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Jesus Continues to Reveal the Tribulation to John the Apostle - by Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/12/jesus-continues-to-reveal-tribulation.html
The preceding chapter sets the stage for the coming destruction upon the earth, and the opening of the 7th seal.
1, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” (Revelation 8:1-3)
CHAPTER 8: DESTRUCTION SPEEDS UP
Verse 3 tells us this mighty angel stands before the heavenly golden altar of incense, which is before the Throne of the Almighty God. The prayers of all the believers are mingled with heavenly incense and offered up to God. These prayers contain the martyrs' and the suffering saints' cries for relief and justice. The answer to these prayers is the Seven Trumpets and Seven Golden Vials.
The whole of heaven, the angels and the the saints who have been taken to be with God, hold their breath, because they know that this destruction will be all encompassing and will affect every human being on the planet. The silence of awe and anticipation at the grim reality of the judgments, God is about to unleash. This destruction will not only come from mortal men, but God will cause the environment to convulse beyond imagination and send Divine retribution that can only be attributed to Him.
4 “And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:4-9)
The saints that are still on the earth, that are enduring what is coming upon the nations to even those who believe by faith, are in prayer for those who shall come to repentance, and for themselves as they are in mortal danger 24/7.
These seven trumpets are of greater intensity than the seals, but not as destructive as the final vial or bowl judgments will be (compare 16:1-21). They occur during the final 3-1/2 years, but the time of each is indefinite, except the effects of the fifth trumpet judgment, which will last 5 months (9:10). The first 4 announce the divine destruction of earth’s ecology (verses 6-12), while the final 3 involve demonic devastation of earth’s inhabitants (9:1-21; 11:15).
Whether this seven is literal, or not, doesn't matter (in this instance I believe they are literal). These "angels" are prepared to carry out God's orders. These "seven trumpets" were to sound the alarm. Trumpets are loud and send out a clear note. There will be no question of the message. In ancient times, a trumpet blast was designed to do two things, to bring people to worship God, or/and to prepare for war. Here, the angels prepare for God's War on rebellious mankind.
An angel takes coals from the altar which reveals that God has accepted the prayers of His saints that are still on earth, and the censer is thrown to the earth, as God will avenge those who have died for belief in His Son as martyrs, and will take revenge on those who have rebelled and are living in sin, taking the Mark of the Beast and worshiping false gods on earth.
Know that our God is a consuming fire. God is angered, and He has decided it is time to punish those on the earth who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Just as God finally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah when they would not repent, there is a time when the fire of God will descend upon this earth in punishment.
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE RAINS UPON THE EARTH
We read in verse 7, the beginning of God commanding the angels to cause literal fire mixed with blood to rain down upon the earth. This fire consumes all green grass on the earth, and a 1/3 of all the trees, plus the second angel cast a burning mountain into the seas and the seas became blood. Is this literal blood or a contamination of the waters where sea creatures die because of the plague upon the waters of the sea and the resulting tsunami of such a gigantic object that looks like it could be a meteor or asteroid from outer space that the resulting tidal waves destroy 1/3 of all sea faring ships, plus the men that are on them, which be evident if they vessels are destroyed so would be their crews. Here something not detailed here poisons the waters, or changes their composition....John could only explain it as looking like blood.
These plagues of fire mixed with hail falling from heaven, remind me of what God did in the plagues of Egypt,
"So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation." (Exodus 9:24)
And this is only the first two angels that have been commanded by God to bring judgment on mankind. Only thing that separates these two events, is the plague in Egypt was localized, but this plague of fire and hail covers the whole of the earth.
Both were punishments from God. One thing very important to remember is that the wrath of God falls on them of unbelief.
"And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."(Ezekiel 38:22)
It is the same God in Ezekiel that we see here in Revelation. We see that this is the same God that will destroy rebellious mankind by the environment which He commands to do on a broader scale than what is now occurring in California due to fire and drought, but imagine if this was worldwide and everything being on fire and there being no way to escape it? Envision the planet on fire, and the structures that the grass and trees surround also catching fire. It is the California fires on steroids worldwide. Or envision God allowing unrepentant, evil men to use nuclear weapons on each other and killing millions in a flash. We will see what I believe John is explaining when he speaks of Wormwood in the next verses.
10 “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”( Revelation 8:10-11)
Just as I described that God will allow men to destroy one another with nuclear weapons, we see here a star falling upon the waters and making them “bitter”....does this remind you of something? If a burning nuclear ICBM were to fall into the waters, they would become radioactive. Where have we heard the term “Wormwood” before? The interpretation of a disaster that happened in Russia at the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl is defined as “wormwood” in the Russian language...so could this falling star falling on mankind be a nuclear weapon? If not, God has the ability to bring a flaming object from space that is radioactive and do the exact same thing as a man-made nuclear weapon, but of greater destruction. Whichever is used of God, the waters will be contaminated and many men will die all over the world because of this radioactive material into the drinking reservoirs that men use for their daily lives. You may not be able to find a safe drinking source of water in all the world.
