Friday, September 30, 2011

"And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams"

There is a lot of attention being paid these days to a verse from Joel 2:28 and repeated by Peter in Acts 2:17. It says,

The Day of the LORD
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions."

Many people take this to mean that we should accept the dreams and prophecies of everyone these days because these are the latter days and, well, the verse says what it says. But let's take a close look at several interpretations for better decision-making.

Another interpretation is that it was fulfilled at Pentecost. It was Peter who repeated the prophecy from Joel, and the time was Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus had died and the moment the Holy Spirit came down. But if it was fulfilled at Pentecost, it was fulfilled at Pentecost. However, the verse's context is the Day of the Lord (judgment), not Pentecost. The full verse is:

It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.

29“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.

31“The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

32“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the LORD has said,
Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

At Pentecost, were there wonders in the sky and on the earth? Blood, fire and columns of smoke? Was the sun turned into darkness? And the moon into blood? No.

Now if we take the context, and the verses above the dreams verse and after the dreams verse point to the Day of the Lord, then let's look at the Day of the Lord.

Got Questions describes it this way- "The phrase “day of the Lord” usually identifies events that take place at the end of history (Isaiah 7:18-25) and is often closely associated with the phrase “that day.” One key to understanding these phrases is to note that they always identify a span of time during which God personally intervenes in history, directly or indirectly, to accomplish some specific aspect His plan."

It is not just one Day but a span of time, and we are told that span of judgment time will be either 7 or three and a half years (depending again on your interpretation of the Tribulation period). (Dan 9:27). The Joel verse begins by saying "After this". After what? The day of the Lord. So the dreaming and prophesying is not during the Tribulation but after: the Millennium period. Further, the prophecy speaks of survivors.

Finally, some people say that the dreaming and prophesying began at Pentecost and continues through the Tribulation, that it encompasses the entire Church Age period. I discount that interpretation because the entire Church Age period has not been the Day of the Lord. Also, it leaves the canon open for all manner of personal experience to be placed alongside the bible. We do have a kind of Charismatic Chaos going on now as a result of so many people deciding that is what the Joel verse means. People say they are prophets and others say that are having dreams and their experience is placed not only alongside but higher than the bible itself. Phil Johnson recounts the chaos that results when this happens: "They speak of Scripture as the "dead letter," compared to their modern prophecies, which they believe are "fresh and living words" from God. So they have effectively subjugated Scripture to questionable phenomena."

No, I believe the context of the verse shows us that the dreaming and prophesying will occur after the Tribulation, after the time when the sun was darkened and the pillars of fire came. After the survivors whom the LORD calls. After The Day. Not now.

Besides, why rely on dreams and prophesies of some person as proof of Jesus's work in the world, when their source cannot be 100% guaranteed? And when the bible as source, CAN?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are massive numbers of Muslims coming to Jesus through dreams?

Did you know that there are reports of massive amounts of Muslims coming to Christ without even having heard the Gospel? Yes. The reports say that they dream of Jesus and then they come to Christ. The website 'More Than Dreams,' which has recorded some of these testimonies says, "For decades, a phenomenon has been recurring in the Muslim world. Men and women – without any knowledge of the Gospel and without any contact with Christians – have been forever transformed after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ." There are many websites saying this, not just one.

Let's take a look at these claims.

First, as in any attempt to discern God's truth from personal claim, we hold the bible up as the absolute barometer. The bible is truth and nothing outside the bible can be said to be truth with the same certainty. Second, keep in mind that these are the end times, a time when the bible says we would be exposed to tremendous amounts of deception (1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 24:5; Acts 20:29 etc). Third, subjective human experience is always the worst judge of reality. Always.

So let's take a look at Muslims and dreams. In general terms, do they discount them? Accept them? What's the deal here? In his paper, "Dream Encounters in Christian and Islamic Societies and Its Implications for Christian Ministry and Mission," John K., Th.M. wrote

"In Islamic societies, the importance of dreams and visionary experience there has been continuous from the tradition of Muhammad up to the present (Hermansen 1997: 2) Islamic literature lists over five thousand references alone devoted to dream interpretation. No wonder dreams continue to be highly respected as a means of divine communication among folk Muslims. Among Muslims, dreams are thought to warn against impending danger, guide him to a saint, solve judicial problems or interfere with political decisions (Schimmel 1980:123). Many Hadiths also show Muhammads expertise at dream interpretation. Good dreams are attributed to Allah but bad ones to Satan (Parshall 1994:154)."

So from the earliest age, a Muslim adherent is taught to accept dreams.

He continues, "Jesus is always identified as a Muslim prophet and this must be constantly borne in mind, for he is after all, a figure molded in an Islamic environment. ... among folk Muslims, Sufis and certain African societies where dreams are considered superior to reality." Maybe that is why this 'Jesus" is coming to Muslims and not Hindi or Buddhists or Mormons or atheists or Wiccans.

To the Muslim, our true God Jesus is named Isa. But their Isa did not die for sins, was not resurrected, is not a deity, was taken to heaven alive by Allah, and is second in command to the 12th Imam, the final Mahdi who comes to take over the world to present it to Allah for his coming. In their end time eschatology found in the Koran, Isa recants his Christianity and forces all to become Muslim. If they do not, their heads are chopped off. It is written in their book, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah." and also "And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.)'' The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, 4:159So Isa will break the cross and kill the Christians (People of the Scripture.)

In many of these testimonies the Muslim says that it was Isa who came to tell them to repent. Jesus is Jesus and Isa is a false god created within a satanic false system. Just because they share the name does not mean they are the same. Because Jesus cannot lie, He would never identify Himself in any dream as Isa, a false god who recants His own death on the cross, breaks the cross, and kills his children! So any and all of those testimonies can be rejected immediately.

As for the rest, we look at the bible. Romans 1:18-20 says God revealed Himself in creation, so that all are without excuse. This verses mean that His omnipotence, creative power, and exercise of that power are obvious and evident. None who live on this planet will have an excuse to bear on judgment day. As Clarke's Commentary says, "The invisible things of him - His invisible perfections are manifested by his visible works, and may be apprehended by what he has made; ..."

Why would God use dream revelations when He has already made it clear that He exists through His work of creation, so much so, that all are without an excuse? He would not.

Next, the bible says that in these latter days God has spoken to us by His word, (Son). "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." (Hebrews 1:1-2). Either you believe that or you do not. The Gospel of the holy bible is the only reliable barometer of truth, and yet many of these testimonies say that the Muslims are converting to Jesus worship 'without even having heard the Gospel.'

Matthew Henry Commentary says, "God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son."

Third, the bible says the canon is closed. It closed with Revelation 22:18-19. "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

There's nothing more to add, period. Personal visits, dreams, extra revelations are not going to happen, and further, if anyone adds to them by claiming to have had them, they will endure the fury of the Lord. With the close of Revelation, the canon is closed. The gift of prophecy in its new revelatory sense is ended, no more prophets will speak, no more apostles will write, no more words will come from from heaven, no more spiritual visions will be seen. Those who tamper with truth, falsify it, mitigate its message, to alter it or going to feel the vengeance of God. Claiming that 'Isa' came to them and spoke truths lands squarely here in this list with plagues risked being added to you.

