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1st Quarter Blogs
Week of 1/4-8 (B1;16)
A Word About Our 2016 Blogs
We praise God for His leading in our ministry since 2000.
Because He has called us to be "cutting edge" in nature, please accept the following "scope-of-blog-ministry" explanation:
We are "pioneering" in one sense of our ministry efforts. The "new" end-time ministry ideas we are bringing the first two decades of our service are so new to most that it took a while for our messages to be received. Now that many of our messages (though not all) have been (received by those who want to hear what the Bible actually teaches and who wish to discern present culture thereby), we need to bring the following qualifiers as we begin our 2016 blog ministry ...
1. We affirm ALL of our prior chronological (Click Here) and thematic (Click Here for present end-time realities ; Click Here for future projections) appeals. As end-time Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we are committed to HISTruths not our own. As a result of our heralding His Truths, our messages are most truthful - that is, they are, by His grace, faithful to His Word.
2. In seeking to be lights to churches and pastors, we need to stay on the "cutting-edge" fronts. This means we will minimize the parroting of, what now has become, the obvious (e.g., we live in the very end of days just prior to our Lord's initial appearing, days where the THEMES of deception, rebellious apostasy, personal idolatry and persecution of the faithful in Jesus Christ are unfolding globally). Review other examples predicted almost 2000 years ago in II Tim. 3:1-5.
3. In light of our very different platform - different than many of the popular end-time positions yet most Bible-affirming in chronological position - we will be addressing CRUCIAL topics which will be emerging soon - during the years of 2016 - 2020. We make these "pioneering" appeals due to the NEED to be better prepared for what's ahead. We proclaim these "calls to the Church" in light of our Lord's mandate that His Church be prepared/sober as we further prepare to enter into the eschatological period the Bible calls, "The Day of the Lord."
We make these prophetic appeals 1) because God has commissioned us to do so and, 2) in response to the LOVE He has graciously given us for His Church. May He be glorified in our labors of tough love.
Dear God Who Provides. Thank You for Your generous provisions to Your Bride, the Church. Thank You for your protective Counsel. Help us, Lord, to listen to You as we should. Open our eyes as we ponder Your Word. Embolden us to be all that You've called us to be during this time of awesome Kingdom opportunity! And help us to praise You during the difficult moments (as opposed to cursing You like so many will be doing as Your righteous judgments are lovingly extended)!
Week of 1/11-15 (B2;16)
Dangerous End-Time Teachings Within Some Churches - Part 1
My wife continues to be edified by truewomen of faith.
I (Nancy) recently came across a survey of sixteen- to twenty-nine- year-old church outsiders who make no profession of faith. Eighty- four percent of them said, "I'm not a Christian, but I know somebody who is." However, of those 84% who knew a Christian, only 15% said they could see any lifestyle difference between themselves and those Christian." (pg. 233)
We sincerely do live in a day where expressions of the cult of unbiblical grace - see blog B21;15 - flourish. In a recent devotional time with Nancy (my wife), we read Philippians together. WOW! This book affirms a living, saving faith by grace alone - one which calls for the living out of God's ONGOING grace in our lives as we abide in His Son and walk in His precious Holy Spirit. In this, God is praised ... and others SEE our faith as God intends!
In the context of calling the Church to REPENT of its failures - in this concern of living out the life He began in us (Phil. 1:6) AND in the context of "end-time" address - I close this blog with another short devotion from another woman of faith which Nancy (again, my wife) is also currently reading: (And I quote ...)
He Finished--Have You? December 11
Every Bible student who believes the prophecies knows that Jesus' coming is very near. The important, urgent thing is that every child of God must be prepared for that day. That is possible for every- body. Jesus finished all that had to be done for us on the cross. He died for us and rose again and is with the Father, where he prays for us. By his Holy Spirit he is even in us. If you know you are not ready, confess your sins and claim God's forgiveness for Jesus' sake. Forgive others by the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
Because ... you have a hope like this before you, I urge you to make certain that such a Day would find you at peace with God and man, clean and blameless in His sight." 2 Peter 3:14; Phillips
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are willing to prepare me to meet you, whenever that will be.
(pg. 226 of Each New Day by Corrie ten Boom; emphases ours)
Yes, thank You Christ Jesus! May You continue to do that good work in us as we abide in You and walk in Your Spirit. Help us, we pray, to humble ourselves and confess when we need to do so, for we do not want to emulate pride like that of the devil. Instead, may we walk as humble Children in You, dear Lord Jesus. May we follow in the footsteps of the sinner of Luke 18:9-14 (in blatant contrast to the self-righteous one who left his prayer time unjustified before Your Father, Almighty God). In this, God Most High, be honored, glorified and praised. In Jesus Christ's sweet name. Amen
Week of 1/18-22 (B3;16)
On John 3:16 & Saving Faith
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:16-21 ; emphases ours)
In this, the greatest of all sacrifices through mankind's existence - Jesus Christ's atoning work through His shed blood on the cross - God's love is shown: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8)
We need to remind folks that while EVERYONE has "everlasting life," most will go to the Lake of Fire and spend their eternal existence there - in separation from God and all the glorious beauties which are found only in Him. Satan, on the other hand, is everything the world disdains ... at least is discerned as the dark one by those who measure all things by God's light. But, dear friends, the Lake of Fire IS, by those who are in the (Truthful) know, a place of everlasting pain and sorrow. NO ONE will want to be there, especially after they arrive and know, first hand, exactly what the second death is like. But recall: It will be too late to change following one's physical death. One's eternal existence is determined during the days prior to one's first death.
God's love for humanity allows all to escape the consequence of rebellious sin - eternal death - through His Son's provision. You see, it's only through the blood of the Lamb that sin before God is forgiven. Good works have nothing to do with forgiveness before Holy God. That's what makes the heresy of a works' salvation so hideous ... so deceptive. Human works, of any kind, never deal with (absolve - that is, free us from) sin! As a result, we cry out: Please, "be reconciled to God" through Jesus Christ! Do so today. CLICK HERE for Truthful expressions of His plan of salvation.
(All of the above Bible passages are taken from the NKJV.)
Dear Father God. THANK YOU for Your dear Son and the eternal provision He lovingly made on our behalf. We PRAISE You, oh God Most High. Thank You for saving us for Your glory and praise, through eternity, yes, but also for saving us to be instruments of Your glory and praise while we live out our new life in Christ following our new birth. YES, thank You for Galatians 2:20! Thank You that You graciously accomplish deeds in our lives (as we walk in Your Spirit; as we abide in Your Vine) that others SEE.* May the Spirit of Your dear Son use even these things to bring others to Yourself. Dear from-everlasting- to-everlasting YHVH God, THANK YOU for John 3:16! In Jesus Christ's name we pray and give You praise. Amen
* On other’s “seeing,” please revisit Mt. 5:16; John 3:21; Romans 12:17; James 2:18.
Week of 1/25-29 (B4;16)
Sufficient Grounds And Discerning The Times
Did you catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens ? And did you get to the theater in time to view the new movie trailers highlighting scenes of films coming out later this year?
It's AMAZING! Just think about it, please. The strong majority of films coming out soon* - ones that were advertised when we visited the theater anyway - are emphasizing END TIME themes! It's no wonder, for the world (which is deceived and bound by darkness) is actually increasing its bold promoting of the dragon's (satan's) bidding.
I'll use but one of the movie trailers as an example to warrant the above:
Independence Day: Resurgence is scheduled to be released in theaters this summer. This film is yet another HUGE deceptive conditioning trap. This example itself evidences continued large- screen indoctrination. It's worthy to note that (unlike some of the other movies which are also shouting end-time messages - e.g., The 5th Wave) Independence Day: Resurgence has an older brother, one birthed in 1996 and initially called ID4 Independence Day. Even this older epic adventure is clear in its agenda. "How so?" one might ask.
Are you sitting down?
Here's a crescendo moment in the 1996 film:
The President of the United States of America brings a motivational speech to the army which had gathered to destroy the more power- ful, the more technologically advanced ET invaders. Listen to what he says ...
"Good morning ... In less than an hour ... you will once again be fighting for our freedom - not from tyranny, oppression or persecu- tion, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live ... to exist ... and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but as the day when the world declared in one voice: 'We will NOT go quietly into the night! We will NOT vanish without a fight!!' We're going to live on; we're going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day."
WOW! This spiritual conditioning - for an end-time event coming soon - is clear. Darkness (in both spiritual and physical planes) is teaching the viewers of the film to fight when the Divine Invader (Jesus Christ) appears in order to battle the satanically driven army of the earth. (Read about this battle in Revelation 19.)
And what will the earth dwellers do when "the sign of the Son of Man" (see Mt. 24:30; Rev. 6:14-17) takes place?
They will do just what they've been brainwashed to do: FIGHT ... FIGHT the heavenly threat! Yes (although their initial response is that of fear - Rev. 6:16, 17), the prior big-screen education - like the spirit-of-antichrist conditioning in Stigmata (1999) - will kick in. They will continue in bound deception and eventually act out the lie which teaches independents [n; pl.] from Jesus Christ will "live on ... they will survive" independent of Almighty God. The sincere Truth: This lie won't take place.
It's amazing how deceptive eternity's archenemy is! At this juncture, the dragon (the devil) is in full-scale warfare against God and His Saints in Jesus Christ. Satan's deceit is now even more openly blatant. The deception cannot be missed ... at least by those who still listen to YHVH God by reading His script of prophetic events.
But that's only part of the deception. The earth dwellers are so deceived by the chains of darkness that they even think they are doing God's service by killing God's very own. (John 16)
They are so blinded by the dark one and by willful rebellion against Creator God (having rejected the love of the truth - yes, the love of God in Jesus Christ - that they might be saved) that they impulsively do the evil of their master - again, the dark dragon himself.
To those who have an ear to hear: PLEASE listen to God, for our eternal state (of existence) is hanging in the balance. Read His Word!
Fairest Lord Jesus, help us discern Truths forever settled in heaven. Help us understand You are coming back soon to rescue the world - if members thereof would receive it! - from the dark captivity in which it has been deceived into accepting and to which is runs (John 3:16-21; esp. verses 19, 20). In Your mercy and grace, may Your Divine light so illumine our paths that darkness has no significant, lasting effect - even through fiery furnaces. Lord, though many of us will be killed, may we accept Your abundance knowing You will take us immediately Home. Help us to sincerely (actively) believe You - that not a hair on our heads will be lost (Luke 21:7-19).
THANK YOU, Lord Jesus, for the honor of participating in Your sufferings, for You have told us that we must, through many tribulations, enter the Kingdom of God. May Your Father - our Father - be glorified in these upcoming true statements of active faith ... through our lives as living sacrifices for Your good pleasure. Lord God: May we (those of us who are highlighted in Rev. 6:11 - the rest of their fellow servants) be faithful to the end (Mark 13:13). You are so very good to Your own! We bless and praise Your holy name dear Father God. In the name of Your Son in Whom You are well pleased ... in Jesus Christ's name we pray. Amen
* Some of the films promoting crucial end-time themes include:
The Care Bears Movie of 1985 (yes, synergistic conditioning also takes place at very early ages too!) The 5th Wave X-Men: Apocalypse Captain America: Civil War Gods of Egypt et al.
We shouldn't neglect examples of the shaping of worldview perspective which take place via TV series - e.g., Colony.
Week of 2/1-5 (B5;16) [ FB ]
God-Honoring End Time Faith-Based Life Action
Power outages happen!
When they occur, here are two (of multiple) options as to attitudes which spring forth in response to the outages: [Note: The two attitudes we're highlighting below differ RADICALLY!]
1. "Grrrrrrrr" (and possibly then some), accompanied by complaint of inconvenience initially BUT then it turns into grumbling - possibly even extending to this degree: "Lord, WHY have you done this to us!?" - when the power outage is longer in duration.
2. "Thank You, Lord! Thank You in that You graciously allow us a dose of what it will be like in the days ahead" - days which bring on more frequent and extended-in-length power outages.
Question: Which of the two attitudes is much better to embrace?
Be forewarned: An increase in power outages is indeed just around the corner.
Adequate PREPARATION is this context is wise. Wisdom would also lead us to be prepared in ALL categories of life - including the physical, mental and spiritual domains.
It's time for a helpful illustration:
Inadequate FAITH says: "I believe one day the increase in power outages will be most impactful on our lives" BUT does not ACT upon the belief. So:
Action: NONE (no deeds in response), leading to a state of ill-preparedness (when outages occur)!
Saving FAITH says: "I believe one day the increase in power outages will be most impactful on our lives." But this one does ACT upon the belief. So:
Action: Deeds communicating sincere belief, acts which bring about the gathering of provisions so when these times unfold, these days do not come upon them unexpectedly. These will be "ready" (in the context of provisional readiness) as our Lord Jesus has so Counseled. This kind of FAITH sounds like the faith expressed in Heb. 11 & James 2 - faith which acts out.
And what are the CONSEQUENCES of each perspective and life- action (or lack thereof) to the beliefs held (when, for example, the power goes out)?
Unprepared: In the dark (due to lack of an active faith) Prepared: In the light (due to adequate belief which led to actions - e.g., prayer, further seeking (and heeding!) His Counsel, acquiring batteries, candles and a generator perhaps)
And there are SPIRITUAL Truths also tied to this light/dark experience! So think (biblically) on these things, for your best interest (at the very least), please. But we'd suggest going the second mile: Let's act upon this Bible theme of preparedness for other's sake (not just for our own - Phil. 2) ... unto God's glory and praise!
Some CRUCIAL questions emerge:
So which view above really does believe in the stated conviction that power outages will one day unfold?
Which view is hypocritical and which view acts out belief?
And what about for YOU, personally?
In which camp would you like to be found by the One to Whom we will all one day give account?
Dear Father Who Provides. Thank You for providing Your generous Counsel as to how You want us to live in these days prior to Your holy Son's initial appearing. We know You will provide for us - those of us who revere/fear You and who take You and Your Counsel seriously. Please help us, in YOUR strength, to PREPARE as You want us to. Help us to live out our beliefs whereby they are not idle thoughts but are tied to evidences of a living faith, similar to the awesome evidence of saving faith by those who are mentioned in Hebrews 11. And, dear Savior Who has provided our salvation in and through Your Son alone, help us to look to Him for day-by- day Counsel from above. Yes, help us to look to Your Author and Finisher of our faith. In Jesus Christ's name, unto Your glory and praise we pray. Amen
P.S. Dear reader: In honor of the FULL Counsel of God's precious Word, please take "balance steps" by reading (and heeding) the books of Romans and Galatians. One MUST first be born again in Jesus Christ before moving into the next life chapter where one further conforms to the image of Christ ... where one is justified by God-produced fruits within ... yes, by works, and not by (action-less) faith alone. See James 2:14-26.
