Behold, He is Coming in the Clouds! IV

Grace Life Church of Naples | The Great Apostasy of the Church

My last article dealt with the blessed hope of all Christians. If you would the last article in this series, please click this link He is Coming in the Clouds! Part III

Today we will begin to examine, the seven events, prior to the rapture of the church, or what scripture declares is “our gathering together to Him”, of which the blessed hope or otherwise called the sign of the Son of man is.

Please note the beginning of the sorrows is one of the events or signs of Christ’s return, but because we may be in the midst of it, we will not discuss its nature or duration.

Below is the list of signs/events which proceed the rapture, in the timeline of the Lord Jesus Christ, from Matthew 24:3-44, Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36. Before you read list of signs, I encourage you to read these three passages as well as reading Revelation 7 through Revelation 14, noting the events in common with Christ’s words in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and the passages in Revelation.

  1. Worldwide persecution as the Gospel is preached in the whole world.
  2. Jerusalem surrounded.
  3. Great apostasy.
  4. The abomination of Desolation (revelation of Antichrist) with great tribulation.
  5. The sign of the Son of man
  6. The last trumpet of God
  7. The voice of Archangel

Please note that in all three Gospel accounts “our gathering together to Him” or what we have labeled the “rapture” after all these signs/events. Some teachers in error have deemed the rapture takes place in chapter 4 of Revelation, because of some similar language. Regard that John heard a voice, like a trumpet.

This is different than hearing the voice of the archangel and the last trumpet of God. The language of Revelation 4 means that the voice was distinct, not that it sounded like a trumpet, but that voice blasted through his person distinctly. He was told to “Come up here” and immediately he was in the Spirit. John was not “caught up” physically and changed in a “moment in the twinkling of an eye”. John did not meet Christ in the air but was immediately in a vision of God’s throne.

As it’s the case with almost all events and in Revelation, they are founded in Old Testament Jewish prophecy. Consider Ezekiel 1, 8, 11 and see very similar visions and interaction, with those who are the Spirit.

All of these events are listed in chronological order.

#1 WORLDWIDE PERSECTION AS THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD

Remember that these events occur after the beginning of the sorrows as detailed by Christ Himself.

Matthew 24:9-14 9Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

*Please read Mark 13:9-13 and Luke 21:13-19 to corroborate Matthew’s context and timeline

In these passages we see very clearly that those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ in the last days, will face persecution; that persecution. The hatred against saints will be worldwide. The tribulation period begins with the words “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation”. The first phase of the tribulation is 3 ½ years.

It is important to understand that through Christians preaching Christ over the radio, internet and television, that the gospel has been preached virtually over the entire globe. As the Gospel has reached most of the geography of the world, those who would refuse its message, are growing in agitation. It will not take much to push the haters of God over the edge. Recall some of the aggression against flowers of Jesus Christ, during the Covid hoax.

Note that in all three accounts we are told that those who “endure to the end will be saved” or “by patience you possess your souls”. Again, this implies that those who truly follow Christ will face existential trouble for their faith in Christ.

When one considers the horrors of persecution against the church in 95% of the world, we understand that tribulation like persecution has existed in the world, against Christians, since the beginning of the church. History reveals that more Christians have been martyred since 1948, than in the all the previous years since the birth of the Church, on the Day of Pentecost.

One of the key bases for the pretribulation rapture is the error filled belief, that Christians will not suffer, and we will be gone before the real trouble starts. The idea that Christians will not suffer is not biblical.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Of great importance to us, ought to be that the first hearers of these prophecies and that of Revelation. They would have seen themselves in the various events. The thought that they would not suffer tribulation was foreign to them, and had been to the church until the early 1900’s. Do not forget that the pretribulation rapture is the new interpretation.

#2 JERUSALEM SURROUNDED

Luke 21:20 20But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.

We have every reason to believe that this event/sign will occur sometime in the latter portion of first 3 ½ years of the tribulation period. The reason for this is that Daniels’s prophecy places the abomination of desolation (which we will talk about next), right at the midpoint.

Scripture in both testaments detail this event (do your homework), therefore, that Luke’s gospel is the only of the three synoptic Gospels to mention it, should not diminish its importance. As a matter of fact, it is a clear sign to believers that Antichrist is about to reveal his true nature. This event is in the run up to the battle of Armageddon and may reveal why Antichrist is pushed to reveal his true satanic nature.

#3 THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 ​1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

In review, we must remember “our gathering together to Him” is a reference to Paul’s first letter, specifically I Thessalonians 4:13-18, which is a very specific passage concerning what is popularly termed “rapture”. Once more we must maintain good exegetical discipline, or risk divorcing these two letters from one another.

In the passage above we can clearly see that “that Day”, which is “the day of Christ”, which is the time of “our gathering together to Him”,will not come unless…”

  1.  the falling away comes first
  2. and the man of sin (antichrist) is revealed.

Concerning “the falling away comes first”, it is important to understand the Greek phrase behind our English words. Remember that placing “the” before the phrase “falling away” makes “the falling away” a growing movement of people influenced by something powerful. In the context of our passage, that which is moving the people to fall away, is THE LIE, which we read of in II Thessalonians 2:9-12.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

It is correct to associate “the falling away” with the revelation of “the man of sin”, as both Testaments do. Let us consider a couple of New Testament passages affirming this truth.

Revelation 13:11-13 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

Matthew 24:23-25 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

Both passages, chronologically speaking take place in the last events timelines at or near the revelation of antichrist to the Jewish people. It is important to understand the “falling away” begins before the revelation of antichrist to the Jewish people.

We understand “the falling away” or what we term apostacy (Greek word for falling away is apostasia), means to forsake, to fall away or to defect from. Some pretribulation rapture folks, in error, declare that “the falling away” or “great apostacy” is in reference to the Jewish people. This is patently false, as they are already fallen away from Him, if they reject Messiah.

The “falling away” is in reference to those who call themselves Christians. The reason this is controversial, is because the vast majority of pretribulational Christians, are those who purport the false doctrine of “once saved always saved”.

Biblically honest and exegetically correct Christians understand their potential to fall way, from clear passages of scripture, concerning the issue.

Romans 11:19-23 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Hebrews 6:4-6 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

The potential to fall away from Christ, has been with every follower of Jesus Christ since the beginning. What occurs exponentially excel this potential in many who call themselves Christians in the end times? Well, the hardships of the beginning of the sorrows and of the tribulation period, until we are gathered to Him.

Not only is it the difficulty of the circumstances, but the unfolding agenda of antichrist, which wears out the saints (Daniel 7:25), before antichrist is revealed to the Jewish people. After His revelation His program of slaughter of the true Christians (Revelation 13:7), shakes those whose are mere professing Christians—as well as the miracles, sings and lying wonders done—and that multitudes who call themselves by the name of Christ, do not love (serve, worship, hold to) THE TRUTH—to whom God sending those not receiving a love for the truth a strong delusion.

This is difficult for Christians in America to receive, for we have never faced overt encompassing tribulation. That said, we must remember the tribulation is used by God to produce Christ’s character in us (Romans 5:3-5), to prune His vine (John 15:1-8) and to purify our lives of the patterns of sin (I Peter 1:6,7, 4:12-13).

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Behold, He is Coming on the Clouds! Part III

WHAT IS THE BLESSED HOPE?

Understanding the rapture of the church to be THE singular event of imminence, concerning the last days, is a massive error. We discussed this in my last blog post. (if you have not read it please click here… Behold, He is Coming on the Clouds! Part II). The rapture will be close to imminent, or about to happen after something takes place. What is it that precedes “our gathering together to Him”? The blessed hope.