But recall what the prophet Zechariah wrote in his book that bears his name? This burning great star from the heavens will be burning as a lamp, this fire being radioactive and nuclear creates devastation that will be far reaching upon the earth..
"Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth" (Zech. 14:12).
This is exactly what a Neutron bomb does to an individual that is standing...they don't disintegrate, but their soft tissue, their eyes, and their mouths just melt in their sockets and in their mouths and their flesh cooked and falls from the bones
I saw a depiction of that on “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when the destroying angel came out of the ark of the covenant and the flesh on the men melted away. Only this time, it won't be cinema, it will be real. It will be the destruction of men by a vengeful, wrathful God of fire.
12 “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:12-13)
Although the last trumpets have been devastating to mankind, God is just getting warmed up, and the next three trumpets will make these first four pale in comparison to their devastation and the near total destruction of the nations upon the earth.
IT WILL ONLY GET EXPONENTIALLY WORSE
Can you even visualize the destruction that has been up to this point in this apocalyptic book? We can be disturbed by watching a movie depiction of this, but what if you are living it up close and personal? If men could even comprehend how horrible this time will be for anyone so unfortunate to be living on earth at this time, then no one would be found refusing the gift of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary's cross. The only ones that would dare, would be classified as insane, or in total deception by the “father of lies” Satan the devil.
Do you think those who reject Jesus Christ so easily today would remain "silent" if they knew the horrible doom of judgment that is coming upon this earth and upon them because they are rejecting God's Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ?
Will you stay silent, or cry out to God for mercy, as you read these two chapters, not even focusing on the ensuing chapters that show God's wrath growing exponentially stronger in their intensity and their all encompassing destruction that will destroy near 80% of all mankind in a few short years, with the majority coming in the last 3.5 years. Can you imagine seeing dead bodies lying all over the ground like it was in WW2, but no one to bury them, and wild/domestic animals feeding on them, and attacking those living, because of starvation?. Can you comprehend the smell of rotting flesh that breeds disease? Will you be going about your life as usual as Jesus said it would be so as in the days of Noah?
37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Contemplating what is described here, will people, OR YOU, be going about life as usual eating, drinking, or giving in marriage? Or will you be just trying to survive and escape someone taking your life just because they can? Life will not be as usual....life will be full of stress, fear and anxiety, where you will kill, just so you won't be killed. If this is what is going on in this world that John describes, and can't be as Jesus described before the day of the coming of the Lord as a thief in the night, then what is happening here has no basis for the description of the rapture at the end of the tribulation. The details are too prevalent that Jesus was talking about another time, when He will break in on mankind as a thief, and many of you will NOT be prepared. What coming is our Lord Jesus talking about in the above verses of Matthew?
The apostle Paul refers to the same event in Corinthians and Thessalonians:
51 “ Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1st Corinthians 15:51-55)
Paul was describing what will happen before the tribulation even starts, when men will be eating, drinking and giving in marriage, because it won't be that way before the second coming of our Lord to rule and reign. So for Jesus to come unannounced, like a thief, it has to be sudden. It has to be “hidden”.....a “mystery” that had not been revealed till Paul spoke of it...it has to be when you least expect it. For the end of the tribulation or the great Tribulation of these 7 years will be signs all over heavens that the Lord is coming. No one will be surprised, for the signs are all around them, in the heavens, on the earth, and from the destruction of near total of all mankind.
“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:1-4)
As we have seen, studying these previous chapters starting in chapter 6 that the destruction grows even more fierce as each chapter reveals the devastation God in His wrath is raining down the nations who are in rebellion, and have refused to believe in the only means of redemption provided by God, that is Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected to life.
Each of us were saved, who truly believe in the work of the cross, as His death washed us in His own blood. But more importantly, Jesus didn't stay dead, but rose again on the third day. His death would have meant nothing, if Jesus had stayed dead, but His resurrection guarantees each of us a future.
7 “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:7-10)
Without the resurrection, we would not be guaranteed to rise from the grave, or be changed into spirit beings at the coming of our Lord for His church, but now Jesus Christ is our High Priest who stands at the right hand of God making intercession for those who come to God, by faith through the shed blood of God's only Son, Jesus Christ. But these nations have not by the majority accepted that payment, and have rebelled against a Holy God. They have rejected the sacrifice of His only Begotten Son, and God will extract a payment for their rebellion in blood, torment, and destruction. Remember if you just jump forward and note when Christ comes back with the armies of heaven in chapter 19, His vesture is dipped in blood. It is not His own blood, but the blood of those He has slain, and the blood of many will flow by the billions that the bible says “that if the time were not shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect, it will be shortened”..that is how the destruction of this earth is near total in number.