Therefore we must ask, "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11). The verse does not say, "and will come also to Muslims in dreams, and give a tour of heaven to Colton Burpo, and take Mary K. Baker to hell and back..." The canon is closed and personal revelations are ceased. One-on-one visits from Jesus are to be looked upon with skepticism.

Note also that the verse says 'this SAME Jesus." Why? Is there a different Jesus? Yes. We are told that there will be false Jesuses. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." (Mt 24:5). That verse seems tailor-made for the Muslim conversions.

A great many of the reporting agencies stating that the conversions are happening are in themselves false organizations. For example, one report is from Rick Love, formerly Director of the International Frontiers and now working with the Yale Reconciliation Project. The Yale project makes attempts to reconcile Muslims to Christians through their "common bond of their Abrahamic faiths." The writer of the paper I mentioned above called  Dream Encounters in Christian and Islamic Societies and Its Implications for Christian Ministry and Mission is a " Christian Missionary Leader for Muslims." The paper appeared He concluded his paper by proposing that evangelists are missing an opportunity by failing to connect through dreams with Wiccans, New Agers, Muslims, Native Americans etc who rely so heavily on dreams. He called for "anthropological studies combined with missiological strategies" to further investigate.  Just because "missionaries" are reporting this phenomenon does not mean that the missionaries themselves have a true grasp of the Gospel or are even Christians.

Mormons have based their faith on dream and vision appearances from angel Moroni to Joseph Smith. "Smith claimed at the age of 15 to have had a personal visit from God, who introduced him to Christ. Jesus supposedly told him not to join any church because they were "all wrong ... all their creeds were an abomination in His sight, and that those professors (Christians) were all corrupt" (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, 2:18-19)." Do we accept or reject Smith's dream, and if it is rejected, then why accept the Muslim dreams of Jesus appearing to them? And on what basis is one accepted and one rejected? You see the difficulty of sorting through validating this dream or that dream. Personal experience is no substitute for the bible.

Why do so many people accept personal testimony and not the word of God, especially when the testimony flies in the face of God's word? Why do we believe this method of conversion is true when the bible tells us that deception is rampant? At the end of days many will be deceived. Many will say to Jesus, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name and drive out demons and perform miracles?' And He will send them away because they never knew the real Jesus, this SAME Jesus.

I can't say that all conversion dreams are false and I can't say that all visits from Jesus are untrue. But I can point you to the bible and give you verses which tell us things, and give you thoughts to ponder in discernment. All this personal revelation has the unfortunate effect of pointing people away from Scripture. It teaches them to seek truth through subjective ways like in private conversation with God, prophecies, dreams, and visions. It denigrates God’s eternal, inspired Word and causes people to look beyond the Bible for more intimate forms of revelation from God. New revelation, dreams, and visions are considered as binding on the believer’s, and the hearer's, conscience as the book of Acts or the Gospel of Matthew.

Personal experience is always to be looked upon with suspicion, and the bible is always to be held in highest truth. Beyond that, please use caution these days in deciding what to believe when you hear 'Muslims are coming to Christ through dreams."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10,000 barrels of yellowcake uranium found in Libya, shocking observers (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Also this news from ABC tonight:
Nightmare in Libya: Thousands of Surface-to-Air Missiles Unaccounted For
"The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya's huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses." [emphasis mine]

Sigh. The civil war in Libya has spawned a free-for-all plundering of stockpiled military weapons of mass destruction, it seems.

Libya is a Gog Magog nation, a nation that Ezekiel 38:5 prophesies will attack Israel in the last days. This means it is aggressive, and it has the means to join a coalition that includes Turkey which has the second largest army in NATO, and Russia, America's traditional counter-superpower.

While all eyes have been in Iran's nuclear program, Syria's chemical program, and Israel's diplomatic program, 10,000 barrels of uranium yellowcake was discovered in Sahba, Libya- unguarded. Iran is reportedly very interested in what is happening in the area, which was unsecured until two days ago. Many barrels are open. If this material, which is worth a fortune on the black market, fell into the wrong hands it would be devastating.

Yellowcake is used in the preparation of uranium fuel for nuclear reactors, for which it is smelted into purified UO2 for use in fuel rods for pressurized heavy-water reactors and other systems that use natural unenriched uranium. (source)

AL Jazeera English has the story, which opens with a few sentences and continues on video. The prophecy in Revelation 6:4 that peace will be taken from the earth is getting easier and easier to see nearing.

above, stills from the video news spot.

Time lapse of night sky through Very Large Telescope. Beautiful!

Incredible time lapse short movie of the earth's sky at night through the Very Large Telescope observatory in Chile, one of the finest observatories in one of the darkest sites on the planet.

Discover Magazine says,"A couple of things I want to point out: at 1:10 into the video, you see the Milky Way rising majestically over the mountains, and you can see a faint, whitish glow stretching diagonally across the field of view, at an angle to the galaxy. That’s called the zodiacal light, and is caused by the reflection of sunlight by dust in the plane of our solar system. It’s probably due to eons of collisions grinding asteroids into dust; they tend to orbit the Sun in the same plane as the planets. It’s actually a disk of dust, but since we’re in it, we see it as a line across the sky. It’s pretty faint, and you need dark skies to spot it."

A couple of things I want to point out. First,  it is very beautiful. The following verses are appropriate to ponder this beauty:

'When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;" (Psalm 83)

"He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. (Psalm 147:4)

"Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing." (Isaiah 40:26.

We serve a mighty and wonderful Creator!! Watch in awe and praise Him!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Are there more earthquakes?

I updated this data through November 6, 2011 in a new chart. Please visit this blog entry to see the new data.

This question comes up a lot. We know that in the end times Jesus said that "there will be earthquakes in diverse places." He also said that there would be upheavals in the cosmos and in the weather. We know that there will be huge quakes in the Tribulation, mega-quakes that topple every wall, every mountain, and submerge the islands (Ez 38:20; Rev 6:12; Rev 16:20). Earthquakes are important to wonder about because it is one of the major ways God speaks to us and it is also a major way He judges. Earthquakes are important prophetically, spiritually, and personally, too. There is nothing more unsettling than the very earth beneath our feet giving way. With this in mind, many people believe that there has been an increase in seismic activity in advance of these prophesied events. So? Has there been?

I've presented graphs several times that show a history of an upward trend. The most recent graph was updated September 26, 2011.

The source is US geological Survey and the trends are a statistically solid ten-year outlook. But yet people still wonder, are earthquakes on the rise? USGS keeps saying no, it only SEEMS like there is because we have placed a higher number of seismic instruments around the world. So here are some other people who did the data and found, guess what? The incidents of earthquakes are on the rise.

The Deccan Chronicle is the largest circulated English daily in south India and the third largest English daily newspaper in India overall. Their article from yesterday states that "Killer earthquakes are on the rise."
The last decade has seen an intensification in earthquake activities. The 2004 Sumatra quake in Indonesia, which registered 9.3 on the Richter scale, has triggered stress in many areas. The Sikkim earthquake could be a manifestation of this stress. Earthquakes, some scientists believe, are on the rise. The earthquake in Fukushima in Japan had a magnitude of 8.9 and was the largest in the recorded history of Japan. The February 2010 Chile earthquake registered a similar magnitude as the Japan quake while the January 2010 quake in Haiti had a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale." The author continues int he article, making the plea that with evidence showing killer quakes are on the rise and with the example of Japan's thorough training, preparation and building codes, India could do much better in those areas given the data and what is to come.