Interestingly, when we read or hear the phrase “our blessed hope” most Christians will immediately think this refers to the rapture or what the bible refers to as “our gathering together to Him”. Although “our gathering together to Him” is associated with the “blessed hope” it is not the “blessed hope” itself. The “blessed hope” is one of the final 7 signs before rapture. Let us look at Titus 2.

 Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

The “blessed hope” is not the rapture but proceeds it, whether by a short time or a longer period. Here is where we see the importance of not mashing God’s chosen words together to fit our religious narrative.

The “blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”. The blessed hope is the glorious appearing of Christ.

In the first place, the phrase “glorious appearing” does not suggest a secret return of Christ to this world, where the lost world will be unaware of what is occurring. His glorious appearing is the sign of the Son of man, Christ spoke about in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which proceeds the rapture in our Lord Jesus own teaching.

Matthew 24:29-31 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:24-27 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

Luke 21:25-28 25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Revelation 1:7 7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.

*Note that Revelation14:14-16 uses very similar language to describe the rapture before God’s wrath poured out.

Note that in every passage, Christ’s coming on the clouds is witnessed by all people dwelling on the earth, both lost and saved. Note that in all three of the synoptic gospel accounts this glorious appearing is associated with the sign of the Son of man. Note that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all use the same language “great power and glory” in referring to His appearance. This language lines up with the Titus 2:13great and glorious appearing”.

Note that Matthew and Mark place the rapture after the great and glorious appearing of the Son of man, with the angels “gathering together the elect”. In Luke proclaiming when we see the sign of the Son of man, then we “look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near”.

In Christ’s timeline, as well as in the book of Revelation “our gathering together to Him” (what we refer to as the rapture) does not take place until well into the tribulation. If one studies Revelation, honestly and prayerfully, you’ll see that the rapture of the church does not take place until Revelation 14, with almost the same language used above.

Revelation 14:14-16 14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

The remaining portion of Revelation 14:17-20, details how the Lord then reaps the grapes of wrath in the world of lost men. Considering these biblical facts, “our gathering together to Him” or what is referred to as the rapture, does not appear to take place until well into the tribulation. Once more this does not deny the doctrine of imminence, because Christ’s return occurs in stages beginning with the beginning of the sorrows.

Some conjecture in error that the rapture of the Church takes place in Revelation 4 and that the church does not appear in Revelation afterward until it returns with Christ in chapter 19. This teaching is patently false and can easily be debunked.

Let us consider that the church is alluded to in Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

The 7 seals do reveal timeline, table but it serves as table of contents to Chapters 7 through the end of the book. The seals are thumb nails or previews, which are explained in more detail in subsequent chapters of Revelation. The passage above refers to persecuted Christians, which those who hold to a pre-tribulational rapture declare are gone after chapter 4.

Revelation 7:9-10 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

In previous verses, in Revelation 7, John saw 144,00 Jewish witnesses for Christ, who make up a remanent who evangelize Israel during the tribulation. After the passage above he is asked a question about the multitude which not one could number.

Revelation 7:13-14 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Remember that John is once more seeing the future and he sees 144,000 of the promised Jewish remanent, as well as a gentile crowd of all nations, tribes and tongues, which cannot be numbered, martyred during the great tribulation. Make no mistake, those of every nation, tribe, people and tongue refers to the church triumphant, living and dying during the tribulation.

Let us look further for more evidence that Revelation 4 is not the last we see the church in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 12:13-17 13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The woman revealed in this passage is the nation of Israel, the Jewish people, whom Satan will once again attempt to eradicate during the last days. God protects The remanent, as He promises in scripture, but then we see the final verse, which refers to the church of Jesus Christ “and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandment of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

Make no mistake this lines up with Christ’s own words that we will be hated and hunted by the entire world, before the sign of the Son of man and “our gathering together to Him”. Yet, in Revelation 13 we see how the enemy seeks to make war against us, and yes overcome us, at least in our being persecuted with many paying the ultimate price; as allowed by God.

Revelation 13:6-7 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

Many in the pretribulation rapture camp, declare in error that those who are spoken of in the verse above, are Jewish people coming to faith in Christ. This is of course not true, especially in light how how the Jewish people are separated from those who are Christians, in the latter portion of Revelation 12.

Revelation 13 gives intimate details of the rise of Antichrist, his program, persecution of the church, the Abomination of desolation, and killing of anyone who will not bow to him and the mark of the beast. Then last time we see the church on earth, is in Revelation 14:14-16.

Despite these facts, many attempt to explain away what is clearly seen and understood by the Holy Spirit in us, for the purpose of maintaining an untenable eisegetical interpretation of the word of God.

The blessed hope is what we are looking for, which is the great and glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the clouds, which will signal to the church in time of tribulation that He is about to gather us together to Himself.

His great and glorious appearing is not sudden, like someone turning on a flashlight in a darkened room, but more like the gradual nature of a sunrise, concerning the greater degree of light, as it first lightens the darkness and is brighter as it reaches its noon apex.

Remember He is coming in the clouds. This assumes a gradual and growing brightness as Christ reaches His final position to call us unto Himself. In conjunction with this understanding is the word “appearing” in Titus 2:13. The word means a conspicuous manifestation, which carries with it the idea of something obvious and without any concealment.

With our God, He is merciful, and patient, the gradual appearing of Christ’s coming on the clouds of glory, over a determine, but relatively short period of time, fits the character of God and Christ’s words concerning His appearing.

So, what are the seven signs preceding “our gathering together to Him”?

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Behold, He is Coming in the Clouds! II

The Angels Will Be Present at Christ's Return| National Catholic Register

As we continue our discussion on the 7 signs prior to the “our gathering together to Him” or what is termed the rapture to Christians in our age, we need to address one of the tenants of the most pervasive view. Misunderstanding this tenant, paints us into a corner, the Lord Jesus Christ never wants us to stand in. If you have not read part I of this series of articles, you may want to do that first. Here is the link… Behold, He is Coming on the Clouds Part I

One of the loudest arguments for a pretribulation rapture is the biblical doctrine of imminence. Imminence simply means that something is “about to happen”. The doctrine of imminence declares that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ can begin at any time. I believe this truth and the early did the early church as well, but they did not believe it as most of the church does today. To the early church and most followers of Christ, until the 1830’s, they held that Christ’s return was a series of stages or events, not just the rapture.

Although they believed Christ’s return would begin, as a thief in the night to unsuspecting lost world, they were taught and believed Christians ought to be aware of the general season of His return, based on signs written in the scripture. Consider I Peter.

2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

In understanding imminence, it is important to remember that in Peter’s writing above, where he writes that “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night”, he is not referring to the “in gathering” of the church or what we call the rapture. He is referring to what takes place prior to final judgment in Revelation 20:11; 21:1-2.

Although this is the case, he uses the terminology “the day of the Lord”. This presents a foundational truth of Christ’s return that we often miss in our fixation on knowing the timing of the rapture… that Christ’s return occurs in stages, starting with the beginning of the sorrows. It is important to understand the same language used to describe the rapture of the church, is used above in II Peter 3:10-11 (and in other passages), referring to the events taking place before and after “our gathering together to Him.”

Included in the events or (stages) of His return are… The beginning of the sorrows and all the associated events—the tribulation period (the last 7 years of earth’s history)—the abomination of desolation and associated events—the sign of the Son of man—the in gathering of the saints or “rapture”—the wrath of God being poured out, culminating in Christ’s at Armageddon—Christ’s 1000-year reign—the final judgement—the new heavens and the new earth.