WOE TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH.
As the angel proclaimed in the last chapter 8,
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:13)
The nations have been rocked with Divine judgment that has come upon the earth, with wave after wave of God's Wrath, but now an angel cries that the next three angels will reveal things even more devastating that what they have seen in the recent past. God will now command angels to release demons from the abyss, which may be the pit that fallen angels were chained back in Genesis waiting for this time to take out vengeance on mankind. Repeating this passage:
4 “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:4-6)
These creatures that come out of a smoking furnace are described in the next verses of this chapter, and the description is most hideous and they have one mission, that is to torment mankind for 5 months, not kill them, but make them wish they could die. Death will escape anyone who tries to commit suicide, as God will not allow death to capture them, but to torment them with stings like a scorpion for a period of time.
11 “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11)
What I find interesting, is that this pit is opened by an angel, and may be demons from another dimension, which the spirit world is not of the material, but parallel to our own. We can't see it, as if we did we would all have heart attacks from the fear that would grip each of us who saw the war being fought.
Right now, mad scientist are trying to find the so-called “God Particle” which they believe is the key to the origins of the universe. In their crazy ambitions, many have feared that the power generated from the CERN Hadron Collider could effectively open up another dimension and no one knows what could come through its open portals.
“CERN or the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was purportedly developed to ‘replicate the big bang theory’ and ‘open gateways to other dimensions.’ (The " big bang theory is a Kabbalist teaching as well. ) End times prophecy teacher Tom Horn is presenting these claims by theoretical physicists as fact, and a fulfillment of prophecy.”
“However, they also believe that there are parallel realities around us, other dimensions, and there could be other intelligence there….
There is a reason why God put them on the other side of that veil, and you might not want to open that door! And here’s the thing. Their own director of CERN, General Rolf Heuer, has given interviews to the British Press in which he admits that is what they are trying to do. They want to open the door to another dimension. He said ‘when we open the door, something might come through it into our reality! Or, we might send something through it into their reality!’” —Tom Horn
“Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it,” Sergio Bertolucci, Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN is cited as saying while briefing report that include CERN HQ.
The town in France where CERN is located is called “Saint-Genus-Poilly“. The name Pouilly comes from the Latin “Appolliacum” and it is believed that in Roman times a temple existed in honor of Apollo, and the people who lived there believed that it was a gateway to the underworld. It is interesting that CERN, whatever it actually is, is strategically built on this spot, to deliberately appear to fulfill a dispensational view of these verses in the book of Revelation:” (The Christian Observer)
Is the site of this Haldron Collider which is lying over an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Apollo, the source of where these demons will come through from another dimension, but will be allowed to pass into this world through a door the Holy Angel will open? It gives one pause to think that mankind is trying manipulate the spirit world and may pay a high price when it is finally allowed to be opened. They don't know what they are messing with.
This is just a warm up for the demonic activity of spiritual beings that hate all mankind, as they have been in prison for thousands of years, and here their hatred is released, but one woe is past...the next two are even worse.
12 “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” (Revelation 9:12-15)
THE SECOND WOE AND MORE DESTRUCTION
Remember those angels that stood on the four corners of the earth back in previous chapters? Here they are loosed to do the will of God and they slay 1/3 of all mankind. Figure that up...for approximately 7 billion people, a third will die, or 2-2.5 billion people from all over the earth. How will they slay them? Remember how the death angel slew the first born of Egypt? They just quit being alive, their heart stopped, or a physical infliction of a wound by a spiritual sword, because we don't know how they will die, but they will die suddenly and most likely, no one will attempt to bury them, or if they do, their effort will be interrupted by future calamity that befalls the nations. The death toll continues to rise, and the earth will be ravaged from the diseases this will cause and more will die.
17” And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:17-21)
How can anyone interpret what the description of these demonic forces of 200 million are?. God is using them to destroy those who are in rebellion to His commandments and do not have Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. To me, it sounds like a return to ancient paganism that God abhors and destroyed whole civilizations because of their idolatry.
Analyzing this army of the horsemen: Does this speak of a natural or a supernatural army? Is this an army of men or an army of demons?
If this describes a natural army of men, then the weird description may speak of modern, mechanized warfare. It may be John simply describes modern machinery in the only terms he can, and the result is this weird, grotesque, terrifying account.
But, a human army this size has never been seen. The total size of all armies – on both sides – at the height of the Second World War was only 70 million. In 1965 China claimed to have an army and militia of 200 million, but this claim was doubted by many. Even if such an army was assembled, and marched towards the west, it is hard (but not impossible) to see such an army killing two billion or more people – a third of mankind.
Therefore, perhaps the safest interpretation is to see this as not a literal 200 million strong army, but a demonic army invading earth. This continues the idea of the demonic army like locusts described earlier in the chapter. But the mass extinction of whole nations will be forthcoming and few will survive this massive assault.