Even more, this CBN article from September 21:
"In the Bible, Jesus talks about "earthquakes in various places" as signs of the end times. As several powerful quakes rocked various places around the world last year and so far this year, many are finding those words even more compelling. Even the heartland of America has seen an increase in the number of quakes. The year 2010 began with a deadly earthquake in Haiti. But before the year ended, more than 20 earthquakes struck worldwide, reaching a magnitude of 7.0 or higher -- the largest number of major earthquakes in 40 years. That trend is continuing in places like Japan, Guatemala, the India-Nepal border, and New Zealand."

"Oklahoma has definitely seen a spike in quake activity. More than 1,000 were recorded in 2010 alone, most too small to be felt. Before that, the largest number of quakes recorded in a year -- felt and not felt -- was 167. Before 2009, Oklahomans experienced on average only about three earthquakes strong enough to be felt each year. In 2009, that number jumped to 43. To the east, Arkansas is experiencing a number of earthquakes as well. More than 800 have hit the north central part of the state since September. The largest one to shake Arkansas in 35 years struck in February with a magnitude 4.7."

Much more at link.

So what does this mean? It means that no matter what, unrepentant sinners will not inherit eternal life. They go to hell. Death can come at any time, by heart attack, car crash, or earthquake. It means that natural disasters n advance of the Tribulation are ramping up just like birth pangs, as Jesus said would happen. It means time is short, and He is coming soon to catch away His church and to judge the world. It means He is merciful, shaking us so that we will ponder these things and repent. Here are "Four Reasons why God is Shaking America & The World: Text of “Wake Up Call” sermon. Here is the conclusion to that sermon by Joel Rosenberg:

"Let’s be clear: the Bible tells us that these shakings are going to continue, and get worse, like birth pangs, increasing in frequency and intensity — contraction and release, contraction and release. Our Father is trying to wake us up before it is too late. Our Lord Jesus Christ is giving us time…..
  • to rekindle our first love with Him
  • to embrace Him
  • to eat of the Bread of Life
  • to drink of the living water
  • to follow Him no matter what the journey
  • to serve Him no matter how high the cost
  • to discover His mercies afresh every morning
  • to discover that when the world is being shaken, you don’t have to be – not in your heart, not in your soul – because your hope and trust is fully in Him.
"And, “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22).

Where are you tonight? Are you ready to meet Jesus face to face?"

News of the Weird: Blue fireball falls on house, 1 dead, 6 injured

The story was posted today, Monday September 26th so I think it's unlikely that it was from the satellite... This is from Google translate, original link here in Spanish. The town where the fireball fell from heaven is south of Buenos Aires, Argentina

"The incident occurred minutes before 2 am, in a building located on the intersection of Luis Vernet and Los Andes, a town of Monte Grande, of Esteban Echeverría. The causes of the explosion are still unknown, but locals say they witnessed the fact that "a ball of fire fell from heaven." "He began to feel much smell like gunpowder," recalled one person who lives in the area told C5N. "There is no explanation for what happened," said Cayetano, a local resident, told Radio 10, then adding, "a neighbor ran because he saw a fireball falling blue." The commander of the local fire department, Guillermo Pérez, remarked that still do not know the cause of the incident, but acknowledged that the first version is aimed at an "object that fell from heaven." "I heard that version, but I can not say at first. Must be bound to expertise to really see what happened, "he said in a statement to Radio 10. Perez confirmed that two trade houses and" were completely destroyed. "In fact, a woman who was trapped under the rubble lost life while six others were rescued and were taken for care at a local hospital, told C5N firefighters who work on site. The victim is one of the people who lived in the building where the explosion was generated. As the injured, three belong to that house and three adjoining the house, hit by the blast. All the injured were out of danger, said C5N. According to the story of neighbors, the outbreak was felt even in adjoining towns like Ezeiza and Temperley, south of Buenos Aires."

Well. What do you think it was?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Banksters on balcony drink champagne and mock Wall Street protesters

Did you know that thousands of people are in New York city now, protesting on Wall Street? Fox News reports, "The "Occupy Wall Street" protest is entering its second week. Demonstrators said Saturday that they are protesting bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and Georgia's execution of Troy Davis. The Troy Davis thing was added into the protest recently, but the Occupy Wall Street movement has been planned for a while and it focuses on the people's displeasure in this nation's finances and economics. Bankster bailouts are especially at the center of the protests. People from all over the country arrived at NYC to do their part to let the Administration and the top influence makers know they were not happy. They are upset, in pain, on the verge of poverty. They want a say and they want someone to hear their pleas for change and justice.

They were greeted by fat cat bankers in tuxedoes on balconies, eating canapes and toasting them mockingly with glasses of champagne.

In case you can't watch a video, here are some stills from the protest as the crowd went by 55 Wall St.

There were a LOT of people there protesting. They were concerned, making a statement with their feet and their voice as we are still allowed to do in this great country. Yet I am ashamed for the people on the balcony. My opinion at the end, but first, the bible-

I've been talking for a while about the phenomenon called wealth gap, or wealth skew. Anyone who has visited or lived in a Third World nation knows this is not a new thing. The very rich have always lived alongside the very poor. But in America, we have had generations of a thriving middle class, and the obvious gaps between the very rich and the poverty stricken have not always been so obvious. In many other nations, too, a middle class has arisen that allowed a majority of their populations to live in relative comfort.

In addition, people seem to think that the Tribulation will be filled with 100% poor, moaning in the streets as dogs lick their sores, like the poor man Lazarus outside the rich man's house. (Luke 16:19-31). But the situation will be very much like Lazarus and the rich man, because there will be rich men living in the Tribulation too. The only difference is that there will be zero compassion. There will be the very rich during the time of Jacob's Trouble, known to the Gentiles as the Tribulation but they care nothing for the poor. They care so little the rich even fail to pay their employees, thinking nothing of it. (James 5:4) That a thriving trade in luxuries has been ongoing is evident from Revelation 18:9-14 and the kings of the earth, the rich, the mighty men, those that lived in splendor exist too. These are the people who buy the luxuries

Lament for Babylon
"And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’  “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them."

The Lord has a lot to say about greed, cheating, and squandering resources for your own gain. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

--Just balances (scales)-"You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:36)
--"A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress." (Hosea 12:7)
--“Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?" (Micah 6:11)

The scene at the balcony sickens. It sickens us for so many reasons. I am a capitalist and I like earning my pay through hard work. I admire people who come to America and by sweat of their brow, make it in this country and provide for their family. My great-grandfather came here from Italy in 1899 with some money in his pocket and by the 1920 census he had a wife, 6 kids, and a solid business. That business provided for three generations of his American descendants.

But the people on the balcony, or people like them, we discovered all too devastatingly at the 2008 crash, did not make their money honestly. Through false real estate deals, nepotism, bailouts, inflated bonuses, stolen pension funds, junk bond manipulation and the like, many of them cheated honest people to get where they are.

