, particularly within the context of the uninterrupted quadruple territory.
The geostrategic importance of the belt comprising the four contiguous countries is increasing. This meaningful trend is basically independent of the new overland Silk Road and maritime Silk Road. The quadruple belt should be monitored closely to avoid the coalescing of the four countries into a formidable bloc.
While the territory comprising North Korea, China, Pakistan and Iran might form a cardinal unified factor within the geostrategic system of the eastern hemisphere (and beyond), the interactions of China and Iran with Israel are meaningful in the region. Two remarkable examples—if not directly connected to the above—are the recent Iranian cyberattack on Israel’s water infrastructure, which aimed to destabilize the chlorine level and poison the country’s citizens; and the approaching operational management of the port of Haifa’s New Bay Terminal—not far from Haifa Naval Base, which houses Israeli submarines, missile boats and other vessels—by the Shanghai government-owned SIPG, from 2021 to 2046.
If China finds that it needs to prioritize between Iran and Israel—an entirely conceivable scenario—it will favor Iran, no matter what the context.
Can the Jews be Replaced Theologically or Ethnically? - Olivier Melnick - https://www.newantisemitism.com/antisemitism/can-the-jews-be-replaced-theologically-or-ethnically
The Jewish people have long been the thorn in the flesh of mankind. From century to century and from continent to continent, we have been unwanted, abused, harassed and exterminated, and yet, by the grace of the Almighty, we still exist (Jeremiah 31:35-37Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Our very existence is irritating to many, and instead of taking it up with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they take matters in their own hand and go after the Jewish people, wherever we might be. The results have been increasingly lethal all over the globe.
Somehow, when it comes to the Jews, people passionately try to replace us. In all cases, the real Jews being replaced are becoming irrelevant or are being painted as impostors, easily turning them into a target for elimination. There are two main venues to replace the Jews: Theologically or ethnically. They both rely on faulty biblical views that need to be looked at, so that we can help people understand who really is a Jew, who are the ten lost tribes and what promises from God are still in effect for the real Jews.
Theologically, Israel has a place in the Bible in just about every single book. While not by name, it can easily be argued that God’s starting point to deal with the Jewish people and their descendants goes back to Genesis 12, where He makes an unconditional, eternal promise to Abraham and his descendants, reiterated in Genesis 15 as the Abrahamic Covenant, that is still very much in effect today, and absolutely unchanged as to its recipients. That is if you take a literal, grammatical/historical view of the Bible–an approach that isn’t necessarily favored by all. Theologically, many of the Church Fathers contributed to what would morph into the racial antisemitism of the Holocaust era and even the new antisemitism of today. Justin Martyr and Tertullian are two of them.
Justin Martyr (AD 120-185) was an early Christian apologist who is still revered in Church circles today. He is the author of the most important and most complete Christian tract against Jewish people in the second century, if not in all of the early Church Fathers’ writings, entitled Dialogue with Trypho in which he attempts to prove that Christianity has supplanted Judaism. Justin Martyr might also have been the first to erroneously claim that the Church was the true “Israel of God”, making him possibly the father of Replacement Theology. In the following example, he quotes Isaiah 42:1-4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) and then introduces his reasoning for how he believes that the Church replaces Abraham’s descendants in God’s covenants (bold italic is Justin Martyr and italic is Scripture): “Again, in Isaiah, if you have ears to hear it, God, speaking of Christ in parable, calls Him Jacob and Israel: “Jacob is my servant, I will uphold Him; Israel is my elect, I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any one hear His voice in the street: a bruised reed He shall not break, and smoking flax He shall not quench; but He shall bring forth judgment to truth: He shall shine, and shall not be broken till He have set judgment on the earth. And in His name shall the Gentiles trust. (Isaiah 42:1-4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))”
As, therefore, from the one man Jacob, who was surnamed Israel, all your nation has been called Jacob and Israel; so we from Christ, who begot us unto God, like Jacob, and Israel, and Judah, and Joseph, and David, are called and are the true sons of God, and keep the commandments of Christ.
In this instance, Justin Martyr used the allegorical approach to change a literal teaching into a subjective one, yielding a conclusion not supported by the Word of God. We can always prove our own points using an allegorical approach, but is God convinced?
What about Tertullian (AD 160-220), the Christian author who produced a large body of literature in Latin? He was also an apologist who taught against heresy. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.” He was one of the first Church Fathers to formulate Trinitarian terminology. That contribution, along with other writings helping the early development of Christianity, then in its infancy, cannot be ignored.