Week of 2/8-12 (B6;16)
Honoring God's FULL Message In Christ
WHY do we, on occasion, find "problem passages " in the Word of God? In part, because we do not always walk in the Proverbs 3:5,6 perspective when it comes to rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We use reason and the theological systems of man as our foundation of truth - even to the extent of denying clear biblical Truths due to our incorrect commitments to unbiblical Christian traditions. But our Lord Jesus hated this - see Mt. 15:1-20. So, too, should we.
My wife and I recently watched The Hiding Place together. Before her Home-going, Corrie ten Boom produced some helpful resources for God's people living in the days when persecution and deception are on the increase. Corrie, in one of her books, addresses one of the commonly accepted traditions in the devotional read below. We'll leave it in your capable hands to discern just what concern it is that we are highlighting in this blog.
"Born and Filled Again" December 20
Many Christians think that when they are born again that is the end. I once spoke about the strong challenge of the Beatitudes and how we can live a victorious life if we hunger and thirst after righteousness. Victory means a surrender of self from head to foot, again and again. I asked a dear Christian woman what her answer was [to this issue of ongoing life in Christ]. She said, "I surrendered twelve years ago when I accepted Jesus as my Savior." But the Bible says, "Be filled with the Holy Spirit." A newborn baby has to grow.
I have known the Lord Jesus for eighty years. As I studied the Bible in writing these messages, I had to surrender and be cleansed and filled again and again.
I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly. John 10:10 RSV
We praise you, Lord Jesus, that you not only gave us life when we were born again but your Word and your Holy Spirit also make us grow into the life abundant.
(Taken from Each New Day by Corrie ten Boom ; 2013 ed.)
In conclusion ...
Thank You, heavenly Father, for the FULL Counsel of Your Word. We praise You that you continue to graciously do Your good work in us unto Your good pleasure. And THANK YOU, Father, that YOU are exalted as You, in Your abundant mercy and grace, receive glory and praise - credit - as YOU move in our lives. Thank You for the insight in Ephesians 2:8,9 & 10. In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray. Amen
P.S. How does this relate to "end time" things? Read the second and third chapters of The Revelation of Jesus Christ and Matthew 24 & 25 in the New Testament for starters. The basis of our acceptance before GOD in these passages may surprise you! And please be faithful to the context: JESUS CHRIST is the One stating the standard of measure- ment/judgment in these chapters - Mt. 25, Rev. 2 & 3.
Week of 2/15-19 (B7;16)
Calling A Spade A Spade: Getting Around The church To Communicate The Most Clear Biblical Evidence
There is no doubt, in light of biblical data, the deceived, compromised church will play a role in further promoting end-time deception.
Our present warning: This dark church is already doing so!
"How can this be?" one might ask. An even more pressing question would be this: "How can we better discern the deceptive appeals of apostate churches?" This inquiry requires clarification ...
The faithful Church in Jesus Christ remains on the earth today. This means not all of the "church" is apostate. Are each and every one of us a part of His faithful Church? We sure hope so, for eternity is a LONG time.
So how can we - His Church ; His Bride - more thoroughly discern the many wolves wreaking havoc among us? It's really quite simple.
Let's DISCERN present Christian culture in light of explicit BIBLE Truths, ones which are forever settled in heaven. Many cases in point could (and eventually will) be given. Here's one present-day concern which is most pressing:
IF the "church" holds to views which are NOT taught in the Word of God, mark it as such. Allow us to get even more specific ...
Examples of false but very popular end-time positions within churches today include:
1. Preterit Theology - the dangerous teaching which shackles many into the bondage of ill-preparedness due to the position's out- right rejection of clear biblical Counsel. Reading pertinent Bible passages helps. Click Here
2. Pre-Tribulation Rapture Dogma - the false-hope teaching which, through deceit, entraps millions into believing (and acting!) as if the Church will NOT go through the tribulation and things thereafter, events which our Lord predicted would indeed take place prior to our gathering - things forewarned in Mt. 24:9-31. (also see Rev. 6 - 11) Reading the Bible passages helps.
3. Pan-Trib / Pan-Mil Optimism - the eternally consequential half-truth lie which accepts one biblical principle (namely, God wins in the end) but which denies other principles taught by our Lord Jesus (e.g., separation from the world ; ready watchfulness ; provision- al preparedness [e.g., food - Mt. 24:45-47] & faithful endurance, to name but a few). Reading the many Bible passages on these topics helps. Click Here
And Click Here where these three misleading positions are further addressed.
The teachings above may easily contribute to apostasy due to some of the ramifications of their position. For example - and this is motivated by a genuine LOVE for God's Truths and His People in Jesus Christ: How do the above 3 positions fare RE: "preparedness" in light of BIBLICAL Truth? This is a fair and crucial question given our Lord has Counseled us to be ready (for His last-trumpet coming for His Church).
Dear Family in our Lord Jesus Christ: Let's be willing to call a spade a spade. Let's discern by/through regular intake of God's holy, most precious Word, the Bible.
Dearest Lord Jesus. Thank You for Your written Word. Help us both to will and to do Your good pleasure by, in part, committing to time with You in Your Word. As we do so, may Your Spirit illumine us. Unto Your glory and praise we pray. Amen
Week of 2/22-26 (B8;16)
Contending For The Faith - Further Exhorting Nominal & Active (i.e., lifestyle) Members Of The Cult Of Unbiblical Grace
A.W. Tozer speaks (through the new publication of his work on the attributes of God) ...
"I'm going to give you a report on the character of God, to tell you what God is like. And if you're listening with a worthy mind, you'll find faith will spring up. Ignorance and belief drag faith down, but a restored knowledge of God will bring faith up. I don't suppose there is ever a time in the history of the world when we needed a restored knowledge of God more than we need it now. (pg. 5) ... We've suffered the loss of the high concept of God, and the con- cept of God handled by the average gospel church now is so low as to be unworthy of God and a disgrace to the Church. It is by neglect, degenerate error and spiritual blindness that some are saying God is their 'pardner' or 'the man upstairs.' (pg. 6) ... I sometimes feel like walking out on a lot that passes for Christ- ianity. ... Christianity has lost its dignity. And we'll never get it back unless we know the dignified Holy God, who rides on the wings of the wind and makes the clouds His chariots. We have lost the concept of majesty and the art of worship. I got a letter from my good friend Stacy Woods, who was until recently head of InterVarsity. And he said this in the closing lines of his letter: 'The church is getting away from worship. I wonder if it is because we are getting away from God.' I think he's right and I believe that is the answer. (pg. 7) ... the losses we've suffered have all been internal: the loss of dignity and worship and majesty, of inwardness, of God's presence, of fear and spiritual delight. If we have lost only that which is inward and gained only that which is outward, I wonder if we've gained anything at all. I wonder if we are not now in a bad state. I believe we are. I believe our gospel churches, our Christianity, is thin and anemic, without thoughtful content, frivolous in tone and worldly in spirit. (pg. 8) ... We have lost the vision of the Majesty on high." (pg. 11) Taken from The Attributes of God - Vol. 2 ; 2003
In the beginning measures of this crescendo (concerning his valid rebuke of false Christianity), Tozer wrote this: "That's our trouble. We know that God is so vast that in comparison everything is just the size of a hazelnut. And yet we're not a happy people because we've got our minds set on things. We multiply things, and we increase things and put our confidence in things and God. We have our job and God; we have our husband and God; we have our good job and God; we have our home and God. We have our ambition for the future and God, and so we put God as a plus sign after something else. ... Our problem is that we are putting our confidence in things and not in God." (pp. 28, 29 of The Attributes of God - Vol. 1 ; 1997) Suggestion: Tozer offers many helpful, Christ-honoring corrections to today's church goers in each of his chapters of this two volume set. Read it, devotionally, if you're childlike unto humble teachability.
Dear precious Family in Jesus Christ: Let's discern AND flee from the shackling deceptions of the cult of unbiblical grace! (see blog B2;16 above)
Lord, in Your mercy and grace, drive us back to humble inquiry whereby we go to Your Word for a rebuke-of-Christian-culture reality check as to what it really means to be Your children in Christ Jesus, Your beloved Son. Help us understand we are dealing with the eternal (vs. the temporal - II Cor. 4:16-18). Help us live the full Counsel of Your Word by heeding princi- ples which call us to take our salvation seriously, for You are not mocked. What we sow we will reap. Oh Holy Father, You have clearly stated those who sow to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption but those who sow to the Spirit will reap ever- lasting life IF, in Your kind, generous and grace-based strength, we do not lose heart but endure to the end. Help us, oh Lord! In Christ Jesus' holy and precious name we pray. Amen
Week of 2/29 - 3/4 (B9;16)
Honoring His FULL Counsel; Exposing Hell-Inducing Half Truths
A student we're working with adds to her Catholic mysticism, voodoo. In this she is simply creating her own spirituality. This is a very frequent deception many are bound by today. They think they can define their own spirituality and be fine ... as long as it's spiritual. But lest we point the finger, let's apply this to ourselves: We think we can define our own spirituality and be fine ... as long as it's spiritual. But the Word of God paints the opposite picture. We are called by God to put down our idols - all of them - and follow Him as outlined in His Word ... the FULL Counsel thereof!
This does not only apply to SPIRITUAL perspective. It also applies to the practical aspects of worldview. So, for example, many churches have at the beginning of their doctrinal statement a written commitment to the Bible being their final authority for faith and practice. YET some go on - in some cases even in the same doctrinal statement - to DENY the full Counsel of the Word which they say is their authority. WHOA!But there is clear evidence of the real faith they hold - facts which speak to the contrary of their declaration. While we can make observations along these lines (of people living contrary to the faith they verbally profess), it is GOD Who will judge (each and every one of us) on these matters. We're not judging here. We're simply joining others who also call for the application of I John 1:8-10 and other passages which encourage His people in Christ to live humbly before Holy God. This includes being willing to continue being teachable through the washing of the Word. Let's endure in this worthy endeavor.
So let's do it! Let's get back to fruit-bearing time in His sweet and most generous revelation to us.
Lord Jesus, with You, all things are possible. You have blessed us with all the heavenly blessings, blessings which include Your Word. Help us to better discern our deceptive day by going to the light You have so kindly provided in your written Word, the Bible. THANK YOU that we are better able to see the deceit of half-truths which darkness is using in these days prior to Your glorious initial appearing. Thank You dear God Most High. In the precious name above all names - in the name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen
Week of 3/7-11 (B10;16) [ FB ]
Expressing PRAISE To God From Whom ALL Blessings Flow ...
We thank and praise our Father of Lights for recent Luke 18:13 expressions of repentance by some who had been wrongly in- fluenced by the Cult of Unbiblical Grace! We take joy in their God-prompted, humble, teachable spirit in light of Rev. 2 & 3 (including 3:20).
We exalt our LORD Who has called His own to be holy as He is holy - this in the setting of New Covenant faith actions tied to Isaiah 55:6-13, Heb. 11 and James 2:14-26.
Join us in seeking to be - under His leading and empowering - His holy Saints in Jesus Christ, Saints who are sweet, God-honoring living sacrifices who, having been born anew and having been graced with the imputation of Christ's righteousness, also WALK in that state so we are not hypocrites in the eyes of the secular world nor are we displeasing to our Holy God - Romans 8 & 12.
God is generous to His sheep. As such, may we be humble enough to say "YES" to our Divine Shepherd's desire that we be conformed to the image of His dear Son - in Whom Father God was well pleased - even this side of eternity.
Lord God Most High: Thank You for the awesome, transcendent-to-us fruits and gifts of Your precious Spirit (Who dwells within Your children in Christ).
Lord, thank You for Your gracious warnings to us - those clearly expressed in II Chron. 24 - yes, even in 1) King Asa's example in II Chron. 14 - 16 and, 2) King Jehoshaphat's example in I Kings 22:41-43 (noting the "nevertheless" in vs. 43).
Thank You, Lord, in the setting of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, for Ezekiel 2, 3, 18 & 33 ... for I John 1:8-10 ... and for Phil. 2: 12b, 13. Thank You for Your full Counsel as to just what it means to enjoy the abundant, spirit-filled life in Christ Jesus. And thank You for the means You graciously grant in order to live victoriously in Your beloved Son as we take up our crosses daily and follow Him. Thank You for sweet transcendence as a result of [ just ] a closer walk with Thee.
We bless and praise Your holy name. In the name of Your dear Son, Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.
P.S. Some have questioned our quoting of James 2:24. Please do a prayerful Berean-like study of the handouts below, ones which call for balance and correction as to heeding the full Counsel of God's Word in thought, word and deed.
P.P.S. Please read Brother Yun's appeal titled "Repentance" included in the closing pages of his book, The Heavenly Man (2002, blue-covered reprinted edition).
Week of 3/14-18 (B11;16)
"WAVES" Of End-Time Bible Prophecy
In an earlier blog (B1;16), we mentioned we would be moving forward in cutting-edge end-time ministry by addressing "What's next?" questions. We'd like to do so in a new way - one which continues to honor the explicit revelation concerning the biblical doctrine (and HUGE insights!) regarding the days of the end. As many are discerning, the end times are here ... TODAY, and we're simply helping God's people in Jesus Christ ponder practical things as to how we should be living in these different but awesome days.
We'd like to sketch Bible prophecy by using the concept of "Waves."
We'll begin to paint this picture in outline form in this introductory blog:
Wave 1 Birth Pains Matthew 24:4-8 Early Signs II Timothy 3:1-5
Wave 2 Adverse Global Conditions Revelation 6 (e.g., Seal #2's "taking peace from the earth") Famine (Seal #3) - more intense Revelation 6 than the birth-pain famines Tribulation Matthew 24:9-14 Great Tribulation Matthew 24:15-22
Following Wave 2 (and just prior to "Wave 3") we will experience heavenly signs:
A. Astronomical (moon, sun & star) signs as outlined in Joel 2, Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12, 13; B. Sign of the Son of Man as described in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 6:14-17. This event of the sky "scrolling apart" actually begins a precious time: "The Eschatological Day of the Lord." See the chart linked in #3 of [blog] B1:16 above.