The people on the ground are marching because they are in economic pain, losing their standard of living, they know someone who is hungry...and the people on the balcony did not even have enough compassion not to mock their concerns and stay inside, never mind ponder their future and how they got to where they are. Compassion for others and honest introspection seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

The verses in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are being fulfilled now and will continue. And in another place, Paul said, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." (1 Tim 6:9). James 5:2 predicts, "Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes."

We can become angry over such displays of greed and hate such as those on the balcony exhibited, in this country I no longer even recognize, or we can have compassion on them ourselves, knowing that not only will moths and rust destroy them, but unless they repent, they will live with a worm that never dies. (Mark 9:48). Where will their champagne be then?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UN Security Council to take up Palestinian bid on Monday

Haaretz is reporting that in "an unusually fast" move, the UN Security Council will take up the Palestinian proposal to become a full member as a sovereign nation on Monday. It was only on Friday that Palestinian Authority representative Abbas submitted his proposal. All proposals must first go to the Security Council and attain a majority vote, without any vetoes from the 5 permanent members, in order to go forward to the General Assembly. The US is one of the five permanent members having that coveted veto, proposal killing power. The US has said they will veto the proposal. Personally, what the US says and what the US does are two different things. I will believe it only after I see it happen.

Haaretz reports, "The UN Security Council will take up the Palestinian bid for full statehood and UN membership on Monday. This is an unusually fast development compared to the normal tempo of the United Nations. Council president Nawaf Salam of Lebanon told reporters on Friday that the 15-member council would begin discussions at 1900 GMT Monday to take up the application submitted earlier Friday by Abbas to the UN Secretary General. Ban passed the document hours later to the council, whose approval is needed for UN membership and full recognition of statehood." I believe that 1900 Greenwich Mean Time is 2pm Eastern Standard Time. Although the Russian representative said it will be at 3:00.

The interesting thing about the proposal, aside from the global seizure we are currently having regarding the intractable Palestinian push to destroy Israel, is that the world's attention is now on that routine and arcane administrative body that until now, no one really seemed to care about.

But at the moment, all eyes are on not only the body, but are questioning its function. Security Council reform is on the UN's agenda this session. Everyone is saying things like, 'with the majority of the world wanting the Palestinians to get their state, why should the US be the only one to hold up progress?' I am not making that up. Time Magazine's queries are representative:

"U.N. Security Council: Is It Time to Veto the Veto?"
The U.S. veto, wielded in opposition to a generally-held international consensus, is then perhaps the most unilateral gesture one can make at the world's most multilateral institution. Why in the 21st century should anybody still have the right to do this? the Security Council with its five veto-wielding permanent members — is a reflection of a long-lapsed status quo. It's possibly the most glaring anachronism in international affairs."

Really, Time? You're just starting to ask these questions now, at the moment the world is teetering on the edge of the most prophetic and dastardly actions ever? The article continues-

"Do the U.K. and France—shorn of their empires, great armies and mired in debt-ridden Europe—really both deserve vetoes? If Russia is a permanent member now, why isn't India, with its far larger population and more dynamic economy? And what about Japan and Germany, two of the world's most important economies, still kept at arm's length in this forum because of their being on the losing side of a war fought some seven decades ago. There's no shortage of nits to pick."

Russia says they plan to vote yes on Monday. Of course. In the not-too-distant future, they will attack Israel and try to obliterate her (Ez 38:2-3). The other four permanent, veto-wielding members are China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. China is being cagey as to their vote, but they said in August, "Wu announced in Cairo that China would "support" the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital - while cannily omitting the detail as to whether China would actually vote for the statehood measure in the Security Council." The UK is hesitant. "Britain continued to hesitate yesterday in the face of increasingly frantic scenes at the UN, where delegates are preparing for the climax of the Palestinian statehood bid." But the same article says that "The US is reluctant to veto the motion, fearing a violent reaction in the Arab world."

The Sri Lanka Sunday Times says ominously that "World peace is at stake".
"The European nations, especially France and Britain are divided between their alliance with the US and the justification for Palestine's recognition." A rock and a hard place, for sure.

The upshot is put succinctly by this AP story carried in the Kansas City Star:
"The Palestinians would need nine of the 15 Security Council votes to accept their bid, and forecasts are difficult because member states have little to gain from making their intentions clear this early." So we don't know. But we won't have long to wait to find out.

The scenarios stemming from actions this week are endless. I can't even fathom how things might turn out. Maybe the US does not veto and the Palestinians attain their goal. Maybe the US does, and the Palestinians use that action as a justification of our being a tyrant standing in the way of their legitimacy as a people, and bomb us. The Security Council's reform is on the session's agenda, maybe the US veto gives them the impetus to change things and the Palestinians get their state after a while. Maybe Israel decides she has had enough and begins a military action that fulfills the Psalm 83 battle. Maybe nothing will happen. But at some point, something will, and soon I believe. Like before the year is out.

"According to one Palestinian-based poll, 70.5% of Palestinians expect a third intifada (uprising) to begin this autumn if the deadlock in negotiations is not broken."

So now we have another date to look toward in the Lord's progressing plan to ultimately bring an end to sinful humanity: Monday afternoon. These dates are getting shorter and shorter as we hurtle toward each of our individual ultimate fates.

World's 7 Billionth Person Arriving Soon

From the Hindu Press recently, they report that the world's 7 billionth person will soon be added to the world's population. It is a really interesting (short) article. First the article and then the prophetic math.

"Before long--if not already--a baby will be born who will take the global population above 7 billion for the first time. No one is sure; no statistician would be prepared to say exactly when this event takes place."

"The rate of population growth has soared over the course of recorded history. When Jesus was born, there are thought to have been around 300 million people on earth. The one-billion mark was reached only after 1800. As many as a billion have been added in just the last 11 years."

"David Bloom of the Harvard School of Public Health speaks of the multitude of unpredictable factors in estimating future population growth: "Among them are infectious diseases, war, scientific progress, political change and our capacity for global cooperation."

"It is generally assumed that population growth will tail off, with U.N. predictions for 2050 ranging from 8.0 to 10.5 billion. Assuredly the proportions will shift among the continents, driven by high birth rates in Asia and Africa. India (now at 1.2 billion) will soon take the lead from China (currently at 1.3 billion). Nigeria, Africa's most populous country today with 162 million, is expected to have almost 750 million by the middle of the century."

"Increasing population creates greater pressure on land, food and energy resources, already a source of contention between countries. Water wars are predicted between neighbouring countries. The environmental organization WWF estimates that with current usage patterns, the population of 2050 would require the resources of three planets. We will be forced to change our habits. "In the next 40 years we will have to produce the same amount of food as over the last 8,000 years," the WWF's Jason Clay believes. He notes that far too much is still thrown away in the industrialized world."

If we look at the information in this article through a prophetic lens, and reduce the figures to match certain verses, the results will be startling. Revelation 6 begins the wrath (judgments) and the judgments come quickly. Remember, there are 7 seal judgments, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls, not to mention maybe 7 thunders to be completed within 7 years. So in Revelation 6:8's fourth seal, the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse is unleashed to kill a quarter of the world's population. A quarter of 7 billion is one billion seven hundred fifty million people dead in one swoop. The number of people remaining will be five billion two hundred fifty million.