If one were to search out these events, from the scriptures they would find all are associated with the “Day of the LORD” or “the Day of His wrath” or similar phrasing (and not just in the New Testament). Therefore, the doctrine of imminence means the events which begin the return of the Lord are “about to happen” or may occur at any time.

The first event, kicking of the end times clock was the Jewish people returning to their God appointed homeland in Israel, which is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 34-37, which occurred in 1948. This is the last prophetic event before the beginning of the sorrows.

The beginning of the sorrows is the first stage of Christ’s return, in so far as an in-sequence event of events leading to Christ’s glorious appearing, and all that is included therein.

One of the chief arguments in favor the pretribulation rapture being imminent, from a wrong perspective is that Christ comes as a “thief in the night”, therefore we cannot know the day or the hour, but that it is unexpected. This line of thinking is unbiblical.

One of the Lord Jesus’ criticisms of the Pharisees is that they could read the signs of the sky and discern the weather for the next day, but they could not read the signs of the times, in which they lived. God had placed hundreds of prophetic markers for His people to see, concerning the Christ, so they would not miss His first advent. To these unbelieving fools, Christ’s first advent took them by surprise, like a thief coming to their home in the night.

The point is, a pretribulational viewpoint makes our understanding and teaching eschatology, beyond the rapture pointless, for we will not be here if it in fact were true.

That said, the second coming of Christ is as a thief in the night to unbelievers and apostate Christians, but it is not to be the case for those who truly follow the Lord. Remember the clear teaching of II Thessalonians 5:1-9, where “the thief in the night” language is used for the lost, not the saved, as we read “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

Let us consider Christ’s words concerning the idea of His return and a thief in the night.

Matthew 24:42-44 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

This is a passage often cited by pre-tribulational scholars, to make the rapture the only imminent event. Note that in this passage the word “hour” means a 12th part of a day, which for Christ’s culture was the 12 hours from sunup to sundown. Prior to this series of verses, Christ’s gives several signs which reveal the general season of His return, including language revealing the “in gathering of the saints”, or what we modern Christians term the “rapture”. If those signs need not take place before the rapture, why speak of them? Why place them out of sequence?

There is no reason for it at all. And that is the point. God has a reason for everything.

Consider Christ’s admonition concerning a homeowner knowing a thief will attempt to break into his house on a particular night. The owner may not know the exact hour, but knowing the thief is coming, and it may be about to happen, he will be prepared for all the hours of the night. How will he know a thief is coming? Because the homeowner has seen strange vans, outside of his home, when he arrives and leaves for weeks. He has notices footprint in his flower, in front of the most accessible area and for wees he has received reports of multiple homes being broken into. Those signs are given to prepare him.

In similar fashion, we Christians ought to know the season and the signs of His return and stay prepared, so we do not miss his return, not being sober, unprepared, and lacking the fullness of the Spirit of God. Those signs are written into ever last days message by Christ and corroborated, in the epistles and Revelation’s own timeline from Revelation 4 through the end.

In Luke’s gospel our Lord Jesus speak of the “rapture”, as one event in a series of events concerning the His return, really brings clarity.

Luke 21:34-35 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Remember this passage of scripture follows the exact same timeline in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In Luke’s accounting we read the phrase “that Day” associated with the events of Christ’s second advent. We also experience the idea that the general time of the rapture should not be a mystery to us.

We are to be watching for it and see its approach through the signs prophesied in Christ’s message about His return in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13.

Mark’s Gospel leans into the truth of “the thief in the night” about our being sober and watchful, rather than expressing the false teaching of how utterly surprised we Christians will be when the rapture takes place.

Mark 13:32-37 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

We see the use of the word “time” in dealing with the Christ’s return, which when considered with the use of the times of a day “in the evening”, “at midnight”, “at the crowing of the rooster” or “in the morning” lends itself to the idea in Matthew. In Mathew we understand we do not know what hour of the day He comes, although we ought to know when it is about to happen (imminence) through the signs laid out before.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Consider that I Thessalonians 5:1-10 is proceeded by I Thessalonians 4:13-18, where Paul clearly outlines the elements of the event known as the in gathering of the saints or what we popularly refer to as the rapture. Once more we see the phrase “that Day” where Paul is referring to our being caught up and away with Jesus, rather than Peter’s use of the same phrase “that Day” referring to the coming of the new heaven and a new earth.

Therefore, imminence does deal with something that is about to happen, at any time, but scripturally it does not refer to the in gathering of the saints or what we refer to as the rapture primarily, but all the events outlined in Christ’s return; the rapture being only one of them.

Can the beginning of the sorrows occur imminently? Of Course. Should the Day of Christ’s return for His church take us like a thief? Absolutely not! We ought to know very clearly when it is about to happen, although the exact day or hour of the day we cannot know.

In our next article we will look more closely at what proceeds “our gathering together unto Him”. It is our Blessed Hope!

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Behold, He is Coming in the Clouds!

Behold, He is Coming with Clouds'

It seems that wickedness and lawlessness has expanded across the whole earth, in the last 3 years, at an exponential rate.

If wickedness can be define as behavior which is contrary to God’s moral law, we are seeing an unprecedented explosion. Consider the United States of America.

Who could have fathomed 25 years ago, that the United States of America, supposed to be a Christian nation, would be the largest promotor of the LGBTQ agenda, in the world. The U.S. outranks every other nation in gender reassignment surgery. This satanic ideology is pressed upon younger and younger children; through the numbed minds of foolish parents.

Recently, Alicyn Simpson, who heads the UPMC Children’s Hospital, in Pittsburg, relayed her primary reason for taking the job, was to increase gender reassignment surgeries in preadolescents. Here is reason… that adults who want to change their sex will have a store house of fresh sexual organs to transplant onto and into them.

Lawlessness does not mean, only behavior apart from God’s moral law, but laws erected apart from the wisdom of God and in favor of the antichrist agenda. Have we not seen this with the rise of unlawful dictates from leaders the world over, in response to Covid-19?

Governments the world over have mandated submission over their constituents, for the supposed health of everyone, over a virus that for most people is no more life threatening than a bad flu.

So duplicitous were standards for these mandates, in the United States, hundreds of thousands were shamed and threatened, into wearing masks and getting jabs, while millions were allowed illegally into the country, with not such requirement, along the southern border.

To many Christians in the USA and in western countries around the world, the rise of wickedness and lawlessness, are sure signs of the rapture around the corner. Although I believe in what we term the rapture, there is a false hope, that we will get out of here before it gets to much more difficult.

Let me ask, is that even close to a biblical idea of the Christians life?

The answer is no, especially when we consider the suffering of the church for over two thousand years. Our hope in Christ is not that we escape persecution or extreme difficulty against our faith, but that our blessed hope, gives us hope to endure until He comes for us.

The majority of Christians in America, Canada, England and Australia, believe that the rapture will occur before things turn considerably worse, and do this with little more than out of context passages of scripture, and philosophical ideology.

For much of the Christian world, end times prophecy has been whittled down to interpretation which protects and propagates the pre-tribulational rapture. This is unfortunate, in my opinion, and may be a ploy from the enemy to distract followers of Christ from their true mission, in the very last days of human history.

I am sure this will rattle more than a few cages, and it ought too. Far too often, in the Church in America, we simply believe what we are told, without examining it in light of the totality of scripture and in the appropriate context.

To be sure, Christ is coming for His church, for the purpose of gathering us together, to meet Him in the air, Hallelujah!

From that time, we will be with Christ forever. Hallelujah!

Concerning the timing of this blessed event, the word of God gives us clear indication of the timing of the in gathering of the Church to Christ.