These two heavenly-sign events pave the way for what we are calling "Wave 3" ...
Note: God's redeemed in Jesus Christ (who do not receive the mark of the beast) will not incur the "wrath of God." Because His Bride - the Church - will not experience the Bowls of God's Wrath (as we are kept from the hour of trial upon the earth as described in Rev. 3:10), we miss this gathering of the vine of the earth - as defined in Rev. 14:17ff - and that which is delivered during this time: the Bowls of God's just wrath.
Note 2: The transition between Wave 3 & Wave 4 could be considered in the events of Rev. 14: the first gathering (vv. 14-16) representing the taking of the Church ; the second gathering (vv. 17-20) leaving the unredeemed on the earth to incur the 4th Wave ...
Wave 4 The Bowls of God's Wrath Rev. 15 & 16
Wave 5 The Second Coming (Advent) Rev. 19 of Jesus Christ to the Earth
Wave 6 God's millennial reign through Rev. 20 His Son, Jesus Christ
The 6th Wave is the time He rules with righteous judgment. This will be a blessed time. At the end of His 1,000-year rule, the dragon will be let out of the pit for one final round of rebellion against the One True God. Scripture teaches satan's efforts of warfare will once again include great deception whereby he is able to gather one last army to battle God. The Word assures us the army will be met with consuming fire. This fire will come down from God out of heaven and will devour the army of the dark one. The devil will then be forever cast into the Lake of Fire where the beast and the false prophet have dwelt since the end of the Rev. 19 battle.
There is one other thing which will take place between the 6th and 7th Waves:
The Great White Throne Judgment includes the judgment of every human being. The righteous in Christ - His sheep - will be issued into eternal life with God in the new heaven, the new earth and the new Jerusalem. Those who have rejected the salvation of God through Jesus Christ His Son will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Yes, friends, those who say "NO" to God's gift of forgiveness of sin, new spiritual birth and life in the Savior - the goats - will go to the eternal home they preferred. Because they freely rejected eternal life, they will suffer God's righteous condemnation through eternity. Click Here to view comments on the timing of judgment.
Wave 7 The title, "7th Wave" is appropriate in that it employs a number symbolic of perfection. The 7th Wave is eternal ... where the everlasting state of each member of humanity unfolds.
God desires ALL to be saved but also, in His expression of perfect love, allows free will. Will you consider His glorious salvation? Click here for details.
Lord, thank You for extending insight to those who are willing to listen to You. Thank You that You've accurately outlined details of the end of days whereby those who are heeding Your Counsel are able to pro- perly prepare for Your Son's return - "sober" as described in I Thes. 5!
Thank You for HOPE, for when these things begin to happen, we are to look up knowing our salvation draws near. Help us to be end-time Saints who graciously point the unsaved to You. May the Spirit of Your dear Son shine. YES, shine Jesus shine! ... Blaze Spirit blaze! ... Set our hearts on fire as we're expressing (living out) our first-love sacrifices for Your glory and praise. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen
The "washing of water by the Word" is sweet and powerful. As we read, may His gracious illumination by His Spirit bring many fruitful effects, including our further conforming into the image of His dear Son!
April 1 Mark 1 April 2 Mark 2 ... etc. ... April 15 Mark 15 April 16 Mark 16 April 17 I Tim. 4 April 18 II Tim. 3 April 19 II Tim. 4 April 20 I Thes. 5 April 21 I Thes. 4 April 22 I Cor. 15 April 23 II Thes. 2 April 24 I John 1 April 25 I John 2 April 26 I John 3 April 27 I John 4 April 28 I John 5 April 29 II John April 30 III John
May 1 Psalm 31 May 2 Psalm 32 May 3 Psalm 33 May 4 Psalm 34 May 5 Psalm 35 May 6 Psalm 36 May 7 Psalm 37 May 8 Psalm 38 May 9 Psalm 39 May 10 Psalm 40 May 11 Psalm 41 May 12 Psalm 42 May 13 Psalm 43 May 14 Psalm 44 May 15 Psalm 45 May 16 Psalm 46 May 17 Psalm 47 May 18 Psalm 48 May 19 Psalm 49 May 20 Psalm 50 May 21 Psalm 51 May 22 Psalm 52 May 23 Psalm 53 May 24 Psalm 54 May 25 Psalm 55 May 26 Psalm 56 May 27 Psalm 57 May 28 Psalm 58 May 29 Psalm 59 May 30 Psalm 60 May 31 Psalm 61
June 1 Daniel 1 June 2 Daniel 2 ... etc. ... June 11 Daniel 11 June 12 Daniel 12 June 13 Revelation 1 June 14 Revelation 2 June 15 Revelation 3 June 16 Revelation 4 June 17 Revelation 5 June 18 John 14 June 19 John 15 June 20 John 16 June 21 James 1 June 22 James 2 June 23 James 3 June 24 James 4 June 25 James 5 June 26 Titus 3 June 27 Matthew 24 June 28 Matthew 25 June 29 Luke 17 June 30 Luke 21
Lord, please make good Your promise to us as to the sweet nurturing quality of Your Word as we take the time to sit at Your Son's feet. And Lord, please help us never forget that It is better to trust in You than to put confidence in man; It is better to trust in You than to put confidence in princes. Unto Your - and His - glory and praise, in Jesus Christ's holy name. Amen
Week of 3/28 - 4/1 (B13;16) [ FB ]
Affirming BOTH "Either/Or" AND "Both/And"
In the context of acknowledging the reality of the "neither" option (that is, what could be interpreted as also including the excluded middle or, simply put, additional options other than the options currently being considered), AND as we wrap up this focus on dangerous half-truths which have a significant bearing on end-time living, we need to reiterate our Truth Foundation: God's precious, explicit Word.
To illustrate one aspect of epistemological (the study of knowledge) pursuit ...
Credo ut intelligam/intellegam ("I believe so that I may understand" as expressed, in different forms, by Augustine and Anselm) OR
Intellego ut credam ("I think so that I may believe").
It's BOTH/AND - both options are viable depending on the need of the hour. And both approaches (faith and reason) have strengths and weaknesses depending upon the context in which they are employed. From God's worldview perspective, both human and divine sources of truth are usable (but again, note the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the methods and the strengths and weaknesses when they are put to use when engaging others!). And, obviously, there are other matters that play into this picture, matters like keeping an open mind so as to avoid the excluded middle fallacy.
Let's move further into another illustration, one most practical in daily living but a matter which highlights the limits of rational thought in that it includes - dare I say it - the s u p e r n a t u r a l ...
Theological constructs are usable BUT they include hidden traps.
For example, it's not either Calvinism or Arminianism ...
it's not either faith or works ...
it's not either Dispensationalism or Reformed Theology ...
it's not either Free Grace or Lordship Salvation ...
These are codes/belief systems of men and each present imbalance IF seen/believed upon in an "either/or" manner. Instead of devoting our lives to traditions of men, let's simply affirm the WHOLE Counsel of God's Word.
Our Lord Jesus actually addressed this concern almost 2,000 years ago as recorded in Mark 7:1-16 (especially noting His words to the religious leaders: "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Jesus Christ quoting Isaiah 29:13 as recorded in Mark 7:6b,7)
These contemporary belief systems of man, in whatever ways they are cast (e.g., in systematic theological expressions; in denominational dogmas, etc.), are often systems which emphasize only one side of a coin or only one facet of a multi-faceted diamond.
So where do we find balance - balance which gets us past our puny selves?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV)
As there are appropriate times to use either inductive or deductive reasoning, so too are there times to use the either/or approach as there are indeed fallacious contradictions (e.g., "God exists and at the same time and in the same way, God does not exist.").
As there are appropriate times to emphasize ALL of God's attributes (and avoid, in this case, what could be a fallacy of emphasizing imbalance [e.g., "God is love but is not holy or just."]), so too are there times to apply the both/and approach (again, noting the possibility there's a third, or fourth, or ? ? option to consider in the full equation - and I'm not talking about math equations here!).
Here's what we're trying to say in all this:
Man's perspective is INcomplete! God's full revelation, on the other hand, is complete toward accomplishing His purposes - offering sufficient wisdom to navigate the eternal, spiritual waters of life. This is one reason WHY we post Bible reading blogs (e.g., B12:16).
Once again, back to a pressing example ...
Regarding "Justification before God" ...
Is it "Either/Or" - by faith alone - that is, either by faith or by works that one is accepted by God? OR
Is it "Both/And" - by faith and works - that is, by a working, active faith once we are born again and walk in that light that we are accepted by God?
On the grounds of explicit Bible data - which we've highlighted in prior blogs above - in this case, it's clearly "Both/And." This also affirms John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8,9, the justification truths expressed in the book of Romans, Philippians 3:8-11. Titus 3:5 et al.
As we conclude this longer blog - thanks for hanging in there! :-) - I need to emphasize one of our points and I'll do so through the asking of some questions:
How is it we know WHEN to employ these different actions? "When should I use the 'both/and' or the 'either/or' approach?" is a great question one could (and should) rightly ask.
Please hear our appeal ...
God's Word (the FULL Counsel thereof - as opposed to picking some verses and rejecting and/or reinterpreting others) offers humble subjects (who genuinely seek Truth) His transcendent insight. His illuminating Holy Spirit also leads in all truth.
So when we address the Cult of Unbiblical Grace, for example, we are simply pleading with folks to accept God's full revelation of grace, for God's grace - I'll say it again - is NOT exhausted at the cross! Our grounds for heralding the need for an active, working faith (as God works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure) is explicitly biblical, one which affirms both justification by faith and works wrought by/done by God. (John 3:21 - KJV/NJKV ; also see Ephesians 2:10 ; Titus 2 & 3, and many other passages which teach this: God calls and equips His own in Christ to be about good works ... even to the extent of James 2:24.)
This position is in direct CONFLICT with the traditions of the Cult of Unbiblical Grace. The easy-believism, the get-your-fire- insurance-and-you're-good-to-go attitude, the "NO works" heresy of churches which deny the robust biblical data which affirms good works in/done by God is a teaching which contributes to attitudes OPPOSITE the call of our Lord Jesus Christ! And do you know what He'll tell some of them on the day of accounting?
(I'm not giving my opinion here. It's fact ...)
"I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Mt. 7:23 (NKJV)
(Also read Revelation 2 & 3)
So you see, dear followers of the Lord of lords and King of kings - Jesus Christ - it's NOT a matter of "either/or" ... either by faith or by works!
While God rejects works of the law and works of the flesh, He calls His people who are justified by Christ to be doers of the Word and not idle hearers only. The biblical doctrine of justification before God is both positional in Christ Jesus AND progressive as we walk, abide and live out our faith in Christ.
Sincerely: To HELL with satan's cheap, deceptive lies in relationship to this crucial topic!
Let's affirm the whole Counsel of God on this matter of what it really means to be sincere practitioners - REAL new-born followers of Jesus Christ.
Oh Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, holy Savior: We once again confess our perspectival sins which so easily beset us. Help us discern half-truth ideologies which deny Your Full-Truth Counsel. Help us to live the end-time theme of righteousness in this godless day. Help us truly live the sweet, abundant, God-pleasing life - the Romans 12:1,2, Galatians 2:20 existence as we abide in Your Son, as we walk in Your Spirit.
All glory, laud and honor: To THEE, Redeemer, King!
In Christ Jesus' holy name we pray. Amen
2nd Quarter Blogs
Week of 4/4-8 (B14;16)
The Call For Purim
Do you recall the historical account of what is now celebrated as "Purim" ?
The book of Esther in the Old Testament describes a time when God's people were going to be attacked, robbed and killed. Just before that period of pillage and murder began, the word went out that God's people could defend themselves against those who brought threat.
We take this story and make appeal for contemporary application ...
Under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, we recommend a similar response in the setting of a coming period when hatred will drive some people to plunder and kill.
Here's our simple, legal, balanced suggestion:
Abiding under the laws of the land, defend yourself and your family as you deem best. It's okay to do so! Take measures in accord with your personal convictions before Almighty God. Let's seek to walk in biblical balance as we live in light of the full Counsel of the Word of God.
Oh Lord Who provides, please give us Your wisdom as to how You would have us protect ourselves (or not) during the tumultuous times ahead. Allow us mercy and grace to accept various responses of Family members on this matter whereby we don't inappropriately judge them outside of our rightful place, for You allow Your people in Christ Jesus multiple options* on this concern of just how we respond during this great storm.
Thank You for Your Son's soon coming! Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus. It's in His name we pray dear Father. Amen
A Sweet Opportunity For God's Glory And Praise (Food Storage For The Upcoming Famine)
"When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.'" (Revelation 6:5,6)
"When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:7,8 ; emphasis ours)
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods." (Jesus Christ speaking in Matthew 24:45-47)
Quotes above are taken from the New King James Bible.
(Also see our Lord's instruction to us in Mt. 25:1-13 where He clearly asks His people to be ready. This includes readiness for the days just prior to His initial appearing. CLICK HERE
So what's the "opportunity" ?
In light of upcoming famines, we can prepare for these trials, in part, through food storage. IF we do (prepare), we have provisions avail- able to share once food shortages increase.
As Joseph (of Genesis 39 - 50) stored food for the years of famine which took place in his day, we, too, can be instruments of blessing to others ... IF we've prepared!
And please consider this simple observation:
More cities have "community gardens." But think about this simple reality: How many people can be fed by the limited resources in these community efforts - especially in the cities which host larger numbers of people?
RE: Strength in numbers ...
The more people are prepared for this season of calamity, the less likely we'll witness the chaos that typically comes when disasters of this nature strike. Why? Because people have prepared.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your caring Counsel. Forgive us when we fail to heed Your loving instructions to us. Help us to be ready as You have so outlined in Your Word - ready in material, mental, emotional and spiritual ways whereby we are not caught off guard by the end-time storms soon to hit us.