Then a short while later in Revelation 9:18, "A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths." These are the demons unloosed from the abyss. So if a third of the remaining population is killed, that means one billion seven hundred fifty million die in one swoop. This leaves three billion five hundred million. We started with 7 billion. Now we have 3 billion. But wait, there's more!

Ezekiel 38-39 describe a future battle between Iran/Russia/Turkey/Sudan/Libya/Armenia and others, against what turns out to be God.. Many scholars believe that this battle will take place before the tribulation begins, or at least immediately at the threshold. Why?

Nathan Jones explains, "Ezekiel 39:1-8 describes the tremendous aftermath of the foiled Gog-Magog invasion. Before the massive coalition army can fire a single shot from their launching point on the mountains of Israel, God steps in and supernaturally devastates not only the invaders but also their homelands as well. Russia, Iran, Turkey, the 'Stans, Sudan, Libya and other Muslim nations are reduced to a wasteland, and only one-sixth of their combined army remains, exiled to Siberia (Joel 2:20). For the nearly three-quarter million to a billion corpses left by God's hand to rot in the land of Israel, the biggest cleanup process in all of history is ready to begin. Ezekiel 39:9-20 unearths the gory funeral purification ritual."

Ezekiel 39:9-10 states that it takes 7 years to clean up the dead. There are so many dead it takes that long to bury them. How many dead? As Mr Jones mentioned, some estimates are as high as a billion. His essay continues with how he arrived at the math. So now we are down to 2 billion left alive on earth.

Then of course, there are deaths occurring from fallout from the wars, famines, natural causes, etc and we can see quite rapidly the stark reality of life on earth during the Tribulation when Jesus says that if He delayed there would be no flesh left on earth. (Mt 24:22).

But He will not delay, and prior to any of this beginning, He will snatch His children up from the world to be with Him. Glorious! Judgment is coming and it will be devastating physically, spiritually, and as we see from the above, numerically. But Glory is coming too, and if you wish to be on the side of Light, you must repent and appeal to the Judge for a pardon for your sins. Do not delay, or you might soon become a forgotten statistic.

Pouring yourself out as a drink offering on the Chief Cornerstone

Yesterday I wrote about the foundation stones of the city of New Jerusalem being inscribed with the names of the 12 Apostles, and Jesus being the chief cornerstone (Rev 21:14). I remarked on the verse from Ephesians 2:19-21:

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,"

Jesus is the chief cornerstone, the apostles are the foundation, the 12 tribes are the gates, and you and I are each a stone that fits together building the city walls surrounding the glory of the LORD Who dwells there. We are not only His church, His bride, but we are His temple.

Today I want to turn to the cornerstone and talk about the drink offering.

I was thinking about Paul's wonderful final words: "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;" (2 Timothy 4:6-7). Paul said four wonderful things here. In the second verse, the trio of things Paul says He did for the Lord are a model for us: fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith. Good principles for all of us today. But curiously in the first part of the verse, Paul declares he has "poured himself out as a drink offering." Hmmm. What is a drink offering, anyway?

The first time a drink offering is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 35:14. It is only one of two offerings to be given before the Law was delivered, the other being the burnt offering. We hear a lot about the sacrificial offerings and the sin offerings and the trespass offerings, but not a lot about the drink offering.

In the Genesis verse, God descends and speaks to Jacob. It is in this verse that God changes Jacob's name to Israel and promises certain blessings over him and his descendants. (Gen 35: 9-14). Then God ascends.

In verse 15, Jacob/Israel then sets up a pillar. The Hebrew word for pillar is "something stationary, i.e. A monumental stone."

"Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, 'Bethel'."

Bethel means "house of God". So not only the geographical location was named House of God, but Jacob laid the cornerstone of the house of God that is referred to in Revelation, which shows us the competed house, the City of God- New Jerusalem. The first stone was laid at this moment, actually and metaphorically, and so the cornerstone is our Savior.

Jacob next poured out wine as a drink offering. As mentioned, the drink offering was one sacrifice given prior to the Law. And except for this one time, the drink offering was not meant to be given alone, it always accompanied other offerings.

"In contrast to the Levitical offerings, which all speak of the work of Christ each in a different aspect, the drink offering speaks of the joy in the complement of that work. This explains why the drink offering is not mentioned in the opening up of the book of Leviticus which speaks of man’s approach to God. This approach can only be on the basis of the death of Christ, and so there we have detailed all the offerings except the drink offering, which speaks not of the work or the death of Christ, but the joy of God in the completed work."

The Chief Cornerstone being laid is the beginning of that work, the Apostles who continued that work are the foundation stones, and each believer is a temple stone fitted together building up His New Jerusalem. When the full number of believers has been reached, (Romans 11:25) the City will be finished and we will be raptured to it.

There is much more to the drink offering of course, I am only scratching the surface. Paul's reference to pouring himself out is a good reminder to us, that we need to pour ourselves out. Pouring indicates a steady stream. Not meted out in discrete chunks at a slow pace, with gaps. But a steady stream of continual offering of our life's blood to Jesus. At your life's end, or at the rapture, will you be able to say you are emptied, having fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith? Have you flung yourself on the Chief Cornerstone? Are you pouring yourself out to the Lord daily in a steady stream?

We kiss the Blarney Stone, we touch the Temple stone, we step on Plymouth Rock, kings are crowned on the Stone of Scone, Muslims pray before the Black Stone of the Kaaba, but they are all pretender stones. In each of those stones only a part of the body and soul is given. The Chief Cornerstone is Jesus and the only way to approach Him is by pouring your entire self upon it. It is the least we can do, because He first poured Himself out upon us.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The foundation stones of faith: 12 ordinary men

I think a lot about the 12 Apostles. I think of how amazing it must have been to have been so ordinary, living an ordinary life of fishing and raising families and going to Sabbath services, and then suddenly meet the Messiah. These men were raised in the Jewish faith. They certainly knew the prophesies and the scriptures. They were faithful and intelligent. Just like you or me.

Imagine if we were raised in a faith and learned the scriptures but suddenly a man came walking along who spoke like none other you have ever heard. The rumor going around, as he gathered followers, was that he is a prophet or an angel or a king. As you study and match the prophesies with the scriptures and look at the man, would you dare to apply them to this man? It is a big step. And yet each of the 12 took that step of faith.

It is all the more extraordinary that they did so without the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament times, the Spirit came upon a person, and anointed them. It wasn't until after Pentecost that the Spirit came inside them to illuminate truth to their minds and heart.

Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Acts 2:4: "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

So they were just men, unadorned with any indwelling Spirit, going about their workaday routines, when BLAM! They met up with eternity walking in their midst. That they recognized it and even better, hung in there, is amazing.

Here is a short .pdf titled Twelve Ordinary Men, that you might enjoy. A paragraph is devoted to each Apostle.

We tease the apostles in our minds, chucking at Peter's impetuousness, or mourning over his denial of Jesus on that fateful day, thinking, "HOW could he have done that?" We shake our heads when the Apostles wondered where they were going to get dinner after Jesus had just fed the 5000, and we tut-tut when we see them panic in the stormy boat and ask Jesus to wake up and do something. Even the Lord called them slow learners and spiritually dense. (Luke 24:25). But they had walked so far with Jesus on faith alone, carnal faith, not in the Spirit. That is amazing. Even more, they had seen miracles and heard words and seen Jesus transfigured into glory itself. How did their minds compute it? What they were experiencing was an upside-down life so far from the realms of normalcy, and yet they hung in there.