In this series of articles, we will examine 7 clear signs which precede the Day of Christ, the time which He gathers His saints together to meet Him in the air. Please do not stop reading because you are already offended. Prayerfully consider the information presented and then decide.

To begin with, consider that the pre-tribulational viewpoint contains the least, in context, biblical evidence, and was not known of until 192 years ago. This perspective on the rapture was popularized in the teaching and writing of John Nelson Darby, 1830 years after the church was announced on the day of Pentecost. Keep that in mind.

Some would declare that this reveals a scriptural foundation, being that prophecy concerning the Christ’s return, was sealed up until the end (Daniel 12:4). This thinking is a broad overreach. The sealing of Daniel’s prophecy means that it would not be able to be understood fully, until the Jewish people returned to their land for the last time, as prophesied in Ezekiel 37 (the prophet give many prophecies concerning this event from chapter 25-48). Israel’s return was still over one hundred years away, at the time Darby published his works.

Also, the narrative that the pre-tribulation view of the rapture is a biblical and historically orthodox tenant of faith, is patently false. Some Pre-tribulation scholars go to great lengths to search church fathers, and find out of context quotes, to prove their point. Sadly, they do this with scripture as well, to make their case.

Before advancing further, let us clarify some biblical terminology.

The word “rapture” is an English translation of a French word, used to describe a biblical event that is very important to the church of Jesus Chris. The term “rapture” does not appear in our English translations, nor in any other language used in the writing scripture of the scripture or its copying in the manuscripts .

This can be problematic, and often plays a role in taking biblical terms used, out of their context.

Some will declare, in argument, that the word “Trinity”, an English translation of a French word meaning “three-fold”, is not found in the biblical text. I agree and I am also fine using the term that is in the word of God describing His triune nature, which is Godhead.

Although using terms like “rapture” or “trinity” are not wrong in and of themselves, without understanding the actual biblical terms used, these words describe and as well as the context they are in, we can miss the message.

How does God’s written word describe the “rapture” of the church?
• The “gathering of the elect” or “our gathering together to Him” (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; I Thessalonians 2:1)
• That “Day” or “the day of the Lord” or “the Day of Christ” (Luke 21:34; I Thessalonians 5:2; Philippians 1:6; II Thessalonians 2:3).
• When we are “caught up together” (I Thessalonians 4:17)
• “…but we shall all be changedin a moment” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
• The “reaping of the earth” (Revelation 14:14-16).

In these phrases and passages we see that an appropriate biblical terminology is “our gathering together to Him”. Let me issue a biblical challenge to you for proof. When you next read the word of God, read I Thessalonians and II Thessalonians in one sitting. Go back to I Thessalonians 4 and read chapter 4, 5 and then II Thessalonians 1 and 2.

The reason for this challenge is that we often read epistles that have one, two or three letters to one group of people, as disjointed from the others and the problems associated with each letter. This is a tremendous error, for if there are two letters, they usually address the same issues or at least issues closely related.

In the church of Thessalonica, there were false teachers causing trouble in the flock, by saying “in gathering” what we modern Christians call the “rapture”, had taken place. This ought not to surprise us, because it was the Arian heresy (where the Jehovah’s Witness get their heretical doctrine). In this heresy they declared the elect are already abiding in heaven and the meek shall inherit the earth (their lie was Christ had already come for only the elect).

Therefore, Paul addresses this heresy and the truth from God’s word, in two letters, even giving signs that must take place before the “our gathering together to Him” or what is referred to as the “rapture” in our day.

Why is this important? Because when we use terms to describe doctrine, we set ourselves up for undue criticism and errors when those words are not associated with the language used. This can and does, at times, lead the saints into a false belief.

I believe that a pre-tribulational rapture perspective has risen through this error and anyone who challenges it, even within the context of solid biblical exegesis, is shouted down as a contrarian, foolish or even heretical.

Remember I believe that Christ’s coming for His church is imminent, and for the purpose of gathering us together, to meet Him in the air, Hallelujah!

The only problem is that we may be putting our hope in unscriptural ideas about it’s time frame, being before beginning of the tribulation.

In our next article we will examine the doctrine of imminence (which means about to happen), concerning the Day of Christ’s in gathering of the Church, where we meet Him in the air. We will begin to see the various stages of Christ’s return to earth and rejoice that His glorious return may have already started.

The Angels Will Be Present at Christ's Return| National Catholic Register

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A Prodigal or a Whiner… What’s worse?

Parable of the Prodigal Son - Wikipedia

Luke 15:11-14 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

The parable of the prodigal son is perhaps one of the most well-know New Testament parables. Because of its prominence, there is a glut of teaching on this passage in Luke 15:11-32; much of the teaching misses the point. We ought to tire of the error prone and wildly overdone teaching, on God being a doting father, waiting like a lonely puppy for his returning master. Make no mistake, this is a wrong and dominant theme.

It is true that the LORD our God is love and in Him being love He express a desire to redeem the lost, into His Kingdom, as children, but that narrative does not follow the popular teaching of this parable.

Consider for a moment that the younger son demanded his inheritance, when he had no right to do so. In the first place, the older son would inherit the entirety of his father’s inheritance in the Jewish religious culture of the day, and that the older son would then divide it up as he saw necessary. Secondly, remember that an inheritance was only given upon the death of the father.

In demanding the portion of, “the goods that would fall to me”, the son was indeed telling his father, “You are dead to me”, which is to curse his father. In the culture and time of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as in much of the world, even today, this would be an insult upon the very order of the society. In Israel, during the time of our Lord Jesus Christ, this would have brought about the necessary execution of the younger son, per the law of God

(Leviticus 20:9) For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.

(Deuteronomy 21:18-21) “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

Considering this truth, it is important to understand the disposition of the father toward his son. When he declares that his son was dead, but now he lives, he says that his son was dead to him, as soon as his son demanded an inheritance. Therefore, we do not see the father sending his other son to check up on the prodigal or to bring more provision to the prodigal. The father literally had no idea where his son was, nor did he try to find out, because his son was dead to him.

Therefore, the father was not pining away looking into the distance for endless hours to see if perchance his son would come to his senses. The reason he ran to his son and put his coat on him and his own ring, was for the purpose of protecting the returning sinner before the community saw him and killed him for breaking the law of God so egregiously.

The father would be the only one to accuse him and to declare him repentant and therefore the coat and the ring would reveal that repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Make no mistake about it, if the son would have returned unrepentant, he would have been stoned to death. Yes, the Father does reveal God’s love, merciful kindness, and grace to those who repent.

That said, the parable reveals characteristics that have potential in any person, lost or saved, but for the saved, these characteristics are especially problematic.

THE PRODIGAL SON

For the prodigal son, we see a young man, who does not really understand the blessing of God’s Fatherhood. Often, Christians do not either. Romans 8:14-17 reveals the blessing of being children of God through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God, and we have not received the spirit of bondage again, unto to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry ‘Abba Father’”. In this we experience the present reality of salvation, God with us, by the Holy Spirit.

To the prodigal, being with his father was of no value. What he saw as blessing was the ability to have and do what he wanted, when he wanted. This to most of the world is the error prone definition of freedom. Note that the prodigal did not make any effort, which afforded him the provision to be independent in this manner, he needed his father’s wealth. As he speaks to his father, we can hear the wicked sense of entitlement saturating his words “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me” (Luke 15:12).

For Christians in America, this false mentality has been injected into every area of our cultural and religious practice. We even have seminars on how we can gain financial freedom and be independently wealthy enough to survive what is coming. To many Christians, the accumulation of money and goods is seen as the blessing of God. This would be a huge error in thinking, for the word of God does not bear it out.