Help us - Your people in Christ Jesus - to live out our faith through action. Give us Your wisdom in this matter of food storage. And in the upcoming setting of famine, help us to be like Joseph in light of the New Covenant principle in Philippians 2:3,4. In this setting, Lord, also help us to share with the needy, the Bread of Life: Christ Jesus the LORD. For our benefit, for the benefit of others AND ultimately unto Your glory and praise. Amen
Week of 4/18-22 (B16;16)
A Contemporary End-Time Bible Prayer
Abba Father, we so look forward to Your Son's glorious appearing! THANK YOU for providing Counsel as to end-time dangers which seek to foster apostasy. As Your Spirit indwells those in Christ Jesus Your Son, may He grant needed discernment whereby we are better able to see through the many deceptions of our day.
Thank You for warning us about:
~ expressions promoting the spirit of antichrist, ones especially offered through false-christ claims; ~ the increase of false prophets who aggressively herald the evil themes You so clearly caution against in Your written Word; ~ the many false teachers who are proclaiming false end-time teachings as the day of Your Son's initial appearing draws near. Thank You for your repetitions for the sake of emphasis (RE: destructive deceits).
Thank You for Counseling us about:
~ things to avoid and things to be about doing during this unique time in human history; ~ the importance of being in Your precious Word, both in Your incarnate Word (Jesus Christ) and Your written Word (the Bible); ~ keeping our eyes on Your beloved Son, our dear Savior and Lord. Thank You for Your caring shepherding of Your vulnerable sheep who so need Your wisdom.
THANK YOU for Your faithfulness to Your own:
~ through the giving of historical examples which offer great encouragement in these dark days; ~ through Your sweet Holy Spirit whereby we are graced with Your direction, even on very specific challenges we frequently encounter; ~ through the ministry of song as we press on in adoring and praising You as modeled in Revelation 4 & 5. Thank You for gifting us with all the precious heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus Your Son!
Abba Father, we so look forward to Your Son's glorious appearing! We THANK YOU for helping us endure in essential first-love commit- ment to You whereby we have the love, boldness and resolve to say "NO, I'll NOT cross!" the lines darkness demands we cross (as so helpfully modeled by way of examples in Daniel 1, 3 & 6). Lord Jesus, we praise Your name for Your supreme Counsel to us. THANK YOU, oh God Most High. We worship and magnify Your holy name. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen
Week of 4/25-29 (B17;16) [ FB ]
Has The "2nd Wave" Of Bible Prophecy Begun?
In light of the full Counsel of God's Word, we believe the Second Wave of Bible prophecy signs - see blog B11:16 above - has already (but only just) begun.
Adverse global conditions - including the "taking of peace from the earth" (see Seal 2 of Revelation 6), in part, by Koranic militants who believe in Muslim eschatology, of which jihad is included as they move forward in their efforts at global domination - have begun.
Other events of Wave #2 are still pending.
Some yet-future aspects of the Second-Wave signs include:
1. The famine of Rev. 6:5,6 (a famine more intense than the famines of the "Birth Pains" of Mt. 24:4-9); 2. The tribulation (as defined by Jesus Christ) of Mt. 24:9-22 - also addressed in Rev. 6:7-11.
In this context, a crucial question emerges: "How shall we now live?"
Do the negative aspects of end-time events leave us in fear? They shouldn't, for perfect love casts out fear. Knowing we are in the hands of Creator יהוה God, we have peace, not fear. In fact, as the end-time signs further present themselves, those of us who are Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ enthusiastically look up and take JOY knowing our salvation draws near. But YES, before our Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering, the tribulation and great tribulation must take place as outlined in Mt. 24 and in the book of Revelation.
So, in answer to the question, "Has the '2nd Wave' of Bible prophecy begun?" ... Yes, in part.
Are we rightly discerning the signs of the times whereby we are not surprised by tribulation and the early parts of The Day of the Lord ? (see I Thes. 5) We sure hope so, for God has called us to be sober so that the beginning of this Day will not come upon us suddenly/unexpectedly.
In seeking to help encourage readiness, here are a few Bible- honoring, Christ-exalting suggestions:
1. Be about material preparedness. This includes food storage.
Recommended action: The act of storing material goods is wise. Takes steps in this direction through both individual and communal (e.g., church) efforts.
2. Be about mental preparedness. This includes numerous things. We'll touch upon three at this time:
A. Know hostility toward God's faithful people in Christ Jesus will escalate; B. Remember we are called to endure (not fall away) during this time AND we are to do so with a JOYFUL perspective ("... count it all joy ..." ; "...pray for your enemies ..." ; Rom. 8:18 ; etc.); C. Resolve to hold fast and overcome as our Lord instructs us in Rev. 2 & 3.
Recommended action: The act of regular evaluation as to the strength of our commitment to Jesus Christ AND, in this mind- set, be willing to be faithful to the end.
3. Be about spiritual preparedness. Mental preparedness is crucial but there's another dimension we need to consider in order to be MOST prepared, mentally speaking. Our all- knowing God, Who knows the future, has some additional insights for us. For those who are willing to listen, He has graced us with His divine Counsel ... BUT we must seek it out!
Recommended action: The act of being in His Word for supernatural nurturing second to none. Our "Quarterly Reading Schedules" list pertinent-to-our-day passages.
Dear soon-coming Lord, help us to be ready for Your Son's glorious return by heeding Your clear instruction to us. Help us with child-like faith. Help us to obey Your Counsel whereby we are living soberly as our redemption draws near. Help us be Your loving Ambassadors of Christ Jesus Your Son - those Gospel lights You so clearly desire us to be. Unto the losts' eternal benefit, unto our benefit, and ultimately unto Your glory and praise. In Christ Jesus' name we pray. Amen
Week of 5/2-6 (B18;16)
Can We Agree ?
Can we agree upon something - something quite important?
Because the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is not explicitly stated in Scripture, can we at least agree on this:
"We will absolutely KNOW that the Pre-Trib Rapture position is WRONG when this event takes place: When the person of the anti- christ comes on the public scene."
Would you - those of you who favor Pre-Tribulationalism - at least allow the Pre-Trib position self evaluation (in that the main tenet of the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, itself, states the rapture of the Church will take place BEFORE the public emergence of the antichrist) ?
So in light of the main proposition of the Pre-Trib Rapture theory (that is, the appearing of the antichrist and the beginning of the tribulation period FOLLOW the Pre-Trib Rapture event), we can emphatically say this:
"If the antichrist appears and the tribulation against the Saints begins, if these two events take place, we KNOW, then, without a shadow of doubt, that the Pre-Trib Rapture view is incorrect."
Can we agree on this?
(This will also mean - if indeed the rapture event is not "Pre-Trib" - that the advocates of the Pre-Trib position [who believe and teach this end-time view is true] are themselves false teachers on this important topic.)
WHY do we raise this fair appeal?
Because by the time the antichrist comes on the scene, some of the "readiness" / "watchfulness" / "preparedness" aspects which our Lord Jesus calls us to will no longer be possible - because some of the events will be behind us. See www.enduranceministries.org & www.endmin.org for some specific examples which are pertinent to us TODAY!
In other words, it will be TOO LATE to be prepared concerning some of the things our Lord has called us to be ready for.
Some could respond: "But Jon, your initial appeal above was to discern the events (i.e., the public appearance of the antichrist and the beginning of the tribulation period) by which we KNOW, absolutely, the Pre-Trib view is wrong. But by that time, if the revealing of the antichrist takes place before the rapture of the Church, then these who have dogmatically believed in the Pre- Trib view will be unprepared! So why make this factual observa- tion at this time?"
This is our very point! We do so in order to encourage sound doctrine. We raise this issue here, at this time, so as to help promote "readiness" now - readiness as our Lord Jesus defines it in the Word.
It's for this very reason some need to be less dogmatic concerning their belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture view. NB (note well) :
~ Because the Pre-Trib view is not explicitly stated in Scripture; ~ Because it's inferential supporting tenets are not stated in Scripture; Therefore, at the very least, please allow for other more biblically supported views to be a part of your end-time perspective as you walk with Jesus Christ.
We make this appeal passionately for YOUR benefit! This is our sincere motive in raising this fact (that the Pre-Trib view may be wrong!): We genuinely CARE for you!
Father God, thank You for revealing to us crucial details tied to Your Son's glorious return. Thank You for giving us the signs which will take place before His coming whereby we can look up and discern that our redemption is drawing near. THANK YOU for forewarning us about the many deceptions during the dark days of the end. Thank You for Counseling us as to what we need to be doing during these end of days - just prior to Your Son's initial appearing. We wish to glorify You by heeding Your gracious instructions to us. Precious Father, we give You praise as we worship Your holy name. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen
Week of 5/9-13 (B19;16)
"Perspective" Review Using A Different Angle
Have you been ENJOYING our suggested Bible reading schedule? We sure have.
To give you a sample of what's coming as we read through the Psalms together, we'd like to present PERSPECTIVE from one of our Lord's psalms. Note how many end-time themes (tied to "perspective") are included in this precious psalm ...
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The LORD of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob in our refuge. Selah
Psalm 46 (NKJV)
Prayer: Please read Daniel 9:4-19 in light of the New Covenant perspective in Christ Jesus.
Week of 5/16-20 (B20;16) [ FB ]
A Different "Revisit"
In blogs B27-29;15 we addressed a very dangerous false teaching: One can take the mark of the beast, repent of doing so and still live forever with God.
This is untrue, biblically speaking. The false-hope offer as outlined in the blogs above is not the only deception darkness is using to persuade followers of Jesus Christ to be open to the taking of the mark as described in Revelation 13. Here's another half-truth lie which will be further told to those seeking to save their lives* :
Another similar, eternal, consequential deception will take a form similar to this:
P1 Because those who place their faith in Christ Jesus are eternally secure; [ VS the Truth: Those who truly place their faith in Christ Jesus are eternally secure. ]
P2 Because one cannot lose one's salvation; [ VS the Truth: Those who are genuinely saved cannot lose their salvation. ]
Therefore, Taking the mark of the beast will not result in the (Conclusion) Lake of Fire for Christians who take the mark.
It's this mentality - P1 & P2 & the conclusion - that represents the half-truth deception.
We ask some simple but crucial questions at this juncture. ...
How do we know true followers of Jesus Christ are eternally secure? What is the basis of this belief? On what grounds is this true?
Answer: The Word of God teaches this Truth, therefore, genuine believers in Jesus Christ are indeed eternally secure. God's Word is our final authority for faith and practice and because it (the Bible) states this truth (that no one can/will pluck born-again believers out of the Father's hand ), it's True - namely, that sincere, enduring-to-the-end Christians have eternal life. God said it; that settles it.
B U T here's the problem for those who pick and choose some Scriptures and yet who incorrectly go on to deny other Scriptures - those who in practice do NOT affirm the whole Counsel of the Word of God.
God's Word ALSO states
Mt. 24:9,10 II Thes. 2:1-4 I Tim. 4:1
Our point: We need to accept ALL of God's Counsel, not simply the aspects of His revelation we like.
If that's not warning enough, the Word also says this concerning those who take the mark of the beast:
"... If ANYONE worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God ..." (Rev. 14:9,10 - actually, please see Rev. 14:6-13 which also speaks to those yet to be taken up in the final trumpet [7th Trumpet] Rapture gathering! (NKJV ; emphasis ours)
(And there are other passages addressing this concern which we've not included here - ones that also need to be humbly and prayerfully considered.)
In short, in light of the full Counsel of God's Word on this matter, true born-again, heaven-bound followers of Jesus Christ will NOT take the mark.
Another way to faithfully summarize these biblical Truths is in this way:
There will not be one person in glory (who has eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ - who lives forever with God) who takes the mark of the beast ... not one!
By the authority of God we implore those who call themselves believers: NEVER, EVER take the mark, for to do so, in light of God's very kind revelation to us - and He always keeps His Word - to receive the mark demonstrates you are NOT a true believer and will indeed guarantee you a place in the Lake of Fire.
This era of the mark of the beast is coming soon.
May our Lord grant us endurance through this most difficult time in all of human history. We encourage you to read the book of Hebrews where the end-time theme of endurance in Christ is so wonderfully highlighted. Our Lord in Rev. 2 & 3 also mandates this very quality of His people in Jesus Christ as He calls us to be overcomers.
Help us precious Father God. THANK YOU for the crucial insights communicated in the full Counsel of Your Word. In Christ Jesus' holy name we pray. Amen
* Re: those who wish to "save their lives," please look over the following passages: Mt. 16:24-27 ; Mk. 8:34-38 ; Lk. 17:33.
Week of 5/23-27 (B21;16)
Just Sharing ...
Recently my dear wife and I were so blessed once again by intimate time with our Lord in His precious Word. The time together with Him was sweet indeed.
I simply share the references we contemplated (Phil. 4:8) whereby, you, too, may ENJOY a similar blessing as His Spirit moves in your lives:
Psalm 34 (including vv. 8-14 where the "fear of the Lord" is highlighted) ;
Hebrews 4 - 7 begins with an appeal affirming the "fear of the Lord" under the New Covenant in our Lord Jesus Christ - "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it." (Heb. 4:1 ; NKJV ; emphasis mine)
Dear Saints in Christ Jesus - the Lord of lords and King of kings ...
Perfect love casts out fear - AMEN - but this is only a partial picture of the whole. Our Father God continues to require a contrite spirit of His own in Christ. Do we honor the full Counsel of His Word by maintaining a balanced perspective as to our ongoing abiding in His Vine? We need to be exalting Him in the ways He has so clearly outlined. (e.g., to love Him includes this: OBEDIENCE)
Endurance in Christ is one of the clearest manifestations of our genuine life in Him. II Thes. 1:3-5!
"Therefore by their fruits you shall know them" can also be applied to our own personal walk in Christ. If we are not walking in the biblical theme of ENDURANCE, we would be well served to heed II Peter 1:10,11, Phil. 2:12,13 & the entire book of Hebrews ... in light of the Counsel of our Lord: "... he who endures to the end shall be saved." (see Mt. 24:13)
Father God, we praise You for Your gift of salvation to us through Your beloved Son in Whom You were well pleased. We thank You for kindly revealing to us that we have been called to live out our salvation as we press on - endure! - in life in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. What abundant grace! Blessed be You, oh Most High God. We pray this in Jesus Christ's holy name. Amen
Week of 5/30 - 6/3 (B22;16)
Thanksgiving For God's Incredible Longsuffering
God's mercy and grace continue to be extended. What patience on the part of God Most High. Salvation is still being offered to those who would confess their need and turn to Him in this last hour.