When many followers left Jesus after he preached a hard thing, Jesus turned to the Apostles and asked them if they were going to leave too, Peter said,

"Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)

And again, Peter nailed it when Jesus asked the Apostles "Who do you say that I am?" and Peter said "You are Messiah." (Luke 9:20)

Would you have done as well? A man coming into your workplace and saying 'Follow me (John 1:43) and you do?

So here's the thing. I like to focus on Jesus and His justice. He is the judge. He is Holy. "Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,"  (2 Thess 7b-9).

But here is another piece of justice to focus on. Thanks to these 12 ordinary men, they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). We owe them a heavy debt of gratitude they that indeed took up their crosses and followed Jesus every day, unto their own deaths. Our faith is founded upon their acts which is founded upon Jesus' great act.

"for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, (Eph 2:18-21)

Therefore, the city New Jerusalem will also have a foundation of the apostles. Literally.

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Rev 21:14)

For anyone who has gone to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC and seen the wall, you know it is a simple design. It is highly emotional, though, to stand before it. Why? It is the names. The names of those who served and those who died in honor of that service evokes a tremendous flood of tears. It is the names that does it.

For all of eternity, as we walk the streets of New Jerusalem, we will see the Apostles' names emblazoned on the foundation stones. Along with the chief cornerstone being Jesus, we will be reminded of His great sacrifice upon which our faith is built, and the Apostles faithful witness and service to Him, upon which our religion is built. How much more emotional will it be to see those names there? Highly, I'm sure. I'm grateful to such men who built up the faith by being witnesses to the great things Jesus had done. I'm very glad each of them has a named stone in the great City of God. It is just one more thing to look forward to when we get there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How the truth pierces hearts

I wanted to share the beauty of the Gospel and the beauty of children. When the twain meet it is a glorious thing.

The truth as expressed in basic bible doctrines grabs you. Some people gasp and twist away. Others sit absorbed, never being able to get enough. The entire book of Acts is an ode to the transforming power of truth. But make no mistake, either way, the Gospel affects people. They either “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” because they do not want to submit to the Creator (Romans 1:18) or they accept it on faith and receive eternal joy through the indwelling Spirit while on earth or in glory by being with the Savior. The reactions run one or the other. People respond... 1 Peter 1:23 it is the truth that saves us. "For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."

I have found that it is the children who are the most attentive and joyous when listening to the truth. I've taught children in afternoon bible clubs, evening bible clubs, all kinds of bible clubs and in my experience, the children are immediately heedful of the import. They sit open mouthed, rapt, listening, eager for more. They ask questions, sophisticated ones. They want to know.

The unsaved, whom we call the lost because they are stumbling around in the dark, lost from the only path that will take them to heaven, deride children's bible lessons. They claim Christian adults "indoctrinate" them. That is rubbish for two reasons. First, ALL adults indoctrinate their children. 'Indoctrinate' simply means "To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles." All parents do that because all parents teach their children the difference between right and wrong as they see it. Another definition is "To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view' which again, all parents do with their children either overtly and directly, or by default with the child 'picking up; the mores of their parents by observation and imitation. It is what parents are supposed to do and it is what it means 'to raise children.'

Secondly, anyone who has seen a classroom of children learning about Jesus has seen pure joy. No, THIS is indoctrination:

The power of the word of God is the most powerful thing on earth or heaven. When that power is introduced to a child's heart, it is a match literally made in heaven. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew19:14). It is interpreted to mean first that Jesus had a real soft spot for children. He takes notice of all believers, and would not overlook even the smallest and least noticeable such as a child. Children have exactly the attitude needed for approaching God; joy and acceptance of the truth as it pierces their heart (instead of refusal, pride, and rejection). The receptiveness of children was a huge contrast to the stubbornness of the Pharisees. Children respond to the power of the Gospel because they know it is the truth, and whenever that happens it is a beautiful thing to be part of.

What discernment and prophecy blogs are for

Discernment ministries and end time prophetic ministries are like the Doppler effect. The Doppler effect is heard when, say, a vehicle sounding a siren or horn approaches you, passes, and goes away from you. The frequency is higher during the approach, it is correct at the instant of passing by, and it is lower during the going away.

When you hear a siren, your ears perk up, even when it is in the distance. As it approaches you might think “Gee, it’s getting closer, I hope everything is OK.’ You listen for a moment to determine of the siren is indicating a fire near you or a crime that you should be worried about in your immediate vicinity. As the siren recedes you breathe an unconscious sigh of relief. You know that there are first responders at the scene who are helping and attending to the afflicted. You go your way relaxing at each step, initially relieved that the siren is now out of earshot and secure in the knowledge that others are on the case.

We don't partake of a steady diet of the siren. For example, if you get the siren from the police car and install it in your home, you will become irritated after a while, then aggravated, then angry. It will totally consume everything you hear, think about or talk about, rather than the other normal things you do in your home.

Discernment and Prophetic ministries are that siren. You’re not supposed to live on a steady diet of it. Discernment verses are in the bible and prophecy makes up one third of the bible, but even at that, there is OTHER meat we live upon. The first responders at the scene are other Christians, attending to neighbors, caring for them in the ways that they need. The siren alerts you, but only to let you know that there is an urgency somewhere in the world. You need to go along and join the people helping at the place where help is needed, not sit and listen to the siren all the time.

What I and others do is give you the tools you need to begin appealing to the Spirit for discernment. It isn't to educate you on each and every false doctrine. It isn't for you to ingest a steady diet of falsity apart from the truth of the bible and Jesus. It is to give you a grounding of what is true balanced against what is false, and to learn to begin regularly appealing to the Spirit for greater depth in distinguishing between the two. I'll give you an example from my own life.

When I first came to the Lord, I was fascinated with fallen angels and the demonic realms. I studied the topic intensely. I bought books, I read web pages, I watched youtube videos. After about four or five months I realized that quite some time had gone by since I'd listened to a sermon on some good meat such as the Gospel, or the life of Jesus, or joy in ministry. I vowed then and there to quit cold turkey and only focus on Him.

As for End Time/Prophetic Ministries, the same thing goes. A steady diet of absorbing every nuance of each little jot and tittle of the news plus biblical references to prophecy may be instructive, but there is other meat in the bible that is important to be absorbed. For example, I don't usually listen to sermons about prophetic things. The other day I listened to a sermon on The Humble Gospel. Right now I'm listening to a sermon on the joy Paul had in the Thessalonican church.

We need meat, but if you had hamburger every night you would get sick of it! A prophetic ministry is there to offer you enough meat so you understand the prophesies, and that you understand the times, SO THAT you allow the Spirit to then increase your urgency and fervor for Living for Him, knowing He may come back any second and the next second you will be facing Him.