Note that God is attempting to get man's attention. To cause them to turn to Him if by nothing else fear for their lives, and repent of their crimes, their murders, their idolatry and plead for mercy and forgiveness, but men will not turn to God, and God knows it, but gives them an option anyway, but they will not repent and the carnage continues to grow.
REVELATION CHAPTER 10, GOD WILL ALLOW NO MORE DELAY
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” (Revelation 10:1-4)
Here a mighty “angel” can also be rendered messenger, as many have wondered about the identify of this messenger from the very throne room of God. Many believe that it is Jesus Christ come to personally bring judgment and proclaim what is about to happen. The description looks like it could be Christ, as a rainbow is about His head which is a reminder of the promise of God made to Noah, and His face shines like the sun, and his feet as burning fire, which sounds like the feet John saw our Glorified Jesus in Chapter 1, but could also be the Ark Angel Michael, which is a mighty angel, but whoever it is, this messenger comes from Almighty God and roars like a lion, as seven thunders uttered their voices. NO one knows what these seven thunders consist of or what they are, as God forbids John to write down what he hears and sees associated with these seven thunders.
This illustrates the principle that while God has revealed much, there are secrets which God has not seen fit to reveal to man at this time.
But notice how this powerful being is standing, on the earth and on the sea, meaning He has power over all the earth, I would be more inclined to believe that this is Jesus who has come to make the will of God known. The thunders could be in reference to what was written in the Psalms:
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forests bare; and in His temple everyone says, “Glory!” (Psalm 29:3-9)
This is a short interlude that serves as a dramatic purpose, but also shows mercy in allowing more opportunity for repentance. It is as if God brought things to the brink, then pulled back a little to grant mankind more time to repent. Will they repent? Let us see.
5 “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 9:5-7)
This messenger has sworn by God Almighty, that time will be delaying no longer. God has given mankind ample time to repent and come to their senses about following the Everlasting Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and they will not, so God will allow no more delay. Judgment is coming beyond what anyone can even imagine, and those who rebel against God will be crushed and near totally eliminated from this earth.
9 “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”(Revelation 9:9-11)
What is this little book that John takes and eats and becomes bitter in his stomach? John could only proclaim the Word of God if he had taken it in. Such an action symbolized the reception of the Word of God into the innermost being as a necessary prerequisite to proclaim it with confidence.
When he came to think upon it, it was either so mysterious that he could not comprehend it, or the matter of it was so sad that it gave him great trouble and bitterness in his stomach.
Any effective communicator of God’s Word has experienced both the sweetness and bitterness that is associated with His Word.
Whatever the content of the scroll, it is connected to John’s command to prophesy to all men. This is not a message for the church of the Living God for at this point, the church is not present upon the earth as this is a continuation of Gods wrath and we “are not appointed to wrath” ..John’s prophecy spoke of the fate of the entire world, not just one nation, empire or emperor, such as the Roman Empire, but the last empire that would be ruled by the Anti-Christ.
CHAPTER 11: TWO WITNESSES PROPHECY AT THE JEWISH TEMPLE
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:1-3
Here John is told to measure the temple of God, but to exclude the outer courts. Why does God tell John not to measure the outer courts. IN ancient times, the outer courts were for Gentiles, or those who were not Jewish, and on the Temple mount, should the Temple be built on that location, the location has been determined to be north of the Muslim “Dome of the Rock”, so God is showing they are not part of His people.
John is told to do much like Ezekiel was told to measure the Temple, and Habakkuk was told to measure the earth. Also Zechariah was told to measure Jerusalem in chapter 2. So what does it mean to have something measured?
Measuring denotes ownership of what is being measured. God owns the Temple where the Jewish people have been sacrificing since the temple was completed. God is showing us that He is in charge of what is happening, thus He produces two witnesses that are clothed in sackcloth, which testify of the power of God and His Christ.
Some believe the passage is talking about the Temple of our bodies, the Christian, but note that Daniel, Jesus, and the apostle Paul all denoted a coming event known as the “abomination that causeth desolation”. The Anti-Christ, as we have learned, will confirm an existing covenant with Israel, allow them to build a Temple and then desecrate it by standing in the Temple claiming to be God. So a physical temple has to be built and standing, temple sacrifices being performed and then being halted to demand worship to the Anti-Christ who will have a idol to be worshiped placed in the Holy of Holies and demand worship of himself.
3 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Revelation 11:3-6)
WHO ARE THE TWO WITNESSES?
Many have tried to determine who these two powerful men, that God sends to witness to the world either inside/outside the Temple grounds. The whole world will be mesmerized and watch intently by satellite TV and listen to what they say, and see what they do. Many believe, including this minister, that they are both Elijah and Moses. Why? Because each of them cause the same miracles that were performed by Elijah by calling fire down from heaven, so those who try to hurt them in any way, fire proceeds from their mouths to destroy whoever attempts such an act similar to Elijah in 2nd Kings and the priest of Ba'al.
These two witnesses also have power to shut heaven . . . they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire: The two witnesses have the power to bring both drought and plague, similar to the power Elijah (James 5:17-18) and Moses (Exodus 7-12) had. This is similar to what happened during the Exodus when Moses called for the plagues that decimated pagan Egypt.
The witnesses have an unique, continual empowering from the Holy Spirit, as shown in Zechariah’s olive trees and oil lamps picture (Zechariah 4:2-3 and 4:14).
The passage from Zechariah had its first application to two men in Zechariah’s day: Joshua and Zerubbabel. “Just as these two witnesses were raised up to be lampstands or witnesses for God and were empowered by olive oil representing the power of the Holy Spirit, so the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will likewise execute their prophetic office.
In the picture from Zechariah, oil lamps were filled directly from olive trees which piped oil right to the lamps. This is a picture of continual, abundant supply. If we will be witnesses, we must first have something to witness – our own personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Then, we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the story of what we have witnessed effectively.
In this book of the Revelation the Holy Ghost borrows all the elegancies and flowers in the story of the Old Testament, thereby to set out the story of the New in succeeding ages.
These servants of the Most High God preach immovable at the Temple in Jerusalem for 3.5 years. It could be what inspired and caused the 144,000 Jewish evangelist to realize that Jesus was indeed the Messiah all along, and cause them to become the witnessing powerhouse that preaches and wins millions to Christ. Then comes a climatic end of their witnessing, when God allows them to be slain by the Anti-Christ.
7 “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” (Revelation 11:7-10)
The world has watched and hated the two witnesses, because evil men would not heed their preaching and proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ, and those who tried to stop them were killed nearly instantaneously. The whole world suffers and fears these two men that have preached over 3 years while plague after plague befell the inhabitants of the nations and now their testimony is finished, and God allows them to be killed by the beast that comes from the bottomless pit. The Bible describes the man who kills them, the Anti-Christ, who most likely has been possessed by Satan himself, who is the beast from the bottomless pit. These two men were not cut off short from their testimony, they have fully completed it, and for the future Glory of God, they are allowed to submit to being killed by this demon from hell.
8 “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” (Revelation 11:8-10)
SETTING UP THE COMING GREAT TRIBULATION
One would think that the Anti-Christ has won, as he is the only one who was able to destroy and kill these men who have persecuted the world for 3 ½ years and caused the evil men of this world much distress, and now they rejoice that these two prophets have been destroyed and the whole world sees it on TV cameras that broadcast the event to the world. Notice the three descriptions of the city, which is Jerusalem being called Sodom or immorality, and Egypt or slavery, and a Great City, which is akin to Babylon the home of the Anti-Christ. Anyone who is in bed with the Anti-Christ and being in love and making a covenant with him, deserves these titles. But soon, those who erred in this position of a false peace will soon find out that they have made a pact with the devil.
The world all over will rejoice and cause humiliation to not even cause their dead bodies to be buried, but look upon them for 3.5 days as they lie lifeless without the honor of burial. This is the worst possible result for your enemies to allow your dead body to lie there in death. The world is merry because they could not stand to hear the truth, or not be allowed freewill choice to revel in their ungodliness, and to endure the plagues that were brought upon them. But they are about to get a rude awakening.
11 “And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:11-13)
Can you even imagine this scene. They must be thinking to themselves, “didn't this happen before when millions disappeared and we didn't know what happened to them? And what are they going to do to us now?”. These two men stand on their feet, and great fear fell upon the earth dwellers, but the earth was not good enough for these two men, and God calls them “come up hither”. Now where have we heard that expression before?? I know, when God called John into the throne room of God and witnessed the church sitting there on thrones. It is a type of rapture of these two men.
Judgment of their deeds immediately is pronounced as a great earthquake comes and destroys a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem and 7,000 men die as a result. But a remnant of the Jewish people give glory to God, as they know who it was that did both acts of rapture and judgment of the earthquake.
14 “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God,
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Revelation 11:14:19)
The ending of this chapter sets the stage for what is coming, and it grows exponentially worse as the chapters progress. Everyone in the heavenly realm knows what is coming, and they fall on their face before God as signs of His power surround them, lightnings, thundering, great earthquakes, and hail that continue to ravage the earth, but now the 7th angel has sounded his trumpet and the the coming judgments will be the filling of the wrath of God to the brim of the cup of His indignation.