The prodigal illustrates a Christian practice that gives lip service to morality and righteousness, treating God as a genie existing to make sure we have what we want. In this false form of faith, God exists to give us our best life now, which is not determined by biblical truth, but our own whims and wishes.

THE WHINNING BROTHER

When dealing with the second brother, we see an entirely different angle on how to miss the blessing of God our Father, being with us to lead, guide, and provide what is needed. Upon the prodigal’s return, the older brother was embittered and angry, and spoke two huge falsehoods.

In the first place, when questioned by his father, concerning his poor response to his brother’s return, the older son declared his father was throwing a party for someone who devoured his father’s livelihood with harlots (Luke 15:30). This is false, for the father gave the younger son, what was a fair allotment (should it have been done appropriately after he had died). Therefore, it was freely given, no longer belonging to the father and in the hands of the prodigal to do with as he chose.

Secondly, and related to this fact, the eldest son declares that his father had not even given him a little young goat to roast with his friends. This is patently false. To understand why, we must go back to the beginning of the parable.

Luke 15:11-12 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

Here we see that the father, at that time, divided his entire inheritance to his sons, meaning the second son owned all the remaining livelihood the father possessed. The father says as much to the older son, explaining why the oldest son was wrong.

Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

Whether the older son understood what his father dividing the inheritance to “them” meant or not, is not the point. The point is, he could have done whatever he wanted to do with the remaining portion, even blow it in prodigal living like his brother. Could the eldest son have killed the fatted calf for himself and his friends? Surely, he could have, but he chose not to, or was living in a false mindset.

This false mindset is not far off, from what passes as an appropriate self-righteousness in many Christians and is another side of the coin of the prosperity gospel. In this form, there is a concern for righteousness and morality, in so far as they are recognized and rewarded. Consider how the older son, declared how terrible his brother’s sin and behavior was, before contrasting it with his own “impeccable” credentials.

Luke 15:28-30 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore, his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

In his response, the older son believes that his good behavior ought to have merited a better outcome, but what could the father give more of? He already gave the son all he had. This improper attitude is often displayed by good intentioned and well-meaning people of faith. When thinking of Job’s experience we see a man, who believed he was being unjustly punished by God, because he was a relatively good man. In Abraham’s life we see this trait as well.

Genesis 15:1-3 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

By all accounts Abraham was loaded. Yet, based on God’s promise to him and not understanding that God fulfills His promise when He determines they be fulfilled, without asking our opinion, Abraham ignores the imminent and all the time blessing of God being with us to protect, provide and related to us.

God says to all of us “I am your Shield, your exceedingly great reward”, or more simply state “I AM YOUR BLESSING”. Therefore, Paul could be content with much or little, abounding and favored or being abased and run over. This is what the oldest son in the parable of the prodigal missed. Listen to the father’s heart.

Luke 15:31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

In the second son, we see a man who tries to be good, moral and right, but expects public affirmation and reward for that. This is prosperity gospel, and it is far too prevalent in the church around the world, especially in America. The problem with the eldest son arises from the same wrong root in the younger prodigal brother.

Psalms 37:3-4 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Neither son trusted the father, even though he gave them no reason to trust. We know this, for the first son demanded his inheritance and the second son questioned his father’s benevolence. Can we not fall to the same sinful and faulty thinking?

Secondly, they did not feed on the good and loving character of their father but were only concerned with having more of what they wanted. Have you ever known a time where you questioned God’s faithfulness for not getting what you desired and prayed for, or believing Him to be withholding some blessing you believe you deserve?

Of course, we have. The degree to which we overcome these errors in relation to our faith is the degree to which we will have contentment with our Father being with us, by the Holy Spirit. The only real antidote is to “Delight ourselves in the LORD”. When we do that, our desires change to mirror His love, joy, peace, mercy, and compassion.

This was the problem for both sons, let it not be ours. Refuse to be prodigal. Refuse to be a whining complaining Christian, that missed the blessing of God.

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Any Given Second, Minute, Hour or Any Given Day

There are 86,400 seconds in a day—there are 1440 minutes in a day—there are 24 hours in a day—there are 365 days in a year. In any of those seconds, minutes, hours or days, there are Christians around the world suffering real existential persecution against them as they hold to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was reminded of this, while walking in my neighborhood, reading the word of God, and praying. As I walked, I was reminded that it was night in North Korea, where thousands of Christians live in constant threat of imprisonment, torture, or death, for being a follower of Jesus Christ.

I pondered the inhumane conditions our North Korean brethren live in, in concentration camps, where they starve to death and have repeated torturous and abominable experiments performed upon them. These circumstances never let up or abate and no matter what time of day it is, our brethren in this country need prayer. Therefore, I prayed for them, hopefully with wisdom from God’s Spirit (James 1:1-5).

This state of persecution is true of Christians in Iran, where being baptized into Christ, for a Muslim, means life in prison. Should that person not recant their faith, they will be executed for their faith. These conditions for our Iranian Christian brethren are consistent and forcefully executed.

Controversial Anti-Conversion Law Introduced in Haryana, India -  International Christian Concern

As we sleep, eat, read the Bible, and recreate ourselves, Christians in India face a rising and powerful persecution against them economically, socially, and religiously, where their lives and families are at risk daily. This is true of Christians in Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and most middle eastern countries—it is true of our brethren in China, most countries in southeast Asia, Mexico, Eritrea, Nigeria, Mali, most of the African continent, and even Israel.

For most Americans, the plight of our persecuted brethren is either hidden or drowned out, by our lack of perspective and ignorance of the doctrine of Christian suffering. American Christians, in general believe that God will rapture His church before it suffers. This is a tremendously damaging error influencing the church in the U. S.

The reason is that scripture is clear that anyone living godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (II Timothy 3:12). This truth lines up with Christ’s own words in John 15:18-6:3 and John 16:33.

The error is compounded by a lack of understanding concerning what persecution is. For Christians in America, being lumped into political conservatism, the difficulty faced is not persecution, but rising limitations politically. It is true, this trouble will eventually lead to outright persecution of those who follow Christ, but that is not yet the norm and consistent standard. Christians in America have not yet suffered legal persecution as the rule.

Although we lack this understanding in practice, that should not hinder us following the word of God, when it deals with our Christian brethren around the world suffering for the faith. In fact, our walking in real empathy and compassion for them, is essential for their standing for Christ. It is also essential in us eventually walking out our faith, in the persecution coming to this nation.

Hebrews 13:1-3  Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

We are to be informed concerning the plight of persecuted Christians, remembering their chains. We empathize with them so that we may eventually feel as though we are chained with them. This is a discipline we need to grow in. How?

We need to place ourselves inside their suffering, thinking on them to the degree that we understand their fears, anxieties, and weaknesses. This takes a person who denies themselves the normal unthought-out practices of life.

Luke 9:23-26 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels

This self-denial spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ may mean we literally die on his behalf. Yet, if it is not first experienced in us denying the ease and comfort we seek without thought and which are readily available to Christians in America, we will never be able to stand in the day of our trial.

The more we walk and behave without thought, the harder it is to even focus on hearing the testimonies of the persecuted, because they seem almost like bad fairytales. I assure you, the plight of the persecuted is no make-believe scenario.

Only when we step inside the life and testimony of the persecuted, can we truly pray for them. If we fail to do this now, when our time of tribulation is fully come, we will have no reservoir of experience, in the Spirit, to aid us in walking through the persecution against us.

May God lead us to recognize throughout the day, the plight of our persecuted brethren, that we may learn to pray for them and grow a foundation of faith and thankfulness towards our God and Father.