Anonymous on my previous blog entry regarding wolves and gratitude made a great comment. The comment was actually the catalyst for this blog entry. That person had said, "I think I might take a step away from discernment blogs because they just make me angry. The latest thing I saw was a band at Perry Noble's church singing AC/DC's highway to hell on Easter Sunday!!!! It's such an obvious move from the kingdom of evil and I was just blown away at how satan's tares have infiltrated the's all getting too much. I think I know enough now to focus on praying for those that are deceiving and those that are getting deceived. I've also been studying bible prophecy and the headlines a wee too much for awhile now. It's all SO interesting but I sometimes do it instead of spending time with God. I hope that's ok to admit on here LOL..."

It is!

Feel free to come and go, to learn biblical standards and discernment and then go your way being salt and light. It actually makes me proud of Anonymous to read "I think I know enough now to focus on praying for those that are deceiving and those that are getting deceived." Yes! That is how it should work. The information on Discernment blogs and Prophecy blogs should not be information in and of itself but only be a launching point to go into the world and worship, serve, and praise.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some thoughts about wolves and some thoughts about gratitude

From Chris Rosebrough's Twitter stream today, thought provoking enough for me to rip them off and present them to you here. Do you have wolf stories to share? Do you have some things you're grateful about? Please feel free to share! Here's Chris:

"If the tweet your pastor sent on Friday is longer than the Bible passage he preached about on Sunday...#HeMightBeAWolf."

"If your pastor is "allergic" to words such as sin, blood, redemption, penal substitution, wrath, hell &  propitiation .... #HeMightBeAWolf"

"If your pastor spends the summer preaching on the latest blockbuster movies rather than preaching God's Word.... #HeMightBeAWolf."

"If your pastor has ever presided over a round of "Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey". #HeISAWolf." (Brandon Elliott came up with that one on Chris's stream)

"Discernment Fact: Wolves travel in packs. When a pastor invites a heretic to "preach" to his flock, chances are the pastor is also a wolf."

"Lord I thank you for ordinary office workers who commute to work everyday & toil in the corporate world."

"Lord I thank you for ordinary moms & dads who are emptying themselves and raising the next generation."

"Lord I thank you for the humble men who work the trash trucks in my neighborhood and keep my city clean."

"LORD I thank you for the daily grind, for the mundane & the same old routine. You are glorified in the ordinary."

Back to me now. I am grateful for pastors who stand on the Word. I listen to John MacArthur and Steve Hadley, two excellent expository preachers. I listen to my own preacher every week and I'm grateful that there are still pastors in these dangerously apostate times who still preach by the Spirit like he does. Please take a moment to thank your pastor and your elders and deacons and ministry leaders and teachers for what they do.

UN General Assembly opens today. Is Palestinian State in our near future? Plus, Obama's un-diplomatic photo

"U.S. President Barack Obama waves while standing with other leaders during the Open Government Partnership event at the United Nations September 20 in New York City. The United Nations General Assembly kicks off September 21, with leaders from around the world attending." (Source)

Obama's quite a guy, isn't he? I wonder what the guy behind the hand thinks... (PS: it is not a hoax nor photoshopped)
Here are some recent headlines and news excerpts regarding the situation with the Palestinian Authority's proposal to enact a Palestinian State by UN vote instead of by negotiation:

From Jordan Times: Remember, Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel, one of only two Middle East  nations (along with Egypt) to be peaceful neighbors with Israel, at least on paper.
King blames Israel for derailing peace hopes
AMMAN (JT) - His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday warned that the Israeli stance on peace talks and the turbulence in Syria pose new risks to the security and stability of the Middle East, according to a Royal Court statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra. The King, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon on Monday in New York, expressed concern about the future of the peace process if no efforts succeed in bringing the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table in the coming couple of days, the statement said. The Monarch, who is currently in New York heading the Jordanian delegation to the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, added that if no progress in the peace process is achieved soon, this will have a negative impact on all. “If we can’t get the Israelis and Palestinians together in the next couple of days then what signal is that for the future process?"

The Jordan Times opinion peace lays out that in the Arab worlds opinion, the moe by the PA is legal.

Legal Move
All the fuss shown by Israel or on its behalf about the imminent Palestinian demand for UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state is neither necessary nor legal.
Given the fact that Israel’s Declaration of Independence, on May 14,1948, was based on the November 29, 1947, UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recommended the partition of mandate Palestine into two states, it follows that, on the strength of that very same resolution, the Palestinians have the equal right to declare their independence. No matter which party was at fault for the non-implementation of that historic resolution, the fact remains that Resolution 181 is still valid and offers a basis for the recognition of an Arab state in former Palestine, even so late in the hour. There is no statute of limitation on any UN resolution, including 181, nor is there any other resolution that invalidated the initial decision on the matter. This means only one thing: Resolution 181 is still valid and operative. It also means that the Palestinians can go to the UN this month and seek admission on the basis of that decree. The Israeli argument that the Arab side rejected Resolution 181 does neither compromise nor jeopardise the validity of the resolution."

The U.S. and other allies are scrambling for a path to push Palestinians back into direct peace negotiations with Israel, but prospects appear to be grim. Diplomatic efforts by Western member states aimed to head off a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood have achieved little or no progress thus far. ... In a weekend interview, an Iranian official described the effort as merely another step in a much broader plan. Mojtaba Amani, Iran’s ambassador to Egypt, openly conceded in an interview with Al-Watan al-Arabi, that the PA’s push for full membership as a UN member state “is a step towards wiping out Israel,“ and that ”the Palestinians must follow a correct example and complete all the measures to prevent the Zionist Entity from depriving them their rights.”

From Germany's Der Spiegel interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad:
'An Independent Palestine Will Be Inevitable'

Well, maybe because it was already reported as long as two years ago that Obama has made a secret deal with Fayyad, and that as soon ago as last April Fayyad claimed that by "next year Jerusalem will be our capital'.

Joel 3:1-2
[a]“In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather all nations
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[b]
There I will put them on trial
for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,
because they scattered my people among the nations
and divided up my land.

It is a big week, prophetically speaking. Please pray!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Looking forward to the rapture, hopefully soon

Paul was the one to reveal the mystery of the rapture to the first generation believers of Christianity and thus to all believers after that. In 1 Corinthians 15:51 Paul begins the revelation of this doctrine by saying, 'Listen, I tell you a mystery..." A mystery in Greek is not something unknowable that is obtuse and only understood through byzantine clues. It means something not known before but is being revealed now. (source).

In a companion verse, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." (1 Thes. 4:15) Paul is speaking of the rapture in this passage. Usually, people skip right to the good stuff, to the next verse about the Lord coming down from heaven with a shout and the dead in Christ rising, and all that.

But think for a minute, if the mystery of the rapture was revealed by Paul and was not written about anywhere prior in the New Testament, what does it mean at the beginning of the verse when Paul says "According to the Lord's own Word...?" When Paul wrote that it always meant that it was in the Old Testament, in His Word that had already existed for centuries. But now that the Lord had come, died, and ascended, the Holy Spirit filled believers also now understood that the Coming of the Messiah was going to be in two parts, and in part two, He would return and get them and bring them to heaven. (John 14:2-3).

So if the rapture is according to the Lord's own word, where was it in the Old Testament? It can be interpreted to be in Isaiah.

"But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." (Is 26:19-20).