In his work De Adversus Judaeos, “Against the Jews,” Tertullian goes after the Jewish people. Back then, his theological anti-Judaism was purely ideological. He used the Hebrew Scriptures to methodically disprove the relevancy of the Mosaic Law. He claimed that the Mosaic Law was given by God to the Jews because they were an inferior race of criminals whose crimes culminated in the killing of Christ. He then went on to prove that all blessings to ethnic Israel were then passed on to the “other nation” of God; The Christians. By the second century, the inferiority of Judaism had already taken root in Christian theology and was not questioned. The question is no longer “Is Judaism valid?” but “What are we to do with Judaism as a whole?” His contributions further paved the way for Replacement Theology, “There is proof that they [the Jews] were marked out indelibly as answerable for the crime of idolatry. In fact, our people — that is, the later — having forsaken the idols to which previously we used to be devoted, were converted to the same God from whom Israel departed, as we mentioned above. For thus the younger people — that is, the later — rose above the older people, while it was obtaining the grace of divine honor from which Israel has been divorced.”….”Originally, God gave the Law to Adam and Eve. It contains all the “hidden commands” of the Mosaic Law. In fact, it is the source of all Law from God. He who writes the Law has the right to modify it, so it should not be surprising that God would reform or “finish” the Law over time. How could Noah or Abraham have been considered righteous if God’s Law had not been given before Moses? How could Melchizedek have been “called a priest of the most high God” without the equivalent of Levitical law in place? In fact, God’s unwritten Law was kept “by the ancestors” for centuries before Moses. ….From this we understand that the law of God was already in existence before Moses, as [it has been given] first neither at Horeb, nor at Sinai, nor in the desert, but [it has been given] first at a more ancient time — in paradise — then afterwards to the patriarchs. And thus also, it has been given to the Jews at certain times when [God] wanted and has been reformed at certain times. The result is that now we do not pay attention to the law of Moses in such a way as though it were the first law, but as a subsequent one.”
Writer David Efroymson in his work on Tertullian, his influence and legacy, stated that many followed after Tertullian with their anti-Jewish diatribes and added this profound statement, alluding to the distant, but destructive, impact that Tertullian’s teachings had: “The road from here to Auschwitz is long and may not be direct, but one can get there from here.” And indeed, the road to Auschwitz was slowly but steadily being built by this and other early Christian pioneers of anti-Semitism. It can also be argued that that road did not dead end at the Holocaust but has continued to this day in a variety of ways.
So, the vast majority of the Church Fathers who took the Bible allegorically, claimed that God was done with Israel and the Jewish people. As a result, the Jews were theologically replaced by the “new Israel”, i.e.: the Christian Church. This is very difficult to validate biblically, unless some verses are interpreted allegorically. But, when we start looking at God’s word non-literally, where do we stop?
There is another way to look at Israel and replace the Jews. That one is from an ethnic perspective. We have heard that “modern Jews are not the real Jews!” or that “the ten lost tribes have been found!” Replacing the Jews with Christians in God’s plan for the ages is Replacement Theology, but replacing the Jews with another ethnic group is different. For a long time now, some people have claimed Jewish identity as belonging to one of the ten lost tribes. Various people groups have claimed to be from the ten tribes. The most famous and enduring one is known as the “British Israelites” which has a lot of similarities with “Black Israelites” as to how they perceive their Jewish identity. While both groups have common beliefs, they also have a lot of differences.
Author David Baron debunked British Israelism in a book he wrote in 1915. As he documents, much of the biblical arguments used in the British Israelite ideology are not biblical at all. A lot of important details have to be ignored or seriously altered to enable the square pegs of British Israelism or Black Israelism to fit in the round hole of the biblical Israel narrative. To name just two, the eternal throne of David belonging to Yeshua the Messiah (2 Samuel 7:12-26Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)) has not been passed onto the British Empire, and there is no biblical, historical, geographical or archeological evidence that any or all of the 10 lost southern tribes ended up in the British Isles (or anywhere else) after the Jewish dispersion.
Similarly, Black Israelism, in some sort of a mirror image of British Israelism, is claiming–mostly in the USA, although also in Jerusalem– that Black Hebrews are the real Jews today. The Black Israelism ideology is not monolithic at all, as many groups fall under it. The founder of the Black Israelites movement, Ben Ammi, claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel who told him to lead the “Children of Israel” to the Promise Land. The more extreme sub-sects of the movement promote Black superiority, racism and antisemitism. These groups have been rejected by both Judaism and Christianity. The danger with this sort of elitism, is the relegating of the group it believes it replaces, to a place of inferiority, leading to denigration, loathing and, in our day and age, violence like we recently saw in Philadelphia.