For testimonies on the persecuted church worldwide visit the Voice of the Martyrs website www.persecution.com and sign up for their email icommit to prayer weekly newsletter.

The Voice of Martyrs | The Mission WMCA - New York, NY

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IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIMIT GOD?

Ephesians 4:30 (NKJV) -
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The title implies a ridiculous question to many in the realm of western Christianity. To suggest that God can be limited, to many Christians, would mean God is not Almighty. This kind of thinking is not unbiblical, but totally unnecessary.

Throughout biblical history, God has chosen to work independent of man, and for much of salvation history, through man. In fact, man’s choice to believe God is that which moves God to consider a person righteous (Genesis 15:16; Habakkuk 2:2-4; Romans 1:17). We can consider Moses and how the Lord worked through Him, even in the most practical way.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites are sent into battle against the Amalekites. While Moses has the staff of the LORD extended over Israel on the battlefield, Israel would advance toward winning the battle. When his arms would drop, Israel would lose ground to their enemies exponentially. In a wonderful move of faith and collaboration, we read that Aaron and Hur gave Moses a stone to sit upon and they held his arms extended until sunset. The result, as God worked through them, was Israel winning the battle against a much great and superior force.

This theme of God working through men and being limited by men, continues throughout the Old Testament, with the nation of Israel and is clearly stated in Psalm 78:40-42.

 Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

It is true that God is all powerful and limitless, but because He chooses to work through humanity, by faith, when the faith of that humanity is faulty and unbelieving, it can and does limit His will and plan from moving forward, for a time, to a certain degree.

This is not only an Old Testament phenomenon. Remember that where there was little or no faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ, He could not do many miracles (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:5). In addition, we find the church can be a limiting factor to what the Holy One of Israel desires to do in a particular area or time.

1 Corinthians 10:6-13 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Christians who commit sexual immorality, tempt Christ, and complain in a fashion like Israel, can and do limit what the Lord desires to do, for a time. It is important to see these violations, as violations of faith in God’s word, Person, and plan. The word unbelief is the action in us which limits the work of God. Consider Romans Chapter 11.

Romans 11:19-22 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

To be cut off means to fall away into judgment. This is made clear by what the Lord Jesus Christ declares in John 15:1-3 where He declares “Every branch in me that bares fruit will be pruned and every branch in Me, that does not bear fruit will be cut off and cast into the fire”.

Unbelief, therefore, is the key factor which limits the Holy one of Israel and it is a potential big problem for the Christian. This is because unbelief is not to declare that Jesus Christ is not the son of God, but to declare He is your Lord and Savior, but to act contrary to that profession. Consider the book of Hebrews which uses Israel as an example of those who declared we will follow YHWH, but who would not obey Him.

Hebrews 3:7-15 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

 “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ 11so I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.'”

 12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Let us remember that this passage declares “Beware, Brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief in departing the Living God”.

To be cut off, or having an evil heart of unbelief, is to limit the work of God in the individual, the church, and the world. So let us be determined to not be a factor of limiting the power of God in our sphere of influence. Let us revisit Psalm 78:40-42 to understand how to be a conduit of God’s limitless will.

Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

In this passage we see four descriptive words which arise from their lack of faith in what the LORD had done for them in the past. “They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy. This is unbelief for the whole time, they professed they believed God, but forgot what He had done, when the going got tough.

This is egregious for us as well, but in our Christian culture, we make excuses for not trusting God alone, for what He has promised and what He has done for us in the past. Now for some, who believe faith  only to believe for salvation, they have little built up testimony of what the Lord has done in their life.

When we walk in unbelief, we provoke, grieve, tempt and limit the LORD, not only in our life, but also in our fellowship and the communities of lost men, we live in.

This passage greatly convicts me, and ought to greatly convict all of us. The Church in America is largely based on individual profession of salvation, but salvation is not about a ticket to heaven, it is the powerful transformation of the entire man, by the power of God filling and working through our humanity.

When the Son of Man comes, will He find us faithful and believing of His power still, or simply hanging on till He arrives? The choice is ours, for not everyone who declares to Christ “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of His Father (Matthew 7:21-23).

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OCCUPIED BY CHRIST! We Better BE! Part II

MY HEART – CHRIST'S THRONE – 1 Peter 3:15 » Bethany Bible Church

In my last post we looked began to into the nature and origin of demons. This began with the Lord Jesus explaining what occurs when a demon is cast out of a person. We began with Matthew 12:43-45 43 and ended discussing why they wander through “dry places” as described in Matthew 12:43.

We discovered the answer to that question comes from the word of God and Jewish history, particularly second temple period history, when Israel retuned to the land after 70 year of exile in Babylon. Those returning were fed up with the pagan ways of the land their sin had brought them to live in and they were committed to reformation and revival.

This began with a proper understand of the spiritual realm, particularly the powers of darkness, which had been glossed over in the nations apostacy prior to their exile. Therefore, they first returned to the law of God and the prophets, to understand where they went wrong and follow the Lord in commitment.

This leads to their understanding of where demons came from, beginning with Genesis 6.

Genesis 6:1-2 1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

Genesis 6:4-5 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

In this passage we discover that demons had their beginning, in the abominable union of angels and human woman. These abominable sexual unions produced “giants”; the Hebrew word for which is “Nephilim”.

These hybrid abominations were as much as twice the height of men, also having 6 fingers and 6 toes on both hands and feet (II Samuel 21:20; I Chronicles 20:6) and were vicious and wicked.

Interestingly, most ancient cultures account for these abominations existing prior to their own accounts of the Noahic flood.

It was the flood that killed the Nephilim and as it is reported in the second temple period writings, that upon death, these hybrid creatures’ spirits, were dislodged from their physical frame.

As we discussed in part 1 of this series, demons are not fallen angels. (to read part 1 click this link OCCUPIED BY CHRIST! We Better BE! | Return, Revive, Repair, Restore (4rs4thechurch.com)

The disembodied spirits of the Nephilim have three places to be, until the final judgment [1] Influencing a human for the purpose of possibly inhabiting them [2] roaming through dry places looking for a host [3] to be cast into the abyss.

Because of these three reasons it is important we understand the te importance of the abyss.

Biblically speaking the “abyss” is the bottomless pit, a temporary place of holding for demons, until Revelation 9, when a fallen angel, who has the key to the bottomless pit opens it.

From this event, the king over demons, “Abaddon” or “Apollyon”, leads them out for a time. It is for this reason demons do not want to go to the Abyss, because it is a reminder of their forever torment when Christ returns.

In Luke 8:31, we read one of three accounts of the demon horde “Legion”, which gives us more clarity concerning the desire of demons to be anywhere other than the abyss.

In this account the demon begs the Lord Jesus to allow them to go into a herd of pigs, rather than Christ sending them into the abyss. The Lord permits the transfer into the pigs, who then run off a cliff into the Sea of Galilee.

Here we see why demons wander through dry places. In the first place, water reminds them of the flood and God who will one day end them forever. Secondly, in second temple period history, water covers the abyss.

You may ask why this is important to us? Because a delivered person can come under the influence of demons again, should they not be occupied, by the right person.

Matthew 12:43-45 43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

“Seeking rest” and finding none “I will return to my house…”.

In the first place the demon’s statement is a lie. Even in those completely demonized, what we called “possession”, the demon has not legal right to be there. It is for this reason, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all followers of Christ, in His name, can dislodged a demon from a person who never asks for deliverance.

Demons are squatters, hiding out until one comes who is equipped to cast them out. They never really possess a person, but that the person gives themselves over to the demon’s influence, through rage, sexual immorality, violence, using drug (pharmakia), excessive lying or other perversions.

Sadly, some people, especially children who are demonized, come to be so by experiencing entracted physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

To be demonized means the degree to which a person is under demonic influence. This could be little or a lot, but in any case, a little is just as dangerous. This is why we need to learn how to overcome temptation, in the power of God’s Spirit.

James 1:12-15 reveals the nature of temptation. We understand it arises from some thread in us that can be pulled, but that pull comes from the world, through the flesh and it is the devil’s plan. Much temptation comes through demonic suggestion. When we fall to temptation, we are giving in to influence from the darkness.

Since any Christian can fall to temptation and into sin, we must understand the pathway to overcoming and occupation of ourselves, by Christ.

And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order”.

To be swept and clean, means that a person has adjusted their moral and practical life, after finding deliverance. This of course is a good thing, and a good start, but incomplete, if that is where it remains.

Swept and clean can be seen in the deliverance of the Gadarenes demoniac, of whom it is written that the people of his region found him “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid”.

It would be what this man did afterward, which would bring Him to safety in Christ, or at risk of re-occupation by more demons than at first. It is imperative to remember that Christ told him, to return to the cities in the region and glorify God. It is in obedience to God, that we are experiencing the growing of the earnest of the Spirit. In fact, scripture indicates obedience brings the amplification of our faith, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:21-23 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Believing Jesus is the Son of God, who died for our sins, is awesome, but not is not the end all be all of salvation. In this life we are to be transformed, by the Spirit of God, as we have been given a deposit, an earnest of the Spirit.

An earnest ,in banking terms, is to grow the deposit until the entire house is possessed by the one making payments (Ephesians 1:13-14). In the case of salvation, that owner/occupier is to be Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

He must be Lord of our life occupying our heart as His throne. Not as the resident, but as the president, executing God’s will, through our obedient faith.

Jesus words in Matthew 12:43-35, were not to lost people, but to His disciples, so the are a warning and admonition.

Peter in his second letter, addresses those Christians who are at risk, by only being swept and cleaned, but not occupied by Christ, as Lord, in all His fullness.

2 Peter 2:20-21 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Of course, this passage is dealing with those who have fallen away, and it brings to remembrance what is revealed concerning the condition of the one who is “swept and put in order”, but not occupied; that their last state is worse than their lostness prior to knowing Christ.

This is very important because without Christ being both our Savior, and our Lord, all we are is swept and ordered, with the Holy Spirit with us, as a resident, but not occupying us as Lord. This is an inviting position for the demons that traffic around our lives.

In America there are too many “Christians” who are swept and ordered, according to the culturally Christianity, but not being continuously filled, as we are called to be in Ephesians 5:18-19. This essential aspect of our relationship to God, is the power of our ministry and godliness. In this aspect we are not to be passive but active in pursuit of His fullness of Spirit

It is for this reason the church in America is falling away, fooled, as characterized by II Timothy 3:1-5.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.

So let us press in to being filled with the Spirit of God, where Christ dwells in our hearts, by faith, as the ruling Lord of His own abode. It is the Christian, who pursues obeying Christ’s commands, that is filled with the righteous power of Christ’s fullness (Matthew 5:6; Acts 5:32).

May we be swept and put in order, but may Christ fill our life, as His abode with the Father, fully.

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OCCUPIED BY CHRIST! We Better BE!

Matthew 12:43-45 43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

The character and nature of demons has long been of interest to followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the Gospels, we read of Christ and the disciples encountering people who are possessed and afflicted with illness, from demonic influence. This activity continues in the book of Acts, where Paul encounters demonic activity, as He ministers the gospel (Acts 16:16-34, Acts 19:11-20).

We understand that demons also can influence false teaching through “doctrines of demons” (I Timothy 4:1-3).

In the last days, before Christ’s return, within Babylon (the capitol city/nation of the one world government under Antichrist), we find that demons and the perversions arising from demon activity, will proliferate.

Revelation 18:2-3 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!

As to the makeup and nature of demons, we understand them to be noncorporal, or without a physical frame. Demons were not always noncorporal, but before we discuss their very real physical origins, it is important to dismiss a popular error concerning demons; that they are fallen angels.

Angels, whether they fell from God or not, will always be angels, without a change in their makeup. The word most often used for angels in the New Testament is “angelos” meaning angel or “a messenger” sent by God. Concerning the first estate of angels, they were created to serve God without question and minister to God’s redeemed, in both testaments. We get the idea that Satan, although a created angelic being, is of a higher class of angel referred to as the cherubim.

Of great import to our discussion is that Jesus never referred to angels, including those fallen from God, as demons. The word “demon” from an entirely different Greek word daimonion. Interestingly, when the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking about those who choose not to follow Him in faith, He declares they will wind up in “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Once more the word angel is the plural for of the Greek word “angelos”.

Another phrase associated with demonic activity is “akathartos pneuma” or “unclean spirit”. In this phrase, we understand the noncorporeal nature of the demon, which is a difference from angels, who can manifest a physical frame as physical yours and mine. Consider the angels which God dispatched to save Lot and his family from Sodom, both exhibiting a physical

So physical were these angels, that the wicked men of Sodom desired to rape them. This of course lends further credence to the truth that the “sons for God” from Genesis 6:1-4, were in fact fallen angels, which had intercourse with human woman, producing the awful abominations, that were the Nephilim. Remember that Jude links both events together.

Jude 1:6-7 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

How does all this relate to demons and where they have come from?

Well, demons are a result of the flood. The Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and woman, were killed in the flood. These being were abominable hybrids. When the died in the flood, there was no place for their spirits to go, therefore they wander the earth, until final judgment, disembodied, looking to experience what they once had, in their wicked and perverse material life.

Why is this important? As we progress further towards the one world government and religion of Antichrist, we will see a super abundant rise in demonic activity and the perversions, accompanied with that activity, especially in whatever nation the seat of Babylon exists.

Let’s dig into Matthew 12:34-45 for the purpose of understanding the makeup an nature of demons and how they became wandering noncorporeal beings.

Matthew 12:43-45 43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Why do demons go through dry places? There is a very solid biblical and historical reason for this from the period after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity. This time frame is referred to as the second temple period.

After Jerusalem was destroyed and the people led away captive, there was nothing but degradation for 70 years. Upon return the temple had to be complete rebuilt, down to laying a new foundation. The city also needed to be rebuilt, including out to the wall. The faith of Israel also needed to be re-founded in the torah, or first five books of the Old Testament.

The reason for this is that from their entrance into the promised land, the first time, the religion of the YHWH had become corrupted and synergized, by the leaders of Israel, with false deity worship, fueled by demonic activity. Ezekiel 7 and 8 reveals this tragedy.

Ezekiel 7:1-4 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel:

An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.
3 Now the end has come upon you,
And I will send My anger against you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
And I will repay you for all your abominations.
4 My eye will not spare you,
Nor will I have pity;
But I will repay your ways,
And your abominations will be in your midst;
Then you shall know that I am the LORD!’

The word “abomination” defines anything which marries the holy and the profane or mixes that which does not belong together. In this case it was the demonically fueled religions of Canaan with that or the worship of the One True God. Consider what Ezekiel sees in chapter 8, around and in the Temple of the God of Israel.
• At the North Temple Gate an idol of Baal provoking YHWH to jealousy.
• Inside the Temple itself the elders of Israel worshipping any an all idols they could get their hands on.
• In the north portion of the Temple grounds woman weeping for Tammuz; false Babylonian son of god.
• Between the porch and the alter were 25 men worshipping toward the rising sun. This is the worship of the father of Tammuz, Nimrod, who became the sun god, after his death.
• The woman of this period in Jeremiah 44 reveals their devotion to the queen of heaven, Semiramis, wife of Nimrod and mother of Tammuz.

It is for this reason that the second temple period becomes so important to understanding demons. The Jews were taken captive for the purpose of punishing their national sin and to recover and refine their faith. As we have seen, their faith diminished because they cozied up to the profane, succumbing to the  dark powers fueling the false religions of the Canaanites around them … demons under the authority of Satan.

Therefore, in the second temple period they re-founded their faith in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), especially Genesis, which reveals the Genesis of the noncorporal nature of demons. But that is for next time.

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False Flags and a Tipping Point

Ayala: Biden's speech was intentional, unequivocal, urgent and long in  coming

We live in very interesting and unsettling times. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we see the sign of the times and should have enthusiastic hope that Christ’s return is nearer than when we first believed.

This same hope also comes with a sobriety, that in the time preceding Christ’s return, the world experiences perilous natural disasters, with greater intensity and consistency. In this environment, the world, and the devil, attack Christ’s church with all the ammunition they have at their disposal (Matthew 24:4-14).

In these very interesting and unsettling times, it seems the governments of the world are moving closer toward one world unity. This of course is the foundation of Antichrist’s final Babylon against the LORD and His Christ (Psalm 2). Interestingly, through the sham pandemic that Covid-19 is, other global events, such as the war in Ukraine, it seems like the world system is wrapping its totalitarian coil around all people.

When a python seeks to kill its prey through crushing it, for the purpose of swallowing it whole, it behaves in a particular way. First, the python wraps itself around the victim, which causes its prey to struggle to get free. This process speeds up the breathing of the victim, as the snake brings hundreds of pounds of pressure upon the body. After a while, the snake releases some tension, which causes the victim to feel that it is time to escape or that the python is losing interest and danger is abating. This is of course a mistake, by the prey. In their effort to get free, they allow the python to wrap further around them giving them a better grip to kill them. This may occur several times, until the python squeezes them to death, crushing ever vital organs.

Since the planned Covid outbreak began, I have noticed that we have faced pressure, through events which elevate fear and give people one choice: obey your government or else. These events can feel like crushing external forces, which squeeze the reason out of people, world over. When those in power begin to feel struggle against the machinated events, they squeeze a little more, then release for a season. This causes people to relax thinking the danger is over. What is really happening is that in the return to a more comfortable spot, for a season, we fail to see the leaders are moving to coil around us more, like a python.

We see this in America, very clearly. Gas prices were rocketing higher and higher because our president made them rocket higher and higher, under the guise of the false flag of global warming.

A false flag is a political or military act, orchestrated in such a way, that it appears to have been carried out by a party that is not, in fact, responsible. With the global warming nonsense, we see fossil fuel being blamed for a fake existential threat against the planet. Therefore, we need to stop using oil and gas, so they say.

The real reason for the green push is to control population with electric cars normal people will not be able to afford, which need an infrastructure of electricity that the government will never be able to provide. Hence, a false flag.

Remember, people that cannot move about freely are easier to control and round up for “re-education” if they refuse the benevolence of their dictators.

When the U.S. president saw Americans had enough of high gas prices, they magically went down, so that we could drive to ball games, personal fitness establishments, concerts, and movies theaters; but for only 2 months. Yet, at the beginning of September 2022, we were warned again about another threat to democracy and greater threat than that of global warming… Make America Great Again republicans.

In a carefully crafted speech and background environment, where red lighting was used to set an ominous cinema scape, the president spoke with two ceremonially dressed marines behind him. During his speech, he warned Americans that MAGA republicans, led by former president Trump, would stop at nothing to win back the presidency, using violence and insurrection to do so. This false flag threat was spoken several times, without so much as one report of actual intelligence on any planned attack. Eventually the president will follow through on his threat to put down those who would be mislabeled domestic terrorists.

Being mindful that many Donald Trump supporters are lawful and law-abiding gun owners, Christians or both, ought to raise any follower of Christ’s sobriety concerning the time of the midterm elections.

Just recently, a pro-life activist, Mark Houck, was arrested at his home and in front of his wife and children, by a team of 20 FBI agents, on bogus charges. Five of these agents with guns drawn, demanded Houck exit the home. Houck is charged with violation of Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance Act. Not because he blocked an entrance to an abortion clinic, but because a belligerent abortion clinic worker, got too close to his son and Houck pushed the man away from his son.

Interestingly, the clinic worker’s case against Houck was thrown out of the Philadelphia District Court, in the summer, yet picked up by the US attorney general. This same Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, has also instructed the FBI to investigate parents who speak out against LGBTQ and Covid measures, when at school board meetings. In the false flag scenario, they are just as bad as MAGA supporters, even being categorized as domestic terrorists.

Why is this important to those who follow Jesus Christ? Because the ultimate end of these false flags is to gain control over the nations of the world. With America, there will never be compliance to the one world global government, until individual gun owners are stripped of their firearms. Once this occurs, then citizens of every nation, either must comply, or be exterminated.

Let us remember that most of the world population complies, even independent Americans, with Antichrist’s one world government. So, Satan’s real and ultimate targets are Israel and God’s church (Revelation 12:13-17). It is for this reason that these events are so very important. There need be only one tipping point, before the kind of chaos needed occurs, to open the door to a one global government. We may have reached a tipping point.

A tipping point, of course, refers to where the liquid in a bottle, shifts forward so much, that all the liquid will spill out. Another phrase for such a time, is a point of no return. History has had many tipping points, which led to utter devastation, catastrophe, and changes, from which the world was never the same.

Consider the tipping point which released the useless carnage of World War I; that of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Without this assassination, war may have come to Europe later or not at all. Are we at such a tipping point?

Europe investigates 'attacks' on Russian gas pipelines to Europe

Yesterday (9/27/2022), we potentially reached such a tipping point. The Russian owned and operated Nord Stream Pipeline broke open into the black sea. Massive amounts of natural gas poured into the water and massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere. The damage to the pipeline, which brings fuel for automobiles, industry, and domestic use to Europe, occurred after an underwater explosion near the pipeline.

Why this is so important is that Nord Stream brings necessary revenue to Russia, which just got hit with another round of economic sanctions from the U.S. and NATO, for the Russian war with Ukraine. Also of note is that another pipeline, the Baltic Pipeline built, owned, and operated out of Poland, just opened yesterday; the same day the Russian pipeline is severely damaged.

To add more fuel to this possible tipping point, is that last year both President Biden and other U.S. officials declared that they could and would stop Nord Stream from being used. Both the European Union and NATO are stating that it was an act of sabotage which caused the destruction of the pipeline. Chillingly, the former Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski thanked the United States for blowing up the Nord Stream Pipeline, in a tweet on twitter.

Imagine the fallout globally, if the United States or one of its NATO allies are found responsible for the explosion, which led to the destruction of the Nord Stream Pipeline; which they have yet to deny. Could it lead to a nuclear attack on Ukraine, Poland, other NATO allies, or even the U.S. mainland?

Could the rise in fuel costs, which will surely come, cause more inflation, economic chaos, and political unrest?

It is possible that we are about to go over the falls toward the very last events outlined in the word of God.

Let us determine to hold fast to Christ, trusting in His love and grace to see us through. Let us always remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-18), nor are our weapons material from this world (II Corinthians 10:3-6).

Let us remember that we overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, loving the Lord with all our heart by following His will, even if it ends in our death (Revelation 12:11).

Keep sharing the truth in love and singing of the wonders of Christ. The time of our redemption is nearer, than when we first believed.

Philippians 1:19-21 19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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