God is not willing that anyone should perish, and yet, the window is closing due to all the deception today. Please, place your trust in the Savior: Jesus Christ.
This wicked generation is bound by the father of lies - satan. Some of the members of the unbelieving global community say they are not in bondage to anyone. In reality, they are not only dead in their tres- passes and sins but are actually slaves of the dark one.
Those rejecting Jesus Christ and the saving provision He alone brings through His death and resurrection, as the Word of God clearly teaches, will scream shrieks of torment through eternity as they experience inability to enter God's holy presence. As God wishes this horrific eternal state for no one, we, too, wish this for no one. Fact is, though, as the Lord of glory has said, MANY choose the wide path that leads to destruction. How very sad.
Perhaps you've discerned the strange day in which we live. There's no doubt the spiritual battle between the people of YHWH God (in Christ Jesus) and the people of the devil is raging.
Are you among those who refuse to discern the season? Or, if you do feel there's something terribly wrong with global culture of late and are starting to see the light, please read through our Good News web pages for God's loving message of sweet hope through Jesus Christ. He is the only way God has provided to avoid everlasting separation from God in the Lake of Fire.
Dear Creator God, Savior of all mankind who accept Your gift, the deluding influences of which You have forewarned are so clearly manifest today. Help those still needing You - whose lives still hang in the balance - to see Your light and come to the Savior, Your dear Son: Jesus Christ. Help those of us who are already in Christ to better discern the lateness of the hour. As we prepare to enter into the Day of Christ/Day of the Lord, give us Your perspective, please. Help us to be sober. Help us avoid allowing our love to grow cold due to all the wickedness today. Help us, oh Lord God, to endure to the end and so be saved. In Christ Jesus' holy and precious name I pray. Amen
Our (sincerely) caring offer to you:
For gift DVDs addressing end-time issues of our day, write to us at
Endurance Ministries P.O. Box 92098 Portland, OR 97292
and ask us to send you these edifying resources. (These gifts are only available to those residing in the USA, sorry. For those who don't, please visit our many web sites which offer edification similar to the DVDs.)
Week of 6/6-10 (B23;16)
The EFFECTS Of The End-Time Bible WAVES Continue
In response to insightful comments tied to some of our recent blogs (B11;16 & B17;16 - posted above), please ENJOY the discipleship challenge in the link below.
God of glory, God of grace, Help us Lord to seek Thy face. You Who dwell above the earth; You Who gave us second birth: God of glory, God of grace, Help us Lord to seek Thy face.
And LORD, may we better show our love for You by spending time with You in prayer and in Your precious Word! In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray. Amen
Week of 6/13-17 (B24;16)
Thinking Outside The Worldly Box
"Another one bites the dust!"
Regarding the "fables" the Word of God says will flourish (as described in II Tim. 4:3,4) in the days of the end, it's amazing: Even the U.S. Armysuccumbs to end-time myths and grafts them into is recruiting efforts.
In seeking to discern just how deceptive the deceptions are becoming ...
There has been poor evidence in support of E.T.s who threaten our existence. Yet, the U.S. Army's ESD (Earth Space Defense) acts as if the threat is real. In light of the bigger picture: No kidding. On the "goarmy.com/joinesd.html" web site, we find this:
"Since the war of 1996 [when Independence Day hit the theaters], the Earth Space Defense has been preparing for the next great alien invasion. We're looking for the best and brightest from around the globe to join the ESD, and protect mankind. Our purpose is simple: Defend Earth's independence at all costs." ( "[...]" and emphasis ours)
We find (on the ESD site) a link to the 2nd ID movie which will be opening in many theaters later this month - June 24.
Is it possible this fun recruiting approach is actually part of a holistic plan to further brainwash the Postmodern generation in preparation for, in reality, an upcoming spiritual battle soon to take place on a global scale?
I can envision receiving email response from our adversaries similar to this:
"Jon, Jon, shame on you!! This ESD is only a cleaver recruitment approach. I thought you were smarter than this so I'm tempted to ask: You got your doctorate where - from a Cracker Jack box? You're looking for imaginary demons under rocks that don't exist!"
And yet, given the conditioning the two movies (namely ID-4 - see blog B4;16 above - & ID-Resurgence) include within their story lines, one might wonder if there's more to this military science fiction than what meets the (undiscerning) eye.
Here's one of our concerns (about these films) as we (at EM - Endurance Ministries) press forward in highlighting end-time Bible themes:
MANY biblical predictions concerning the signs (which take place before Jesus Christ's return) are unfolding in global culture today. One part of the biblical, end-time scenario is that of Jesus Christ's return. The Word of God describes Jesus Christ's return as taking place "on" (e.g., Mt. 24:30) and "with" (e.g., Rev. 1:7) "the clouds."
The Word of God also states the world will gather in battle against this Heavenly Intruder. (Rev. 19) But this takes place in the con- text of having already suffered the Bowls of God's wrath upon the earth - a period of time which is yet future.
Are you beginning to discern how science fiction is being used in a very cleaver way to actually train the final generation to battle God once He returns to the earth? By the time the inhabitants of the world suffer God's wrath upon them, they will be angry to the extent they will - truthfully - as the ESD purposes, "defend earth's independence [even from God] at all costs."
In application ...
Watch the scenes (in both movies) which cover the coming of the E.T.s who threaten our independence. These unwelcome aliens come on/with the clouds! (The second movie: smoke & clouds.)
Guess what? Early conditioning is taking place concerning what the Bible has taught for almost 2,000 years. The earth dwellers actually get to the place in their deceived state that they think they can take on the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ. The Independence Day movies condition the viewers in preparation for this day. WHOA!
Once again, the biblical account demonstrates itself miraculous! God has graciously revealed great insight for those who would dare to listen. For those of you who are laughing in your deceived state of skepticism, you should be aware of two things:
1. God even predicted scoffers would be vocal in the days of the end; 2. The Bible has also predicted other things will unfold BEFORE the initial appearing of Jesus Christ!
The Word of God states the world and the powers thereof will make "war against the saints." This is predicted in both the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation. This takes place under the rule of one who the Bible calls the "antichrist." This period of time - which will take place in the next couple decades - will include the dark mandates of that which is recorded in Rev. 13. Read it for yourselves!
For those of you who say you are believers (in the Word), we respect- fully ask this:
Has the frog in the kettle conditioning through the mediums even affected you to the place where you scoff at the concerns we are raising in this blog? Have you become that "lukewarm" whereby you even reject the clear Counsel of the One Who knows? The Truth: Persecution is coming to those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ. Are you prepared for this time of spiritual battle which makes physical battle look like child's play? Jesus Christ calls His own to be "ready." Are we?
Father of Lights, THANK YOU for forewarning us about the many reasons some will give to justify their apostasy - persecution, per- sonal idolatry, deception. Thank You for calling us to be ready, to endure to the end, to see that no one deceives us ... etc. ... etc. ... etc. THANK YOU for the many warnings You have so graciously given whereby we avoid becoming deceived. Help us, Father God, to obey Your full Counsel, Counsel which includes, "He who endures to the end will be saved." (Mt. 24:13) In Christ Jesus' - Your Son's - holy name I pray. Amen
Week of 6/20-24 (B25;16)
Our 2016 Reading Schedule (July - September)
Three portions of the Word of God that are most clear in addressing the topic of end-time Bible prophecy include the books of Daniel and Revelation and our Lord's end-time address in Matthew 24 & 25. This quarter's reading schedule includes these reads. ENJOY, and may God's insightful Word be just that to you!
July 1 Matthew 1 July 2 Mt. 2 ... etc. ... July 27 Mt. 27 July 28 Mt. 28 July 29 Mark 13 July 30 Luke 17 July 31 Luke 21
August 1 Revelation 1 August 2 Rev. 2 ... etc. ... August 21 Rev. 21 August 22 Rev. 22 August 23 Daniel 1 August 24 Dan. 2 August 25 Dan. 3 August 26 Dan. 4 August 27 Dan. 5 August 28 Dan. 6 August 29 Matthew 24 August 30 Matthew 25 August 31 John 16
September 1 Hebrews 1 September 2 Heb. 2 ... etc. ... September 11 Heb. 11 September 12 Heb. 12 September 13 Heb. 13 September 14 Titus 2 September 15 I Timothy 4 September 16 II Timothy 3 September 17 II Timothy 4 September 18 I Thessalonians 4 September 19 I Thessalonians 5 September 20 II Thessalonians 2 September 21 Psalm 61 September 22 Psalm 62 September 23 Psalm 63 September 24 Psalm 64 September 25 Psalm 65 September 26 Psalm 66 September 27 Psalm 67 September 28 Psalm 68 September 29 Psalm 69 September 30 Psalm 70
Father YHWH God, as we take time to read Your Counsel on matters pertaining to our days, would You please graciously grant us open eyes that we might behold wonderful things as we read? May Your Spirit grant us illumination as only You can give! Unto Your glory and praise we ask ... in Your dear Son's blessed name, amen.
Week of 6/27 - 7/1 (B26;16) [ FB ]
"Don't Confuse Me With The Facts!"
I hear this perspective (albeit stated in different ways) more often than I care to acknowledge.
It's getting that bad!
So, when we - members of the Body of Christ - say things like:
~ "Have you discerned how weird the world has become of late?" ~ "There's something terribly WRONG with culture today." ~ "How can so many great injustices be taking place in our so- called thinking society?" ~ "Why has our culture grown to be so intolerant, yes, even so satan-like, in a day when it claims to be tolerant?" ...
When we raise fair questions like those listed above AND then go on to evidence these questions and the claims included therein, why is it some respond almost violently against those who seek to bring attention to these present realities?
Why? What's going on here!?
It's because darkness is so rampant today that "Truth" itself is viewed as a threat to present society. SERIOUSLY! Just try to talk with people about the evils being accepted and they often get defensive and/or angry.
But it's not only "Truth" that's viewed as the great enemy of today's dark society. It's those who proclaim these Truths who are also labeled "DANGEROUS!" - yes, even evil - in the eyes of the new satanic culture.
Friends open to Truth: You need NOT cater to their enslaved worldview!
Secularists who deny spiritual realities: Don't laugh, for we can warrant these things!
the father of lies / the great deceiver the enemy of God and all that is good the great opponent of Creator God: The Word ... Jesus Christ.
The world is:
enslaved to the father of lies and gladly embraces deceit hostile to God and His good things hateful toward Jesus Christ and His faithful followers.
The reality that strange things are happening is confessed by many. So again, we sincerely, with urgent appeal, ask: "What's going on?"
ANSWER (in part) :
We are in the end of days before Jesus Christ's initial appearing. We have been experiencing the "time of sorrows" as predicted by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24 and are now moving into the tribulation period - again, NOT as some false teachers and false prophets are defining the "Tribulation" today! CLICK HERE for an example.
NOTE: Do a study on the word "tribulation." A biblical study may surprise you in that it's very different than how some are defining biblical "tribulation" these days?
So how should we now live?
We should continue to look up, for our salvation draws near; We should continue to keep our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ: King of kings and Lord of lords; We should continue in His Word.
As we do so, God will illumine our path as we abide in His Vine and as we walk in His Spirit.
Precious heavenly Father, blessed be Your great and holy name! We praise You for all the blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus Your holy Son, our Savior. Receive our adoration and thanksgiving as we press on in living out our lives as Your living sacrifices unto Your glory and praise. May Your dear Spirit be honored as we take up our crosses and allow Him free reign in and through our lives. Thank You sweet Father YHWH God. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen
3rd Quarter Blogs
Week of 7/4-8 (B27;16)
How Many Times Should We Repeat Ourselves?
By God's kind and generous mercy and grace, we at Endurance Ministries have been faithful in bringing prophetic ministry appeals (i.e., Ambassadoring for God as we discern our culture in light of His awesome Word).
We've highlighted THEMES included in the many end-time passages.
At this juncture - given there's a time for everything under the sun - we discern it's time for us to be silent before Him for a season.
As of this blog post, we won't necessarily be posting on a weekly basis in light of pressing actions we need to be taking (concerning further preparations for upcoming end-of-days events) and in light of another writing assignment to which we've recently committed. (Our first work is titled: The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering: An Introduction)
For those of you who have been blessed by our Gospel and disciple- ship ministry efforts, please prayerfully consider responding to our ongoing ministries to you - our precious Family in Christ - in these ways:
1. Review the pertinent blogs by visiting our "archived" blogs as they continue to bring both edification and encouragement in these dark days;
2. Look over our many web sites and consider a Berean-like response ... see if these things are so by evaluating the appeals in light of God's holy Word;
3. Consider having us come to your local church for seminar(s) and teaching presentations.
Please email us by means of the "contact us" box above.
In the setting of the New Covenant in Christ Jesus our Lord, our eternal and precious Hope, we close with this prayer, this benediction:
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In Christ Jesus' holy and precious name, amen.
Week of 7/11-15 (B28;16)
Applying Matthew 15: Questioning A Contemporary Tradition Of Men
Is the explicit Word of God (that is, what the Bible actually states in black and white on the pages) YOUR final authority for faith and practice?
Sincerely, it is so for us at Endurance Ministries. (If you can show evidence to the contrary, please write to us!)
Having highlighted that fact - that the unadulterated Word of God (vs. interpretations of His Word) is indeed our firm Truth Foundation - please consider the following data (information in the context of asking a few fair questions as a result of an inductive Bible study in the literal versions on the word "dispensation") by CLICKING HERE.
Thank You heavenly Father for the ETERNAL Covenant in Jesus Christ! Thank You for the protective Counsel You offer Your needy sheep in Your full Word! We praise Your holy name. In the blessed name of Your exalted Son, Christ Jesus we pray. Amen
Week of 7/18-22 (B29;16)
A Response To A Recent Edition Of Decision Magazine
Did you give the recent (June) edition of Decision Magazine a read-over? Quite impressive as to expressions of end-time themes currently expressing themselves in global culture!
What a listing of contemporary events (as addressed in the many articles of this Christ-honoring edition), all tied to themes which the Bible states will take place prior to Jesus Christ's glorious initial appearing.
If you've not experienced the blessing of reading this edition (of Decision Magazine), please contact the folks at the Billy Graham Association office and ask for a copy. Or CLICK HERE to visit their magazine web page.
End times are here today in ways never expressed since the early Church. We once again call true believers in Jesus Christ to review the many (end-time) passages which speak to our presentries (current cultural affairs).