Why do people insist on replacing the Jews either theologically or ethnically? I believe that both attempts are coming from God’s enemy Ha Satan, who desires to position himself as god and who hates those whom God loves. When any people group is replaced, it becomes irrelevant and possibly obsolete. Once a people group is deemed obsolete, it is in way of “progress” or “expansion” and becomes at risk. Our people were in Hitler’s way when he tried to establish the Aryan supremacy 80 years ago. We know what happened next! Nobody has the right to replace the Jews in God’s plan or for anything else. God created the Jewish people (Genesis 12) and Israel (Genesis 15) and anybody trying to flex His master program will have to contend with Him. The Jews of today are the physical descendants of the Jews of the twelve tribes of yesteryear, period! Nobody can change that, as hard as they try.
Whom Shall I Fear? - By John Lysaught - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/10/31/whom-shall-i-fear-by-john-lysaught/
Psalm 27:1- “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
I think it is appropriate to talk about fear, especially in this time of world history. There is an abundance of fear happening before our eyes, a dread, per se, of what is going on. There is a fear of disease (COVID). There is the fear of the division in America of the left and right that has led to violence and may lead to more. There is fear of the social and political attacks of the Christian faith in the name of safety from COVID. There are many more, but I think these are the most prominent right now.
Psalm 27:1 asks the question of whom should we fear or be afraid of with God as our center? The answer, if you could not guess, is no one or nothing. With God at our side and as the God of the universe, we need not have a hint of fear in our lives.
It is easy to get sucked into a sense of fear. There is plenty of fearmongering going on in the media and social media sites. If paid attention to, or drawn into, fear is the likely outcome of spending too much time with those.
Instead of following the news or social media, may I suggest picking up your Bible instead? The Bible will not scare you but will bring you comfort and peace.
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” God does not want us to live in fear. He does not want us to wake up each day wondering what bad things can happen or what ills we will face. He wants us to live in peace, not a worldly peace but a peace in Him, to rest in His presence.
We are not perfect and will get sucked into fear at times, but knowing that God is the God of peace and comfort for believers gives us that assurance that all is and will be well because His plan of redemption is still unfolding before our eyes.
In those moments where we find ourselves in fear, we can be confident that God is holding us and will take us through and out of the fear that envelops us. This is not a maybe but a surety that we can count on Him to be there for us and to hold us up.
We forget this at times when we let fear begin to invade our minds and thoughts. When we do this, we start sliding on a slippery slope of worry, which leads to stress and anxiety in our lives. When we fall into the trap of fear, it diminishes our trust and faith in God’s ability to supersede the fears we have.
Fear is like a cancer. Once it gets lodged into our minds, it will spread and overtake us, leaving no room for the peace and comfort that God has for us. This cancer will affect our spiritual walk with God and will eat at us until our trust in God to handle and oversee the world is gone.
With all that is going on in the world, has your fear brought you any comfort or finality to any of those issues we are seeing? I doubt it. I know people who, since March of 2020, have rarely left their residences because of their fear of COVID. This fear has been so ingrained in them that they refuse to leave their homes or, to a lesser extent, will not go beyond the grocery store and have isolated themselves so much that they are lacking the human contact that humans need.
I am not saying that there should not be precautions or that COVID is not real, but what I am imparting in this example is that if not kept in check, fear will eat you alive. Living in fear leaves no room for the power of God in one’s life. God implores us not to fear because He knows by succumbing to fear, He is pushed out of lives.
Psalm 34:4- “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
When faced with fear, we have two choices: let fear control you or turn to God. When fear makes its face known to us, this is when we need to seek God and not entertain the fear that is facing us.
When we seek God in the moments of fear, He will not shun us. He will not leave us or let us deal with it on our own. No, He is there for us and wants us to call upon His name to catapult those fears away from our minds before fear infects our hearts.
When we came to a saving grace through the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus, on the cross, we did so because we trusted that God DID send His Son. We base our belief not only on Jesus’ death but that the God of all sent Him. Why then do we fall prey to fear and have trouble trusting God in those times? In other words, why do we trust God with our salvation but not with fear?
I speculate that in the hearts of those that fear, there is a lack of trust in some areas of their life that God does not have control over the world and history. If one can accept that God is the orchestrator of history, that nothing happens without His approval or knowledge, then fear should not be a driving force in our lives.
You know who loves to see fear in us? Satan and the world. What a great tool fear is for Satan to drive a wedge between us and God. Who do you think is controlling the media and the world to project fear over man? It is Satan, of course! God will not send fear to man, but Satan will. He will and does because he knows that fear can and will draw some from God.
Satan is the propagator of fear. Fear creates chaos in our hearts, and he knows it will cause people to question the power and omnipotence of God in all situations. The unsaved fall for this, and sadly, so do believers.