Do you even envision the horror of this time, and we have just come to the end of the 11th chapter, which the 7th angel is announcing even greater destruction that will come upon the earth. How can it get any worse, you ask? It can get much worse, to where God will slay nearly every man and woman on this planet with plague, pestilence, fire and brimstone. In the next chapter, we are introduced to the actors that are part of this spiritual drama played out in the physical realm. This chapter seems to divide the tribulation in half dropping down into the middle of the carnage that has come near full strength of God's Wrath, but we get a pause to catch our breath, as we see who this time of Tribulation is designed for. See you next time as we explore chapter 12 and beyond that deals with the actors in this drama, natural and supernatural players.
A CALL TO REPENTANCE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
As my custom at the end of any prophecy piece, I want to ask those who may be reading this message this side of the rapture, or even on the other side into the coming Tribulation, what is your destiny in all this? Will you be found part of the body of Christ and escape this coming horror? Or will you accept Jesus on the other side and try desperately to survive only to most likely be destroyed by the Beast power in martyrdom? On the flip side of this coin, will you reject the only payment for the sins you have committed found in only One Person, Jesus Christ and be cast headlong into what I have tried to describe in scripture and words, but cannot compare to the reality of what is coming. Or will you continue to reject Jesus in all your unrighteousness and stubborn refusal to repent of your sins, just to finally be thrown bodily into a burning Lake of Fire fueled by sulfur and brimstone? You have a couple choices that you must make on either side of this coming event known as the HARPAZO, or the snatching away of the church, some call the “rapture”....what will you answer be? Will you accept Jesus now, while the choice is a simple free will choice, or accept under extreme perilous conditions in the coming Tribulation?? Or the worst choice and do nothing and be consumed by a God who is a consuming Fire in all His righteous indignation over unrepentant sins and refusal to come to the only payment for your sins, found in His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord? The choice is yours. Join me next time, as we explore further carnage of this planet in the “WOMAN AND THE DRAGON”. See you then.
16 “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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:8-10)
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find Jesus as your source of eternal life. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a friendly listening ear, email me at email@example.com. God bless you all
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.................SOON
Can Employers Fire Any Employees That Choose Not To Take The COVID Vaccine? - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/can-employers-fire-any-of-their-workers-that-decide-not-to-take-the-covid-vaccine
A COVID vaccine is not even available yet, but the mainstream media is already full of stories about whether or not it is legal for employers to fire employees that refuse to take it. To me, this is not even a debate that we should be having. It would be fundamentally anti-American and morally reprehensible for any employer to fire someone for choosing not to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, the mainstream media does not see things that way, and they are interviewing lots of legal experts that are assuring employers that it is perfectly legal to fire people that don’t want to get vaccinated. For example, the following comes from a CNBC article…
“In general, yes, employers are able to mandate the vaccine when it becomes available with, of course, a bunch of caveats,” says employment lawyer Lindsay Ryan, listing possible exemptions for those with specific medical conditions and those with sincerely held religious convictions.
If religious convictions really did protect employees, that would be great.
From my perspective, any employee that refuses to get vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious conviction should definitely be shielded from being fired under federal law.
Unfortunately, the CNBC article goes on to explain why federal law is probably not going to protect any person of faith from mandatory vaccination requirements…
Ryan emphasizes that state laws regulating what constitutes reasonable accommodations for religious groups vary significantly, but that “under federal law, employers don’t have to grant a religious accommodation if doing so would result in more than a de minimis cost to the operation of the business.”
“De minimis” is Latin for “of minimum importance” and is used in law to refer to a total so small that it is not even recognized. Given how significantly the pandemic has impacted businesses, Ryan says “this is a pretty low standard.” Meaning, many employers will likely have legal ground to require vaccination.
In other words, under federal law there is hardly any protection at all for workers that wish to refuse the COVID vaccine.
Other major news outlets have been publishing similar stories. This excerpt comes from a piece that was published by Reuters…
Gostin and five other health law experts said private companies in the United States have broad liberties to set health and safety standards, which would allow them to mandate vaccinations as a condition of employment with some exceptions.
It is almost as if there is a coordinated effort to make employers across the country aware that they can issue such mandates.
A little over a decade ago, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration ruled that employers could make vaccines mandatory during the swing flu pandemic, but of course that crisis faded rather rapidly and so very few employers actually went in that direction.
But now it appears that COVID-19 is going to be with us for quite a while, and some employers have already decided that they are going to make vaccination mandatory for all employees…
Just a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, Holly Smith had already made up her mind. She was not going to reopen her restaurant to diners until there was a vaccine. She just didn’t think it was safe. When she shared the decision with her staff, they asked: Would the vaccine be mandatory?
Yes, she said. It would be.
“I’m not going to open until I can indeed be sure that everyone on my staff is vaccinated,” says Smith, chef and owner of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Wash. “The immediate people on the team — you’ve got to take care of them. If you don’t take care of them, they cannot help you take care of business.”
If some of her employees do not want to take the vaccine, they will be hitting the bricks.
And as I have detailed repeatedly in recent weeks, it is not easy to find another job in this economy.
The good news is that most employers will likely be hesitant to mandate vaccines because of the potential of pushback from their employees. According to a recent Gallup survey, 42 percent of all Americans do not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine…
Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 rebounded a bit in October, as seen in Gallup polling conducted before Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna made promising announcements about the likely effectiveness of their coronavirus vaccines. Fifty-eight percent of Americans in the latest poll say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine, up from a low of 50% in September.
It is estimated that there are 328 million people living in the United States right now, and 42 percent of 328 million is 137 million.
If those 137 million people stand up for their God-given rights, we almost certainly will not see widespread vaccine mandates.
But will they?
We shall see.
In the months ahead, there is going to be so much public pressure to get vaccinated, and the CDC plans to aggressively promote their vaccination campaign.
They even plan to distribute “buttons or stickers” so that people that have been injected can advertise that fact to others…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to offer health care providers a template they can use to print buttons or stickers that would advertise a person’s vaccination status. The idea is that the button would be handed out to patients after they receive their vaccination shots.
The effort is part of a “toolkit” that the CDC plans to provide healthcare systems to “educate and promote vaccination,” a CDC spokesperson told ABC News.
In addition, within the past few days Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden have all committed to being vaccinated publicly…
President-elect Joe Biden said he would publicly take a vaccine when it’s available to encourage the public to get vaccinated, joining three former presidents who recently pledged to do the same.
Biden said he’d “be happy” to join former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in getting the vaccine in public to prove it is safe.
That would seem to be quite a public relations coup for the pharmaceutical companies, but if any of them has any sort of an adverse reaction to the vaccine it will rapidly transform into a public relations nightmare.
Of course the truth is that nobody really knows what the long-term side effects of taking COVID vaccines will be for the population as a whole.
As I have discussed previously, this entirely new class of mRNA vaccines has never been tried before, and those that line up first to get a COVID vaccine will be the guinea pigs.
What Has Changed (And What Hasn't) For Christians in 2020 – Stan Guthrie - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4441
"How did you go bankrupt?" Bill asks Mike, an oft-drunk Scottish war veteran in Ernest Hemingway's classic 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises. "Two ways," Mike replies. "Gradually and then suddenly."
The same could be said about how sinkholes form, how people go to hell, and how cultures descend like Sodom into spiritual darkness--gradually and then all at once. The election just past is a case in point.
Today evangelicals--many of whom have spent the last few decades speaking up for the unborn, warning against encroachments on religious liberty, and highlighting the harm promised by the new sexual orthodoxy--find themselves standing in a radically different political and cultural landscape, with unfriendly eyes all around.
Instead of a society that honors religious faith, the Protestant work ethic, and delayed gratification, they see one that bows to the postmodern idols of expressive individualism and sexual revolution.
These changes didn't happen suddenly on November 3. They developed gradually over centuries, as the Judeo-Christian worldview that proved instrumental to the founding of the republic was systematically undermined by an Enlightenment paradigm that diminishes religious faith as a matter of mere private feeling. The church's salt has lost its saltiness.
Here's what has changed:
The unborn: With abortion rates falling for years, the new administration promises to make abortion much easier to obtain. The president-elect says he will nominate only Supreme Court justices who support Roe v. Wade (the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion on demand across the nation), pass legislation codifying Roe, repeal the Hyde Amendment (which prevents Medicaid from covering most abortions), reverse the Mexico City policy (which blocks American aid to international organizations that provide information about abortion), and again allow Title X funding for organizations within the country, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide abortions or abortion referrals.
Marriage and human sexuality: The incoming administration seeks to pass the so-called Equality Act, which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This could once again target bakers, florists, and photographers who refuse to participate in marriages between homosexuals.
Joe Biden has said he considers any opposition to eight- and ten-year-olds seeking to change their sex to be "discrimination." "Just like with racial justice and women's rights, we are seeing pushback against all the progress we've made toward equality," Biden said. "It will be the first thing I ask to be done."
Religious liberty: The new administration promises to restore the Obamacare mandate that requires Catholic organizations such as the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives. The party platform rejects "broad religious exemptions" that "allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies and others to discriminate."
Such a policy could restrict Catholic agencies that don't place children with homosexual couples, Jewish schools that follow biblical definitions of marriage, and nurses forced to help arrange abortions.
Many of us have been so busy fighting the culture war in various political and legal venues that we have failed to notice the cultural ground shifting beneath our feet.
Christian counselor and author Paul Tripp says we need to realize what time it is.
"It's very important to understand the church is not a center culture community anymore," Tripp says. "We're a fringe culture community. We're on the edges of the culture now. .... And when you're a fringe culture community, you are generally misunderstood. People don't get you. .... They don't carry your assumptions; and what you stand for and the way that you stand for it is generally misunderstood."