Father God, we exalt Your holy name. Please increase our discern- ment whereby we better see the many false appeals unfolding today - e.g., Preacher comic and TV series. May Your high-as-the-heavens revelation continue to be our Truthful guide in this dark, satanic day. May we, as we walk in Your Truths forever settled in heaven, be Your lights which help people out of dark bondages. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, amen.
Week of 7/25-29 (B30;16)
A "Gift" From A Top Software Provider
A recent unsolicited-by-us upgrade to a new software version - we use an older version of this company's program - servesto well illustrate what is coming by way of world dominationon the part of the global leadership. NB: We are the registered owners (as opposed to leasers) of a prior version of the software program.
Here's the picture:
For quite some time our software provider has been offering a free upgrade to its next major version. We have never agreed to this upgrade, for personal reasons. YET, just the other day, the upgrade software was installed contrary to our wishes. As we got on-line, the new software simply started loading up. In light of the company's actions, we wish to THANK THEM (the software company) for providing an excellent example of what's coming on a global scale. ...
Without our permission (concerning things in our possession and have individual authority over - by way of making our own decisions on things we legally own), the world, like this company's recent action, will mandate we do things we do NOT want to do. They are already applying growing pressure to do so.
Be sure of this: There will come a time in the not-so-distant future when further mandates (contrary to our [U.S.] Constitutional freedoms) will be made. A moral question rises at this juncture:
How are we to respond to evil actions, ones with which we do not agree and cannot, before God, apply?
Have we, in our efforts at preparedness/readiness/watchfulness, drawn the line which we will NOT cross when it comes to worldly bondages which have eternal consequences?
The Word of God is CLEAR we cannot make certain concessions if we expect to enter eternity in God's favorable light (that is, in relationship with Him). Are you aware of the lines in Scripture which you, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, CANNOT cross? We sure hope so, for these days (when the world will insist we submit to satan's dark rule) are truly beginning to unfold as we write/speak.
May God be glorified as we His people endure in the essential things He has clearly outlined for His Bride, the Church. May we endure in saying "NO" when the world insists we compromise ... or else!
Father God, oh how we praise You. Your protective love for us is indescribable. Help us to seek it out by going to Your Word of Counsel to us. Help us to be like little children who simply follow the clear help You have so graciously given due to Your deep loving care for us. Help us to throw off the many temptations to twist Your Word into something it does not say. Lord, please help us to be Your Ambassadors who truly and unashamedly represent You - for our best interest and even more importantly, for Your glory and praise. In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray, amen.
Week of 8/1-5 (B31;16)
On False Teaching ...
There are those who say the doctrine of the tri-unity of God is inferential and not found in Scripture. Here's explicit evidence to the contrary:
1. There are clear passages in the Bible teaching the eternal Word, the Son, Jesus Christ, is God (Ps. 45; John 1; Col. 2; Heb. 1)
2. There are clear passages teaching the Holy Spirit is God's Spirit (Gen. 1; Mt. 28; Rom. 8; Gal. 3,4; I Pet. 1; I Jn. 4)
3. There are clear passages teaching יהוה Father is God (Ps. 89; Mt. 6; Jn. 10; Eph. 1; I Pet. 1; 2 Jn.)
In light thereof ...
There is an end-time view which teaches, 1) the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible (yet this same viewpoint affirms the doctrine of the trinity due to explicit Bible evidence) AND which goes on to, 2) appeal for false analogy. This view, we believe, needs to be exposed, for God-exalting, Bible-affirming reasons.
Allow me to bring further clarification, please.
Some Pre-Trib authors, on occasion, commit the fallacy of false analogy when it comes to this topic of the word "trinity," the doctrine of the triune God and one end-time appeal - which they claim to be true on the basis of analogy.
One way to express their misleading appeal is seen below:
P1 Although the word "trinity" is not explicitly stated in Scripture, the doctrine of the tri-unity of God is true;
P2 While the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church is not explicitly stated in Scripture (similar to [analogy] the issue of the trinity appeal in "P1" above), the Pre-Trib Rapture event [again: though not explicitly stated in Scripture] is also true;
C Therefore, the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church position should be considered to be one of the viable eschatological (end-time) options.
BUT the above P1, P2, C appeal is a false analogy because the doctrine of the tri-unity of God IS explicitly stated in Scripture whereas the Pre-Trib Rapture event and its related inferences are not (found in Scripture).
Our Christ-honoring counsel at this juncture:
In light of the clear (I reiterate: explicit) Word of God, including the passages which call us to biblical readiness/watchfulness, please mark false teachers who would encourage a posture of ill-preparedness due to their false claims.
We bring this blog because we sincerely CARE about 1) Bible Truth and, in genuine love for YOU, 2) your best interest.
May God be honored as we lovingly obey the full Counsel of our LORD Jesus as He intended:
"What I say to you I say to all: WATCH!" (see Mark 13)
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (see Luke 21)
Lord God, help us boldly speak Your Truths in love, even when folks in some churches make appeals which would put us in harm's way IF we followed their wrong counsel. Please help us discern the many false interpretations of Your Word, ones that are being taught in some churches today. Help us to live out one of the principles which sets as aside from the world: We are people of Your Book, the Bible. As we further conform to the image of Your dear Son, please be honored and glorified in these most precious expressions of our love for You. In Christ Jesus' holy name we pray, amen.
Week of 8/8-12 (B32;16)
On The Full Counsel Of God's Word
There are some heralds who would call people to follow satan's* message brought around 6,000 years ago: Doubt and/or disobey God and His Word. (see Genesis 3)
These heralds of false teaching would have us (those of us who trust in God's faithful revelation) doubt. They would seek to mis- lead us to believe this lie: The Word of God is not reliable. Here's one of the many deceptive appeals they make:
"Have you discovered the contradiction in Rev. 22:14? Read the ESV's rendering of this verse, then read the NKJV's translation of the same. You'll find two totally different messages! So how in the world can we trust God's alleged 'revelation' to us if we find the literal translations teaching very different messages?"
And yet, once again, IF one were to take the time to study this issue out, the false claim (that the Bible contradicts itself and is not reliable) would be exposed to be unsupported by the bigger- picture facts.
In seeking to foster regular devotional reading of God's nurturing Word, we bring this testimony:
A study of this topic of having the right to the Tree of Life is mind-boggling! It's awesome. If you were to read related texts, you would once again be so blessed by His love message to us. Read the following passages and pull together the glorious message He has for us, His Bride in Christ:
Rev. 22:14 (read in both the ESV and the NKJV) ; Rev. 19:6-8, 14 ; Rev. 7:9-17 - NB: vs. 14 (especially noting the means through which we are dressed in acceptable clothing before Almighty God). This is so cool.
AWESOME! We are made clean by the "King of kings and Lord of lords." (Rev. 19:16) This unfolds in BOTH His justifying Blood (complete as to the forgiveness of sin) AND His ongoing works of grace (e.g., I Cor. 15:10) in us as we are now new creatures in Christ Jesus, those who abide in God's Vine and walk in His Spirit. (John 15 ; Gal. 5 ; Rom. 5:1, 9 ; Gal. 2:20 ; II Cor. 9:8 ; Titus 2:11-14, 3:8 and others)
In this understanding, MANY Bible passages (RE: the FULL picture of justification before and by God) make complete sense.
So do a thorough study on the biblical doctrine of justification by grace through faith and works, for the full Counsel of God's Word may surprise you as to the more complete picture of how God outlines just how one find the right to the Tree of Life and is able to enter the City by the gates - through the Savior, Christ Jesus, through a grace-based, working faith that He is so kindly and so generously accomplishing in us - Phil. 1:6. In this context, Phil. 1:12, 13 ; Gal. 2:17 ("... while we seek to be justified by Christ ...") ; II Pet. 1:10 ; James 2:14-26 and other passages make complete sense.
As Douglas Moo has written, "A faith that has no works does not work." Or, as John Calvin even confessed centuries ago: "It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone." (emphasis ours) CLICK HERE for references to these quotes.
Our point: It's the Word of God (the FULL Counsel thereof) which serves as our plumb line as to correct doctrine.
Because there are many misleading doctrines of men (our Lord Jesus called them "traditions" in Mt. 15!) in some churches today, we encourage faithful yielding to the Word whereby we can rejoice in God's more complete definitions of crucial doctrines which have eternal effect.
Father of lights, thank You that "one is justified by works and not by faith alone." Thank You that You graciously continue Your excellent work in us. Thank You that we are made right before You through Christ Jesus alone! Thank You that it's not by works of (our human) righteous acts that allow us entrance into Your eternal Kingdom but through Your beloved Son - our Savior. We praise You, Father, that Your Word - in its FULL or WHOLE revelation [Acts 20:27] - is ours to which we have been called to submit as we express loving obedience to You - John 14, 15. We love You Father, because You first loved us. Help us to love others through obedience to Your Word (I John 5:2). Unto Your glory and praise as we pray in the holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen
* I do not capitalize his name intentionally.
Week of 8/15-19 (B33;16)
With A Grateful Heart In Christ Jesus ...
It is with deep thanksgiving that we express praise to our Father God for the accurate (that is, truthful) appeals we have made through the decades. To date, by God's precious mercy and grace, we have been prophetically accurate as we herald God's holy Word. Praise be to the One Who alone is God most high.
I recall (almost two decades ago now) when we were directed by the Lord to include the Psalms in our pertinent-to-end-times reading list. Since that time our eyes have been further opened as to just how insightful and applicable these 150 gifts are to His people in Christ Jesus - the Lord of lords. God is so very good!
We have also enjoyed - again, by His mercy and grace - true illumination as we have walked in His Spirit / abided in His dear Vine. In this setting, He has allowed us to be sincere watchmen who speak His Truths which are so helpful to God's end-time Saints. In light of this glorifying-to-God testimonial ...
Dear Most High God, we express the themes of Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9. Help us to live in the contrite-heart mentality to which You've clearly called us. Help us to confess our sins when we allow the dark world to influence us in such ways as to bring defilement. Thank You for I John 1:8-10. We claim that which You have done through Your Son almost two thousand years ago. We claim His forgiving act of the shedding of His blood and, in addition to enjoying that righteous position in Him since our new birth, we go on to claim day by day forgiveness as we continue to confess our iniquities before You. Blessed be YHVH God. In the name of Your beloved Son, our Savior - Jesus Christ - we pray. Amen
Week of 8/22-26 (B34;16)
Thus Says The Lord ...
Please read Jeremiah 28.
My how we thank Him for His revelation in this chapter.
In application, we say, as Jeremiah did millennia ago, "Amen!" (vs. 6) and then go on to affirm that which is also stated in the prophet's response: vv. 6-9. And when contemporary-to-our-day false promises of peace and safety fail to occur (e.g., the Pre-Trib Rapture event), may those of us who faithfully herald God's Truths which are forever settled in heaven persist in His Kingdom work, pressing on in Christ-honoring, New-Covenant speaking His Truths in love by enduring in Bible appeal.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, please continue in His Word. He has graced us with His incarnate Word - AMEN - and His written Word. The insights therein are crucial IF we seek to continue on His path. The many false appeals today are best discerned by His Word of Truth - guidance which, as Isaiah and Peter state (under the influence of His Holy Spirit), endures forever.
God of that which is True, THANK YOU for the Truth of Your Word. Thank You that in Him we find salvation. Thank You that in it we find revelation second to none in a day when many false teachers, false christs and false prophets are most active. Help us to regularly feast on Your Word. And by Your Spirit's leading in our lives, please do open our eyes so that we clearly see, understand and live out the precious wonders therein. We praise You, oh King of glory, Creator of heaven and earth and all things therein. In Christ Jesus' holy and glorious name we pray, amen.
Week of 8/29 - 9/2 (B35;16)
Entering A New Season
Awesome: The book of Joel so speaks to our day!
~ Never before in human history has marriage been so satanically redefined by the secular world;
~ Never before in human history have we seen the fulfillments of so many Bible passages;
~ Never before are we discerning the days of the very end are upon us!
The prophet Joel says it this way: "Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell you children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation." [ IF time allows for yet another generation given our days of the end are about to manifest Daniel's 70th Week! ] (NKJV)
The Day of the Lord will begin after heavenly signs and wonders present themselves. (Joel 2:30, 31; Matthew 24:29; Rev. 6:12, 13) We, His prepared Saints, will NOT be caught off guard as will the rest of the unbelieving world (I Thes. 5). In fact, as we lovingly obey our Savior (as to readiness/watchfullness), we will be prepared to witness in tremendous ways. As the Gospel will be shared globally, then the end will come. Praise God for His kind and generous Counsel to those of us who allow His Word to say what it actually says.
Father of Lights, thank You for illuminating our path through Your Word and through Your Spirit in our lives. We need You so! May we walk in child-like humility and, by faith, rightly obey You whereby we are protected from the furnaces of the days of the end (see Daniel 3). Even if we find we are facing One like the Son of God in the presence of Your glory - that is, even if we are NOT saved out of the fire but are martyred as we share in the sufferings of Christ - please graciously allow us this perspective: Our lives are in Your safe hands, whatever befalls. May the perspective which Your Son has called us to (in John 16:1-3, 33) shine in sweet abundance as we endure. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, amen.
Week of 9/5-9 (B36;16)
Lies Come In MANY Forms
"The epistle to the Laodiceans* has been discovered! Like the ancient Gnostic materials which have been uncovered the past 60 years, this long lost letter also describes yet another side of Jesus - one which we need to emphasize today. The New Testament church has had its chance to change the world, now it's our turn to do so through a more balanced CHRIST !" [ * The letter mentioned above being a distortion of the real Letter to the Laodiceans of history. ]
While the above quote is fictional, I share it in light of one of the MAJOR end-time themes which the Word of God predicts will flourish during the days just prior to the return of the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ. Perhaps you've already discerned the lie above. But if you haven't, it's most appropriate to disclose it now.
The theme of deception is often addressed in end-time Bible literature. In fact, false teachers, false christs (e.g., the "christ" of the Neo-Gnostics today) and false prophets are actually instruments of deception and they are many today.
BEWARE! ... DISCERN!