The stronger your walk is with God, the stronger your relationship with Him is, the less likely fear will seep into your minds to take root and the eventual control of how you view the world and react to those things that cause fear. There is no strength in fear but only strength in and through God.
Psalm 46:1 says that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” How fitting is this reminder for the times we are living in right now, and as we walk into each new day as time moves on?
In times of trouble, Psalm 46:1 is telling us that God is here to help, that we can come to Him to rest and gain strength when we face those things that can cause fear. We can stand in His light and not be affected by the darkness that partners with fear. We can live knowing He is bigger than our fears and will protect us from the ills that fear brings with it.
I encourage you that when you feel a sense of foreboding coming, when a situation or whatever has fear tied to it, that you turn to God and only God. Instead of looking for another website to confirm your fears or going to social media to see what others are saying (fearmongering), pull out your Bible.
Open this sacred Book with the living words of God and read. Spend time in God’s word and search the scriptures to find the words that will give you the peace God wants you to have and the comfort afforded by Him, and pray.
Pray. Pray. Pray. Talk to God about your fears and how they are affecting you. Pray for peace in the storm. Pray for calm. Pray for assurance that He is in control.
We live in a time where fear is always at the forefront. Whatever those things are that cause your fear, there is peace and comfort through the Great I AM. God is in control — trust Him. God is not going to leave you or put you aside to face fears yourself. He wants you to turn to Him and is waiting for you to embrace Him.
Daily Jot: Prayer over politics – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
It is become a difficult process to watch, that is, American’s electing a president. The election as it stands currently is too close to call. This is a prophetic election mess. When I say “prophetic,” I mean that as a nation that was founded upon the principles of God and lived for what is right and good for centuries, and tried to correct the bad things, such as slavery, this nation has fallen so far from the truth of God that equity must knock down the door to enter. Never mind that one party is trying to steal the election; never mind that the media refuses to cover the corruption of the candidate; never mind that anything good has been attacked, labeled and admonished. Mind that the nation has fallen this far to tolerate it.
We as a prophetic people living in a prophetic time cannot be deterred by the events around us. We must, as Christ has instructed, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I have written before, and I will use this morning after the election to write it again: The Church has a responsibility to the condition of our nation. We started off on a good footing, acknowledging the hand of the Lord in establishing this nation and prospering it. Today we are far from those values that truly did make America the greatest nation on earth—the most evangelical nation, spreading the word of God to all the nations. What happened?
Today, we are measuring our nation in blue and red. Blue, unfortunately, stands for a lot of ungodly things—abortion, homosexuality, oppressing the expression of God in the public square, among them. The Red surely aligns closer to God’s word, but also has its shortcomings. The problem, however, is that the Blue and the Red are worlds apart and will not come together to work out what is best for all of us. It is not because of politics. It is because of a lack of true Christ followers. It is obvious, because if all who say they are Christian were behaving like Christians, we would not have such vitriol and animosity toward one another.
Christ also said in Mark 3:24-26, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.” My prayer today, as we look at our divided nation, is that Satan is also divided and that he will have an end. My prayer is for you to be strong and remind others of your faith. My prayer for this nation is that it defeats the darkness that is waiting to devour it. My prayer for the Church is that it lay its emotional, extra-biblical and self-indulgence aside and take up the full armor of God. My prayer is that we all have more prayer than politics.
Daily Devotion: All Authority Comes from God - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. —Romans 13:1
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/all-authority-comes-from-god/ - Listen
God establishes governments. And those who are in power—presidents, vice presidents, senators and congressmen, governors, mayors, or whatever their roles are—have been placed there by God, whether you voted for them or not.
We’re living in politically charged times, with disagreements over so many issues. Yet God has put government in place. Romans 13:1 tells us, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (Romans 13:1 NLT).
When Paul wrote these words, he was living under Roman jurisdiction. Rome was running the known world for the most part, and Caesar Nero was in charge. Now, some Caesars were worse than others, but Nero was probably the worst of the lot when it came to persecuting the church.
Nero hunted down Christians. He executed them. He tortured them. He fed them to animals to entertain people in the Coliseum.
Yet Paul wrote, “Those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” That’s pretty radical for Paul to say. I’ve had the opportunity to go to the White House and pray for the president on more than one occasion. And afterward, some people criticized me for it.
But why would I not want to pray for the leader of the free world and ask God to guide and direct him? I feel it’s my responsibility. I also think that when we isolate ourselves and allow ourselves to become so partisan in the way we view things, we’re not thinking like Christians.
Don’t think like a political pundit; think like a follower of Jesus Christ. We’re part of the kingdom of God. And as representatives of Jesus Christ, we should seek to influence everyone with the message of the gospel. That includes those who are in positions of power.
FROM THE HEART
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