Many of us have been so busy fighting the culture war in various political and legal venues that we have failed to notice the cultural ground shifting beneath our feet.
In a world that changes gradually and then suddenly for Christians, here's what hasn't changed:
God's love: "I have loved you," God says, "with an everlasting love." His covenant love, gained by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ, will never fail. In the Old Testament He assures His people, "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." It is the same today, for "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Our commitment to the unborn, marriage, and religious liberty: A change in administrations or in the direction the cultural winds are blowing does not change our commitment to priority issues. John F. Kennedy once spoke of a "long twilight struggle," and I think we need to take the same approach as cultural outsiders to these three pillars of the Manhattan Declaration.
We must never give up, prepared to suffer for the truth if God requires it.
Our calling to be salt and light: As grateful recipients of God's love, we are to joyfully and courageously spread "the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere," in every sphere of life. The gospel is still what our world most needs. As Abraham Kuyper stated, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!"
Yet there can be no reprise of the old "moral majority" hubris. We are no longer in the majority, if we ever were. And morality alone will not save us. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Instead, as the Apostle Peter said, "In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."
The gentleness of the early Christians, whether serving those dying of plague or rescuing babies exposed to the elements, earned the respect of their neighbors and multiplied their numbers. It can happen again.
Tripp says that if we are going to make headway in this new cultural moment, it won't be by argument alone. "Your means of having a voice in this crazy culture, of breaking down the misconceptions, is not first your message," he said. "It's your life."
And so, whether gradually or suddenly, let us return to our task, whatever the culture does.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: More than a brother – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
On Monday, November 30, my dearest friend and more than a brother, Sonny, went home to the Lord. Our tremendous loss is heaven’s great gain. Strong in faith, he passed from the loving arms of his wife Rose to the outstretched arms of the Lord. There are no words that I can write that describe the closeness we experienced over a lifetime; no words can do it justice. We had many adventures. We shared much joy. We suffered through some difficult times. But as we were talking the last time I saw him three weeks ago, we remarked that no matter what time of day or night, no matter how far apart we were, or what we were doing, we could count on one another if needed. More than a brother.
Since September, I was able to visit him three times, about three weeks apart. Each time we didn’t know if we would see each other again on this side of heaven. Each time, we left nothing on the table. In October, failing quicker in health and needing a walker or a cane, Sonny had a plan in mind. He directed me to a special place where he would meditate on the Lord. He had built a stone bench and had placed a cross there next to an outlook over a ravine. It was about 150 yards into the woods. He hadn’t been there for three years. Moving about six inches at a time, with his hand on my shoulder, we navigated through the brush and the woods for about an hour before we found the place. The cross was no longer standing, but with Sonny directing my search in the underbrush, I found it and built stones around it so that it stood tall.
Sitting on the bench, Sonny pulled out his bible and read aloud Psalm 121: “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keeps thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil: he shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” When Sonny finished, I anointed him with oil and prayed over him. Then we made our way back. It was a special time, a deep spiritual realization of what was to come. A proclamation of faith.
A few weeks ago, he was limited to his bed and a wheel chair. He could no longer stand on his own. But his sense of humor remained. We laughed and joked, and looked at pictures and told stories of our life together, wishing we could remember more of them. In serious moments, we wondered what it would be like to actually pass from life through death to eternal life. We wanted to make sure each knew how we felt about each other. When it was time for me to go, I leaned over to hug his frail body. He pulled me tight and kissed me on the cheek. We both knew this would be the last time. It was a long embrace. I kissed him on the forehead and told him “love is greater than death.” We parted exchanging, our familiar farewell, “Love you, brother.” Yes, more than a brother.
Daily Devotion: Battle-Tested - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. —James 1:3
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/battle-tested/ - Listen
When people sporadically go to the gym, they want to make up for the times they didn’t go. So they end up working out really hard.
The problem is they can’t walk the next day. They overdid it. They need someone to help them learn how to work out properly. Of course, building up muscle means tearing down muscle. You break it down to build it up, and then you get stronger. In time, you’ll develop more physical endurance and can lift more weight.
The Bible talks about another kind of endurance: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:2–3 NLT).
Everything you go through in life as a follower of Jesus Christ is preparing you for something else. God is toughening you up. He’s preparing you for something that is coming. He’s making you stronger.
You might be going through a difficult time right now. God is preparing you for something that is yet to come. So hold your course and know that God is at work. There’s no joy in the difficulty itself, but it is strengthening you.
God wants us to develop character. Justification is what God does for us, but tribulation and perseverance are what God does in us. God is getting you ready because you’re in a spiritual battle. There’s no getting out of it. And the objective is to win, not lose.
We need to look through our sufferings to the certainties and remember that God is at work.
Whatever you’re going through right now, remember that it isn’t a coincidence; it’s providence. It isn’t an accident; it’s an appointment. God is in control. And He’s going to see you through.
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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