In the quote above, a fictional lie is told - that the ancient letter of Paul the Apostle, to the church at Laodicea, was found. While we are not claiming this very event will be one of the end-time lies, it will be lies of this nature, in part, that darkness will use to further deceive the world which fails to evaluate cultural events in light of God's precious Word. They will tell you - as they told me in my doctrinal program - that it's time for a new expression of Christ- ianity, one that is more tolerant and all-inclusive. Frankly, many are already heralding this dark appeal.
This appeal, in its more mature form, will include a spiritual world- view perspective that is anything but Christian/Biblical. Their message will include - in both explicit and implicit manner - this:
"Christians who take the Bible seriously (that is, those who appeal for the Bible being taken at face value) are a major threat to the world as it (the world) is becoming. They are to be shunned from society, yes, they are to be marked and persecuted for their evil views and ways."
Does this scenario sound familiar, even today? Yes, one expression of the spirit of antichrist, in addition to the pseudo-academic appeals of the Neo-Gnostics today, holds dominion over almost one fifth of the world. And what is this expression of the spirit of antichrist? It is Islam, given the traditional Muslim view of Jesus Christ. Please scroll down to Blog B16;15 for details.
And followers of this false god (Allah) and his prophet (Mohammed) are indeed persecuting YHVH God's people - both Old Covenant people who still need to embrace the Messiah, Jesus Christ AND New Covenant people in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The heralds of satanic lies are indeed rampant today.
So how should we live in light of these facts, facts that are clear expressions of the lie of the spirit of antichrist? And how should we live in light of the fruits of their beliefs (that is, actions) of persecution against those who would stay true - who ENDURE in the Truths of Creator God?
The myths within godless truth claims will continue to manifest themselves - present fables mentioned HERE).
These represent one expression of false teaching, false teaching which the Lord Jesus Christ said would manifest before His return.
So again, how might we respond in ways that honor Father God and which help protect His people during these dark days?
Here are a few God-honoring, protective actions we'd recommend at this juncture:
1. ENDURE in the faith as outlined by the Creator/Sustainer/Savior, Jesus Christ, in His New Covenant to us (that is, the biblical "New Testament");
2. Use His Word to DISCERN the damning lies of the evil one;
3. When we are then persecuted for righteousness' sake, we suggest finding blessing in REJOICING ... in being exceedingly glad;
4. MODEL a walk of peace, peace that transcends our under- standing. In this humble confidence (in God's promises to us) we find sweet Hope;
5. And, for the sake of emphasis, may we do what He's clearly mandated we do: ENDURE!
Dear Lord Jesus, THANK You for saving us and for Your ongoing acts of loving kindness to us by kindly and so abundantly allowing us to walk in grace as we are about Your Kingdom things. Thank You for Your Spirit - the Holy Spirit. We praise You for the blessings that are ours as we Ambassador on your behalf during these days just prior to Your glorious return! We bless Your holy name. Even so, please come quickly dear Lord! Amen
Week of 9/12-16 (B37;16) [ FB ]
Mistakes Through MIS-Definition
Have you honestly taken the time to seek (through study of the explicit Word) the biblical definitions of the following words and phrase? (The answers you find, IF you allow the primary Source - that is, the actual data of the Word, may surprise you!)
For Truth's sake, we encourage a biblical study of the following words and phrase:
1. dispensation 2. tribulation (by way of example, CLICK HERE) 3. wrath 4. Daniel's 70th Week 5. faith 6. justify 7. works
If you would like us to send you results of our inductive studies (ones which are committed to the search for the answers based on the unadulterated Word of God), please use our "Contact Us" link above. Simply ask that we send you some of the documents we have on the word studies above. Again, given the cultural aspects of American Christianity, the results - the actual facts as to how the Bible defines the words and phrase above - may surprise you!
WHY is it we make this appeal? Because popular end-time views occasionally base their positions on definitions of end-time words that are actually NOT found explicitly stated in the Bible - our authority for faith and practice. This concern is HUGE if one really wants a Bible-centered eschatology.
Dear precious Father God, we love You. Thank You for first loving us in Your holy Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world. Help us in our devotional times with You. Help us to discern Your Word correctly as we yield to Your illuminating Spirit within those who are Yours. Father, thank You for the sweet abundance in Your Son! In His name, in Christ Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Week of 9/19-23 (B38;16)
Our 2016 Reading Schedule (October - December)
By God's precious grace, He has given us His Counsel of light and life in order to navigate the worst storm in the history of mankind. We so encourage you to seek His instruction during these days just prior to His Son's glorious initial appearing.
October 1 Luke 1 October 2 Luke 2 ... etc. ... October 23 Luke 23 October 24 Luke 24 October 25 I John 1 October 26 I John 2 October 27 I John 3 October 28 I John 4 October 29 I John 5 October 30 II John October 31 III John
November 1 Psalm 71 November 2 Psalm 72 ... etc. ... November 29 Psalm 99 November 30 Psalm 100
December 1 Matthew 24 December 2 Matthew 25 December 3 Mark 13 December 4 Luke 12 December 5 Luke 17 December 6 Luke 21 December 7 John 14 December 8 John 15 December 9 John 16 December 10 John 17 December 11 I Thessalonians 1 December 12 I Thes. 2 December 13 I Thes. 3 December1 4 I Thes. 4 December 15 I Thes. 5 December 16 II Thes. 1 December 17 II Thes. 2 December 18 II Thes. 3 December 19 Titus 2 December 20 Jude December 21 Daniel 1 December 22 Daniel 2 December 23 Daniel 3 December 24 Daniel 4 December 25 Daniel 5 December 26 Daniel 6 December 27 Daniel 7 & 8 December 28 Daniel 9 December 29 Daniel 10 December 30 Daniel 11 December 31 Daniel 12
Father God, THANK YOU for Your holy Word to us. We are grateful children who seek to be those who not only hear Your Word but obey it, too. Unto Your glory and praise we do so, in Christ Jesus' sweet name, amen.
Week of 9/26-30 (B39;16) [ FB ]
Another "Mystery" Discerned
There are multiple "mysteries" spoken of in Scripture. In this blog we are uncovering the one mentioned in I Corinthians 15:51, 52. Are you sitting down as to the insight brought in the solving of this mystery (to those still listening to the deep things of God)? We sure hope so. And don't neglect application of the wisdom offered in the discovery of this end-time treasure!
"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." (I Cor. 15:51, 52 ; NKJV ; emphases ours) Please see our concluding "Note" below.)
In the following thus says the Lordrevelation, we find crucial Counsel as to how we now should live ...
As the sixth trumpet of Revelation 9 comes to an end, we find there is an unleashing of seven thunders - chapter 10. We then find this:
"The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore to Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, [ that is, the blowing of the final trumpet in this - and only! - series of eschatological trumpet blasts in all of Scripture ] when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:5-7 ; NKJV ; emphasis and bracket ours)
There you have it! The discerning of the mystery of I Cor. 15 (including the timing of the gathering of His Saints - the rapture) is disclosed in Revelation 10. Note the mystery is "finished" just prior to the sounding of the seventh angel - that is, "when he is about to sound" (vs. 7)! Those in Christ who remain - who are not martyred during the tribulation period ; those who survive unto the I Thes. 4:13-18 event - will discern the time (during the seven thunders) and will shortly thereafter be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ... the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11.
What a mystery! What a privilege, in light of the full Counsel of God's Word, to be discerning these days of the end. May our God grant His elect in Christ Jesus to shine TODAY, during these days just prior to this awesome time before the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering ... before the return of Jesus Christ for His Saints!
Father God, I praise YOU for Your precious revelation to us! Thank You for gracing us with Your insight in these days prior to Your Son's glorious appearing. [ Mt. 24:30 ; Rev. 6:14-17 ] Help us to endure as Your Word in Rev. 12:11 and 14:12 calls. Thank You for Your kindness in sharing Your end-time know- ledge with us. As we - those of us who survive the period of the Saints' overcoming [ Daniel 7:21, 25 ; Rev. 13:7 ] - as we hear the voices of the seven thunders unfold, we will know our gathering together [ II Thes. 2 ; Mt. 24:31 - επισυναγωγης ; επισυναξουσι ] is imminent. Yes Lord, while we do not know the day nor the hour, we will know Your gathering up of Your Saints in Christ Jesus will be imminent at the close of the thunderings. We PRAISE You, oh God of glory, God of grace. Help us Lord, to seek Thy face. You Who dwell above the earth; You Who gave us second birth: God of glory, God of grace, help us Lord to seek Thy face! In Jesus Christ's glorious name we pray, amen.
Note: There is only one series of end-time trumpet blasts described in the Bible. This series of trumpets is found in Revelation 8 - 11. Our definition of I Cor. 15's "last trumpet" is a biblical one, promoting His Truths unto His glory and praise and speaking to our best interests.
4th Quarter Blogs
Week of 10/3-7 (B40;16)
A Loving Gift: Truthful Prophetic Insight
In light of the full Counsel of the Word of God, we - those of us who listen to the actual revelation from the One Who knows the future - are most privileged people in His mercy and grace. He has kindly given us His insight as to the days ahead. Here is another end-time event which we believe will be unfolding this next decade:
The Covenant of Daniel 9 will go into effect.
During this major transition - as we venture into the 70th Week of Daniel - some (false prophets) will declare this is NOT the beginning of the 70th Week. Others will, in a positive tone, en- courage the building of the new temple due to their imbalanced devotion to Israel and the Old Covenant.
Sometime around the making of the Covenant of Dan. 9, the regular sacrifices (and/or offerings) will be cut off ... for half the week. From the taking away of the daily offerings until the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation, there will be 1,290 days.
Our Lord Jesus picks up the end-time scenario when He declares great tribulation will then occur. But, by the mercy and grace of God, it will be cut short. Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days, the astronomical signs will amaze the world. While still in awe of what had just happened, the world will then see the Sign of the Son of Man as the sky scrolls apart. Those who have been a part of global persecution against God's Saints in Christ and against God's Old Covenant people will shudder. The 7th Seal will then be opened, allowing the seven angels to blow the trumpets which they had received. During this time the Saints who remain will need to continue in their resolve (with the help of God's precious Spirit) to persevere - during the time of the trumpet blasts. We will need to discern, as our Lord Jesus has Counseled, the false teachings of those who say he is here ... he is there. Then, the sweet gathering of the Saints will take place (at the sounding of the 7th and final trumpet of Rev. 11).
What a glorious day that will be for all those who are asleep in Christ and for those who are in Christ but who have endured through the time of the overcoming of the Saints (those who remain until the coming of Jesus Christ for His Church).
So where does this leave us?
In a state of awe as to how accurate His Word is concerning the days of the end. As He was so right on about the predictions He had given Daniel (concerning the world leaders which would follow King Nebuchadnezzar), so too is His prophetic Word accurate concerning the end of days, including OUR days which are filled with prophetic fulfillment. What a day to be living for God most High and His beloved Son, Jesus Christ - King of kings and Lord of lords.
Abba Father, You are so kind to humanity which has been created in your image. And yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg given our Fall. You then went on to manifest Your love for us like the world has never seen matched. Your beloved Son came to atone for the sins of the world. THANK YOU for delivering those who would accept this love gift from You. Help those of us who have done so - who have received Your provision of forgiveness of sin through Your Son - to walk the walk of endurance during these deceptive days. Unto Your glory and praise, in Christ Jesus we pray. Amen
Week of 10/10-14 (B41;16)
In light of Bible information (especially as presented in this end-time chart ), what can we expect to unfold prior to the making of the Daniel 9 Covenant? (Note: 1-6 below is not necessarily listed in chronological order.)
1. False anti- YHVH God teaching will continue and will be widely embraced; 2. The continued unfolding of the 2nd Seal, bringing further unrest as a result of peace being taken from the earth; 3. Scarcity of food - even to the degree of global famine - will affect billions; 4. Growing hatred for followers of Jesus Christ will accelerate. This will manifest itself in many ways - e.g., calls to compro- mise toward lukewarmness (that is, new pressures to fall away), dark misrepresentation, even murderous acts; 5. The effects of II Timothy 3:1-5 will further foster hate for truth and love - note well: Truth and Love as defined by Creator God; 6. A world leader will come on the scene, one who the earth dwellers will not only follow but will also worship ... YES, this is the one who the Word of God calls the "antichrist."
Given popular end-time fables and myths, we should also fore- warn - so as to expose false-hope teachings - regarding what won't happen between now and the signing of the Daniel 9 Covenant.
1. The true Church of God in Christ Jesus His Son will not depart from the faith but will continue living out the end time qualities to which we've been called (e.g., holiness, God-loving obedience, endurance, sound doctrine, etc.); 2. The rapture gathering of the Church will not take place. (It won't take place until AFTER the tribulation, the heavenly signs and the trumpet judgments. The final trumpet rapture gathering will take place prior to the pouring out of God's bowls of wrath upon the earth.); 3. The economic, political and other global crises will not go undiscerned by the True Church of God in Jesus Christ; 4. Followers of Jesus Christ will not cave in to the pressures from apostate churches and church leaders - the deceived christian community; 5. The True Church of Christ Jesus will persist in praising God and will rejoice in their tribulations (view "CLICK HERE" in blog B37;16 above).We will not neglect the worship of the one true God as we walk through the dark valleys of the end of days; 6. God's (eternal) New Covenant people in Christ will not fail to continue in Gospel evangelism.
"But what then?! What will happen after the event of the making of the Daniel 9 Covenant?" some have asked.
Precious omniscient, holy Father God, we bow before You and shout, "Blessed be!" [ Eph. 1:3 ] Thank You - by faith in Your sure promises before the fact - THANK YOU for graciously allowing us discerning endurance through these times. We praise Your holy name. In Jesus Christ's dear name we pray, amen.
Week of 10/17-21 (B42;16) [ FB ]
Our BEST Handouts
In God's precious mercy and grace, He has allowed us to pull together edifying handouts over the years. Some of you have asked for a list of these (as opposed to finding them scattered through our many web sites).
While we do list some of these quality resources at other web locations, we've decided to respond to the requests (to list these tools) and to provide access to them here. ENJOY, and please share them with others!
Precious God of Truth, we praise You for Your Word. It is indeed a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. In addition to Your written Word, Father, we also praise You for Your incarnate Word, Your Son - God with us - Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. May Your Spirit have Your way in our lives unto Your glory and praise. In Christ Jesus' holy name we pray, amen.