Whatever the source point for the rapture, Isaiah or Thessalonians/Corinthians, it seems that many people feel that it could be very near. And that means being ready to meet Him. If you have repented of your sins, you are ready to meet Him when He comes partway to earth to gather us to Him at the place he has been preparing for us. If you are not ready now, that is a terrible thing, because that means you will go through the Tribulation period which is the worst time on earth that there will ever be and will never be so terrible again. (Mt 24:21). It could well be that you die in that time period, because right away a fourth of the world will die (Rev 6:7-8) and then a third of the remaining world after that. (Rev 9:18). The odds are you will die before you know what hit you and that would seal your fate forever. You will still meet Him, but it will be on His terms in tat case, and you will be forever doomed to hell. If you repent during the Tribulation that will be great but you will still be living through the worst time there will ever be.

Repent now and be ready to meet your Groom. It is the best of all possible situations!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Your garment awaits in the room He is preparing for you!

I was talking with a Christian friend yesterday about a sermon I'd heard. I can't remember who the pastor was, probably Steve Hadley of Harvest Family Fellowship. Jesus has been preparing a place for us. It will be in New Jerusalem. (Rev 21:2-3). When we go to our place in New Jerusalem after the rapture, we will be with the Lord. But it was explained that the place He has been preparing for us, (John 14:3) has been mistranslated. It is not that we are going to receive a mansion. We don't get mansions. It is actually a room. The word in Greek means room, or quarters, general in space, but limited by occupancy. It will be an expansive room, but a room or rooms.

In the bible days in Israel, a son would marry a woman and then return to his father's house to reside. The father would have helped the son build rooms adjoining his rooms, around a courtyard. If another son gets married, he also builds rooms or quarters adjacent to the father's house, also around the courtyard. Everyone has private living space but congregates in the courtyard or the common areas. They dwelled with the father.
We also will dwell WITH God. "In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:2-4). "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

In the sermon the metaphor illustrates that it's not like we arrive at the pearly gates and Peter is there to greet us with a map to the subdivision. He doesn't say things like, "well go down Faith Avenue and take a right, and your mansion is third from the left.." No, lol!

We dwell WITH the Lord. In the same space. We see Him. We talk with Him. We live with fellow Christians who also worship Him in truth and glory. It is an almost inconceivable notion but I believe it as fact. The Thessalonians and John verses, among others, tell us so.

Let's imagine something. You have a room. Maybe that room has a closet. And in the closet is one garment. It is your white robe. It is your garment of righteousness. One lone hanger and one garment, waiting for you!

I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

"The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean." (Rev 19:14)

"Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)" (Rev 19:7-8)

There is a garment waiting for you in the place He is preparing for you. For YOU. If you repent of your sins, meaning, to ask Jesus to forgive the bad things you have thought, said, or done, He will. He will send the Holy Spirit to you to dwell in you to help you learn His ways and to resist sin.

Please consider these things. Repent, and then you can get excited with us over your room He is preparing for you!

Conclusion: How do Christian authors end up channeling spirits and producing books from them? Pride

Part one: Making no distinction between Victorian channeling writers of yore and today's Christian authors
Part two: Walsch, Young, and Beth Moore: ungodly channelers all

Part 3: Walsch, Young, and Beth Moore: ungodly channelers all (Part 3)

I hope that the thoughts expressed here these last three essays have offered you food for thought and an area of discernment to look for when digesting 'Christian' books. I've spent the first two essays showing you how a person can wind up being used by the other side, and the third essay illustrating potential reasons why. Now in this conclusion I want to speak of pride.

Pride in my opinion is the the root cause of sin. Satan fell due to pride. What happened to Satan? Ezekiel recorded “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17). Isaiah explains that satan fell because he thought he was better than God. Isaiah 14: 12-15 states -- "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."

"An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin." (Proverbs 21:4)

I want to bring your attention to two statements from writers I've been showing you, Beth Moore and Neale Donald Walsch. They are really blasphemous, in my opinion, and need to be examined thoughtfully against what the bible says.

Neale Donald Walsch has said: "In the spring of extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. God began talking with you. Through me."

Let's pull that apart for a minute. God is speaking to the world through Walsch. However, the bible says, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son," (Hebrews 1:1a). "Has spoken" is an ongoing past tense. So now one must decide whether God is speaking only through Jesus in the Word, or is He speaking to the world through Jesus AND Walsch, or is He speaking only through Walsch. If you decide that God can speak to the world through Jesus AND Walsch, that means Walsch is elevated to a position of equality with Jesus. If you believe God is speaking to the world through Walsch alone, it means God has supplanted Jesus as the verbalizer of the faith. In some way, you must reconcile what Walsch has said with the Hebrews verse.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Mt 7:24)

If you accept that God is speaking through Walsch, then do we place our house on the rock of Walsch's words?

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Mark 13:31) So does that mean that Walsch's words will not pass away, either?

We can go on here, but I think by now you see the extreme pridefulness of what Walsch has said, and that it cannot be reconciled with the Word. Therefore avoid the books Conversations with God.

In the preface to Beth Moore's book When Godly People do Ungodly Things Moore said on page xi,--

If she didn't write the book, the rocks and stones would cry out?? Here is the biblical reference: "Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:39-40). Barnes Notes explains what is happening in the context of that scene-

"The stones would ...cry out - It is "proper" that they should celebrate my coming. Their acclamations "ought" not to be suppressed. So joyful is the event which they celebrate - the coming of the Messiah - that it is not fit that I should attempt to impose silence on them."

Matthew Henry's Commentary explains:
"Whether men praise Christ or no he will, and shall, and must be praised (v. 40): If these should hold their peace, and not speak the praises of the Messiah's kingdom, the stones would immediately cry out, rather than that Christ should not be praised."

So Moore is saying that her book is so important that all of creation would cry out if she didn't write it. That is what she is saying. And further, she is putting herself as an equal to the Apostles who were praising JESUS at that time. Moore's pride in elevating her book to the level of importance akin to joy expressed at the arrival of the Messiah illustrates a prideful heart. We can go on here, but I think by now you see the extreme pridefulness of what Moore has said, and that it cannot be reconciled with the Word. Therefore avoid Beth Moore's books.

Now, pride is dastardly, It is something that the prideful person may not even detect as a sin. I mean, sexual sin is obvious. If you are having an affair, you know you are sinning. But pride...that one is sneaky. explains God's view of pride like this:

"Psalm 10:4 explains that the proud are so consumed with themselves that their thoughts are far from God: “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” This kind of haughty pride is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God aside from His divine grace."

Check yourself for pride. It is a sly, sneaky sin and it besets us before we know it. I did a repentance check myself this morning, asking the Lord to reveal to me any and all pride I have and to remove it whilst giving me a humble heart. I don't want to be proud, not even for a moment. It is way too easy to believe your own press clippings, and Walsch and Moore among others, have lost their way detouring along the prideful path. Pray for them that the light will guide them back. I want for all Christians to gain discernment in matters such as books, movies, doctrines, tracts and all other things purporting to be biblical through your own study, prayer, and seeking the Spirit's guidance. We need pure food these days, and pride is a dish best left to the garbage heap.

Kay Cude poetry: The Tunnel

Used with permission. Click to enlarge