Week of 10/24-28 (B43;16)
Sometimes Heroes Have Feet Of Clay
Have you heard and/or seen the news reports of those who make (dark) Joker/clown appearances? To some, the actual (that is, the real life) figure represented in these Joker images is their hero.
How SAD ... sad because this upcoming hero of fallen humanity will be the antichrist! The rule of this hero will eventually be filled with great evil, evil like the world has never experienced, though initially what will be promised will sound glorious and will even appear wonderful given the miraculous signs and wonders this false savior accomplishes.
Great News for those who commit to and follow the One True God: This soon-to-appear hero of lost humanity has feet of clay. His rule will be dark but it will be temporary. It will be replaced with YHVH God's eternal rule. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Please read Daniel 2 in order to set God's Counsel in proper context.
The final global kingdom of fallen man, antichrist and the dragon will be overcome by the LORD of lords and KING of kings, Jesus Christ. He is the Stone and when the Stone is thrown, He will begin His glorious millennial reign. May Yahweh God alone be praised.
Yes, one day Jesus Christ will put an end to all human rule. Given the current politics of our day, we LONG for this victory. And what a Day it will be!
Father God, we so welcome the Day of Christ ! Please bring on Your Son's initial appearing soon. Until then, please help us be Your faithful ambassadors who accurately represent Your beloved Son in every step we take, in every word we speak and in every thought we think. Help us, through Your Spirit's moving, to be those living sacrifices which You've called us to be ... unto Your glory and praise. In Jesus Christ's majestic name we pray, amen.
Week of 10/31 - 11/4 (B44;16)
Even So, Come Lord Jesus!
You've most likely heard this as a joke:
"Under Democrats, people exploit people; under Republicans, it's just the opposite!"
We would add this:
Under Libertarians, people exploit people; and yes, even under Constitutionalists, it's just the opposite - people exploit people.
But is this a laughing matter, really?
It is NOT ... or at least shouldn't be given how bad it's gotten ... so sad. "But God ..."
One day soon, Jesus Christ will return and set up God's millennial rule. In this context, global rule will be the BEST it's ever been since the dawn of human government (only thousands of years ago).
But even in this millennial rule of Christ, things won't be PERFECT due to the lingering presence of darkness. But Godwill even see the remaining evil to its proper place: the Lake of Fire. At this time - after the final judgment - all will exist in their "eternal state."
It's CRUCIAL to be found in Him - in Jesus Christ - at the day of accounting before the Great White Thrown.
Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen
Week of 11/7-11 (B45;16)
Blogs Turned Radio Broadcasts
In 2012 we started making regular radio broadcasts through Heart of the Savior Ministries. We continue, by our Lord's mercy and grace, to be invited back every month for new radio sessions. These radio opportunities lead us to make this appeal:
Catch our "Thus Says The Lord" broadcast live this Saturday (11/12) at 10:30 a.m. Simply go to www.truetalk800.com and click the "LISTEN LIVE" link for the half-hour message.
IF you miss Saturday's broadcast, you can also catch the same session at www.heartofthesaviorministries.org but you'll have to wait until it's posted in December. Just go to the "Broadcasts" page and you'll find the link.
"Thus Says The Lord" appeals are made on the basis of God's explicit Word. In light thereof, we take JOY in this expression of discipleship ministry to His Saints in Jesus Christ our sure Hope.
Remember: It is God's MESSAGE that's the important thing, NOT the messenger who brings it.
Father, thank You for YOU! We delight in You, the One true God. Help us honor You by aiding us in hearing AND heeding Your kind revelation to us. Thank You for the precious Counsel You extend therein. Please honor Your great name as Your Son's followers continue in their living-sacrifice offerings. May those who are especially experiencing the sufferings of Christ further discern Your close presence as they JOYFULLY endure. Unto Your glory and praise we pray ... in Christ Jesus' name, amen.
Week of 11/14-18 (B46;16)
On Balancing Crucial Bible Themes
Concerning qualities of our eternal Creator, J. Oswald Sanders brings this practical, theological advice:
"It is the teaching of Scripture that there are two principles in God, the proper relation between which must be born in mind in our theology. They are the principles of love and justice. The former desires to save sinners. But since God is the eternal infinite, and ethically perfect being, He cannot and will not violate the latter. Some way must be found for mercy and justice to meet and this they did in the transaction of the cross." (pg. 230 in the chapter, "The Atoning Work of Christ" in his book, The Incomparable Christ)
Dear Christian, God never asks us to compromise the faith for evangelistic purposes.
A friend of mine expressed feeling pressure from a campus minister who now agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court's definition of marriage. "We need to accept this so we can grow friendship with others whereby we can then gain their listening ear" was the main emphasis of appeal to my friend.
This perspective (of this campus minister) is not only flawed, it is dangerous - even to the one holding it. Why?
Because the pit into which this (possibly well-intended) person has fallen is lukewarm in the eyes of the One who saves. But it doesn't stop at lukewarmness! Consequences ensue. Many who fail to repent of moral apostasy will be told (by the Judge): "I never know you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." (see Mt. 7 where Christ Jesus more thoroughly outlines the good qualities of a true believer) The quote immediately above is taken from verse 23 in the NKJV.
We must correctly balance crucial Truths in light of the full Counsel of the Word of God, for half-truths are often used by darkness to deceive. In application ...
Q: On what grounds do we say "amen" to the love of God? (for example, as highlighted in John 3:16) A: On the basis of the Word of God
Q: On what grounds do we say "amen" to the expectations of God's applied qualities of justice and holiness in us, His people in Christ Jesus? (for one most practical example, see Mt. 7:13,14) A: On the basis of the Word of God
It's a both/and thing.
Does the above serve as an example of flawed circular reasoning (RE: the epistemic basis of our appeal) OR is this simply, due to the reality of Supreme Creator God, a gracious reality check from the same (and Savior) God?
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18 ; NKJV ; emphasis ours)
Almighty YHVH God, Your Counsel to us is most clear: One is without justification for rejecting You. Indeed, those who do so are without excuse. Father, save, we pray, the lost lambs who are still open to Your Spirit's ministry of softening hearts. Father, protect, we pray, those who are in the process of being saved. Help us ENDURE as You have so mandated. Lord God, we PRAISE YOU for both Your loving grace and Your holy justice. In the sweet name of Immanuel our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen
Week of 11/21-25 (B47;16)
Our LORD Jesus Has Not Yet Come; Our LORD Jesus Will Not Come ...
Fact based on God's sure Word - thus says the Lord ...
Jesus Christ has not yet returned in 2016 nor will He return in 2017.
Does this excuse us from ready expectancy ? [ Another Handout ] Absolutely not! In fact, as we see end-time signs unfold, we are Counseled to "look up" because our redemption draws near. Lk. 21
Does our Lord's delay mean we're not to be longing for His coming ? It's just the opposite! As wickedness grows to the proportion of the days of Noah and Lot (see Lk. 17), we cry out even more passionately: "Please come quickly Lord Jesus!"
Does His patient enduring allow us to put off Ambassadoring (e.g., salt & light; Gospel & discipleship efforts) on His behalf ? To the contrary, we abound, in HIS strength, in these God- honoring priorities!
Father God, we express our sincere gratitude to You. [ take a moment to express yours at this time, after all, it's the sweet THANKSGIVING Season ] Help us be ready as You have so outlined. Help us further long for Your Son's glorious return. Help us to be Your [faithful (obedient), loving, truthful*] adopted Representatives in Christ Jesus during this betrothal period which we're in. In our Savior's great name we pray, amen.
* John's material in the New Testament is SO encouraging along these lines! (see the Gospel of John, I,II,III John & Revelation)
Week of 11/28 - 12/2 (B48;16) [ FB ]
Dangerous End-Time Teachings Within Some Churches - Part 2
The following is a projection given some of the false teachings today.
1. Some will deny the upcoming global leader is the antichrist (for various reasons); 2. Some will encourage the believing community to join the "revival" which this spiritual leader pretends to (i.e., deceitfully) offer; 3. Some will use support for Israel and the upcoming Temple Project to justify concession during this round of deception; 4. Some will call for application of biblical appeals, appeals like the Nazis made to some Christians during WWII. These accusers will deny the full Counsel of the Word of God but will use some Bible principles to promote their lord's dark agenda (e.g., "You are suppose to obey the state!"); 5. Some will use false end-time teachings within some churches to try to warrant the taking of the mark.
Our counsel in response: Read HIS Counsel on these crucial matters! (We post, here on this site, quarterly reading schedules of end-time Bible prophecy for your benefit.)
Father God to Whom we will ALL give account, grace us, please, with Your Spirit's illumination whereby we can walk through the tribulation of these days. Thank You for ENDURANCE in Christ alone ! As we walk in Your/His Spirit, may patient endurance be one of the many God-honoring fruits we bear as a result of abiding in Your Vine. In His holy and precious name we pray, amen.
Week of 12/5-9 (B49;16)
The JOY Of The Lord Is Our Strength
Shortly after the finishing of the rebuilding of the wall around the city of Jerusalem, while the people of Israel continued to face opposition, they gathered together and heard readings from the Book of the Law of Moses. Those who read went on to tell the people who wept (at the reading of the Word), "This day is holy to the LORD your God, do not mourn nor weep." Nehemiah then went on to say, "... Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." After the Levites quieted the people, they "went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words [of the Law when explained] that were declared to them." (see Nehemiah 8)
To some imbalanced Evangelicals (who fail to walk in the PEACE and JOY of God due to disbelief in God's precious Counsel):
Read, take heart in, and heed God's faithful promises to us as outlined in His Word. Though we walk through the valleys of end-time shadows of death, put your emotions to joyful rest in light of God's sure Word.
To some imbalanced Evangelicals who fail to walk in the PEACE and JOY of God due to shortcomings in yielding to (e.g., listening to) God's Holy Spirit:
Walk in the Spirit and better live out the abundant Life the Spirit of Christ Jesus so graciously imparts. This includes the fruits of His peace and joy!
(RE: the "imbalances" above, we find [BOTH] some believers who emphasize the Word of God but who neglect the Spirit of God AND we find some believers who emphasize the Spirit of God but who neglect of explicit Word of God. Are we, His people, humble enough to acknowledge the imbalances in our personal lives? We hope so, for humility in this context is a good thing!) "BALANCE" is a big word.
Let's make 2017 (doing OUR part in Christ as God faithfully does His - Phil. 2:12,13!) the year we SHINE as the growing fires of tribulation from the world and from spiritual darkness rage. May we, like Polycarp* of old, relish in our personal experiences of the sufferings of Christ ... unto His glory and praise. (see Acts 4 & 5 ; I Peter ; Mt. 5:3-12 ; Revelation 12:11 & 14:12.)
Soon-coming King, we thank You for the JOY and PEACE You so graciously extend through Your Word and Your Spirit. Help us to walk in the Counsel we find therein. May we affirm both Your written Word and Your Spirit's key role in our lives. Unto Your glory and praise - blessed be! In Christ Jesus' sweet name we pray, amen.
* We will send you a free DVD copy of Polycarp's example of joyful endurance IF you make request for this resource. Simply snail- mail us at Endurance Ministries ; P.O. Box 92098 ; Portland, OR 97292 and enclose $5 for shipping and handling costs. Be sure to include your snail-mail address. Note: This offer is only available to U.S. residents currently living in the 50 states. For our many readers who reside abroad, we thank you for your kind under- standing as to our limitations in this regard.
Week of 12/12-16 (B50;16)
WHY We Emphasize "Readiness"
We emphasize biblical preparedness in light of God's very call to do so, especially during the days prior to the initial appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The most thorough and CLEAREST articulation of the days of the end are found in Matthew 24 & 25. The insights graciously given by our Lord Jesus are set in the context of chronology (vv. 4-31), though He kindly goes on to further illumine how we are to walk through the days of the end (in Mt. 24:32 - 25:30) by giving parabolic appeals, ones which highlight important aspects of walk during this time.
If you were to simply take time to read His how shall we now live instruction to us - read Mt. 24:32 - 25:30 - you would find lamp-unto-our-feet guidance so needed today. Would you give this precious part of His love letter to us a read over, even if it would be review? You would be edified and most encouraged in the caring Counsel He offers His sheep in need.
In addition to highlighting the love of Christ for us, we wish to mention another reason why we emphasize this call to be watchful.
We call for readiness because we, by God's mercy and grace, genuinely care! It is this God-given love for others which really does motivate our making appeals to heed our Lord's clear instruction along these lines.
So, "WHY do we emphasize 'readiness' ?"
Because it's the RIGHT thing to do!
Holy Father, Your Counsel is miraculous! We PRAISE Your dear name for revealing to us CRUCIAL things we need in order to shine forth Your glory during the days of the end. Sweet God of glory, thank You for helping us to be just what You've called us to be: READY. Thank You for disclosing needed insight to us in Your Word. We exalt You. We come into Your holy presence through Jesus Christ Your Son - our precious Savior. Amen
Week of 12/19-23 (B51;16)
Our 2017 Reading Schedule (January - March)
January 1 Revelation 1 January 2 Rev. 2 January 3 Rev. 3 ... etc. ... January 21 Rev. 21 January 22 Rev. 22 January 23 Mark 13 January 24 Matthew 24 January 25 Matthew 25 January 26 Luke 12 January 27 Luke 17 January 28 Luke 21 January 29 I Thessalonians 4 January 30 I Thessalonians 5 January 31 II Thessalonians 2
February 1 Psalm 101 February 2 Psalm 102 February 3 Psalm 103 ... etc. ... February 27 Psalm 127 February 28 Psalm 128
March 1 John 1 March 2 John 2 March 3 John 3 ... etc. ... March 20 John 20 March 21 John 21 March 22 I Peter 1 March 23 I Peter 2 March 24 I Peter 3 March 25 I Peter 4 March 26 I Peter 5 March 27 II Peter 1 March 28 II Peter 2 March 29 II Peter 3 March 30 Psalm 129 March 31 Psalm 130
Kind Abba God, continue to transform us into the image of Your beloved Son as we fellowship with You through the devotional reading of Your Word of Truth. THANK YOU God Most High. THANK YOU for Your love for us. By Your mercy and grace, we love You too! In Christ Jesus' holy name we pray. Amen
Week of 12/26-30 (B52;16)
Our Year-End Blog
Our Lord's example prayer (which He taught His followers to pray) is a wonderful way to close our 2016 blogs.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come ; Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen