Posted in end of days, end time, eruption, Tolbachik, volcano

Russia’s Tolbachik volcano eruption continues, creation of lava lake worries authorities

Yet another volcano that was “once dormant” has come to life. This article is from the UK Telegraph. Geology Professor Erik Klemetti says from a scientific standpoint, “bad article, cool video.” It is a cool video. Here is the news:

Erupting Russian volcano creating a lava lake
A lava lake has started to form at the once-dormant Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.
“Russian scientists said there were no signs that the Plosky Tolbachik volcano will stop erupting soon, Russian broadcaster RU-RTR reported earlier on Friday. … After lying dormant for almost 40 years Plosky Tolbachik suddenly erupted in November.”

It is the creation of the lava lake that has caught their attention. This article from Australia reports:

Plosky Tolbachik volcano erupts in Russia’s Far East
A VOLCANO erupting in Russia’s Far East is sending plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and creating a lava lake. The Plosky Tolbachik volcano is located in Kamchatka peninsula, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest residential areas. Gennady Karpov, a volcano expert at Russia’s Academy of Sciences in the Far East, said: “There were no lava lakes at Kamchatka volcanos before now. We have never seen this before.” Plosky Tolbachik has emitted jets of hot lava up to 200 metres high.”

Both articles speak of hot or burning lava. Klemetti’s wry tweet made me laugh: (Erik K / Eruptions ‏@eruptionsblog)

“And what’s the deal with “burning lava”? Is this as opposed to “pleasant and soothing lava”?”

Posted in end of days, joel c. rosenberg, prophecy, rapture

Joel Rosenberg asks, ‘Is it the end of days?’ Pete Garcia asks ‘What about the rapture?’

Joel Rosenberg wrote a very good essay answering this question. He has details and scriptures over at his blog.

Here is an excerpt:

“Jesus cautioned His followers not to speculate on the exact time of the Rapture or the Second Coming. In Matthew 24:36, He said that “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” But “day and hour” is a very narrow slice of time. By giving us at least fifteen other specific signs that would be happening in the last days, Jesus clearly wanted us to know when the time of His return was rapidly approaching.”

“Why? He gave the answer in Matthew 24:42, when He said, “Therefore, be on the alert.” He reinforced the point in the next verse, when again He urged His followers to be “on the alert.” In Matthew 24:44, He stressed this critical point for a third time. “You also must be ready,” He insisted, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

“Followers of Jesus Christ who study these signs are coming to the conclusion that they are being fulfilled today and that we are, in fact, living in the last days.”

They have no idea precisely when Jesus will return, of course. But given how closely world events are tracking with Bible prophecy, they find themselves increasingly motivated to “be ready…”

That is what prophecy does for us. It makes us urgently ready. It is so important to study it and honor it. As the Proverbs say,

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18).

Knowing that Jesus could return at any moment is exactly a restraint! Prophecy restrains us. It’s like an extending leash for your pet. If you take the leash off, the dog runs and runs and sometimes runs into a car. On the leash he has room and yet he is restrained from danger or from wandering off the path.

Or like your teenager, if they have the house to themselves and know that they have hours and hours of unsupervised time, how much trouble will they get into, as opposed to knowing the parents could come back at any moment?

You might enjoy this essay from Pete Garcia, called “The Rapture“. Here is an excerpt–

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

A Shout: The three times that the New Testament records Jesus shouts in the New Testament, notice what happens:

-One man, Lazarus resurrected (JN 11:43)
-Many tombs opened and dead saints resurrected (MATT 27:46, 52)
-Millions resurrected. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Christ’s verbal command is powerful enough to raise the dead because Christ, having been resurrected, holds the keys to death and hell and is singularly able to command death to obey His voice.”

We serve a holy and glorious God! Go on your way today praising Jesus for all that He is and all that He is doing. We will soon meet Him, and what a morning that will be!

Posted in end of days, hamas, israel, jerusalem, prophecy, rocket

O, Jerusalem!

When Hamas shot a rocket toward Jerusalem, landing in it suburb, it shocked a great many people, not the least were the Israelis themselves.

It was a shocking event for two reasons. First, because this was a new kind of rocket and also because Israel didn’t think Hamas had the range to reach that far into Israel. In the past, all the rockets launched from Gaza were aimed at the southern portion of the nation and were of short range. No rocket had ever been launched at Jerusalem since 1970. Earlier in the day, Hamas launched several rockets toward the city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest, and most industrial city. No rocket had ever been launched at Tel Aviv since 1990. While the Tel Aviv population was recovering from their shock at the rocket barrage, then the attack toward Jerusalem happened.

The rocket launched at Jerusalem shocked Israelis and Christians alike secondly because of the symbolism. Jerusalem is God’s city, his very bosom. Whether the Muslims care to acknowledge that verbally or not is irrelevant. Their cries to “Destroy Jerusalem!” are evidence that it is that city and that city alone which provokes their ire. Unconsciously they know that it is holy, and because they are not holy, they want to destroy it in any way they can.

When the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in different nations throughout the Arab Spring of 2011, soon afterwards they began to verbalize their intent to destroy Israel, and especially Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem? Jerusalem is not a financial center. It is not a manufacturing center. It is not a military base. It is not even the largest city in Israel. Compared to other cities in the Middle East, it is almost a backwater. If it is not a plum military target, manufacturing target, or financial target, why do they want to destroy Jerusalem, then?

It is God’s eternal city. It is a city where God Himself has put His name. (2 Kings 21:4). This is significant. There is nothing holier in the universe than the name of God. He says of Himself, “I am the LORD, that is my Name” (Isaiah 42:8). He has concern for His holy name. (Ezekiel 36:21). His name is a strong tower, (Proverbs 18:10). In His name and no other is salvation (Acts 4:12). So when God sets His name, it means something!

For those reasons, the ungodly hate Jerusalem, because it de facto means they hate God. They seek to destroy Him, and since He is not present on earth now (they sought to destroy Jesus when He was here!) they try to do the next best thing- attack the Jews, the Christians, and the holy city where God chose to place His Name.

God’s enemies have always sought to destroy His name, ever since Genesis when satan slyly and craftily deceived Adam and Eve. In the Tribulation they continue attack God, but more pointedly, openly, and vastly. And they go after Jerusalem viciously. (Luke 21:20). What sparks this attack is that Satan is thrown out of heaven, barred from re-entry in Revelation 12:9, and as a result his fury is such that as the bible tells us in Revelation 12:13, 17, he goes after the Jews and the Christians. Satan’s open hatred of God culminates at the end of days in his finally leaving off attacking the Jews (who had fled to Petra and are being supernaturally protected by God) and having killed most of the Christians, prevailed against them, (Revelation 13:7, Dan 7:25), he assembles the armies of Armageddon to make war against the Lamb Himself. (Rev. 17:14)

Satan has always gone after God’s people. Genesis 3 opens with satan’s hatred of God, taken out on His children, and the story of sin ends with it.

Back to today, it should not be surprising to us in the spiritual realms that Jerusalem is attacked with missiles, it is prophesied. God’s word never fails, and we know that we know this will happen.

But it is surprising. Even though we know it will happen, when it does, we still have to absorb all the impacts emotionally, personally, and mentally. We are only human, after all. Knowing it will happen is different from seeing it happen. The illusory protective seal we thought had surrounded Jerusalem, simply because it hadn’t been attacked in 40 years (a generation) was pierced in a moment when the first rocket fell. Now our minds have to deal with a new reality.

It takes a moment to adjust.

What will aid our adjustment more smoothly and more rapidly to this new, dire world we live in, of which doom is deepening by the day, is prayer and praise.

Pray to the Lord for all your needs. Pray for your fleshly provision such as food and clothes and a home, of course. Also, pray for spiritual strength, wisdom, love, patience, insight into His word. Being bathed in prayer and washed in God’s Word will help as our hearts and minds re-align to what is coming upon the world. We need HIM to establish peace within us, and to equip us as soldiers in withstanding the worldly pressures. He is squeezing the world after all, and we are in the world. We’re squeezed too. The difference is when we are squeezed, we have an opportunity to grow and shine brighter as trophies of His glory.

Even those Christians who are unaware of end times events feel the spiritual burden. They know at an intuitive, spiritual level that when Jerusalem was attacked it brought in a new era of worsening geo-political situations. They may not know the details of why it is bad, but they know it is bad. Unfortunately, these Christians are least equipped to withstand the spiritual pressure. Perhaps having been for a lifetime unfamiliar with the Word or having never developed a habit of turning to the Lord in troubling times, they flail about like a fish with no air. Remind them that the air they need is His word and His ways. The world is dying. It has been dying since Genesis 3:7 when Adam and Eve listened to the devil and ate the fruit. Jesus is the cure, but Jesus only resuscitates those who repent. For those who refuse His name and who reject holiness, they will die.

This end of the end times, and soon to be Tribulation, are the death throes of the world. All unrighteousness that dwells within it is speeding up. The long, 6000-year decline of the world and all that is within it is beginning its death rattle, the cancer finally having spread to the essential organs.

If you work in the medical profession, you know how hard it is to watch death come to those whom you have worked hard to save. It is especially hard to watch a child die of a dread disease like cancer or leukemia. When the person’s time is up, it happens fast. We know that death will come, but it is still hard to watch. Compassion is deep in the face of the unavoidable.

In this present age, Christians are all nurses, pleading with people to go to the hospital of the cross to have fixed what ails them. Jesus can heal their spiritual death throes, but many refuse. They have a blinded mind and cannot think straight.

In the adventure non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer Into Thin Air, several groups of mountain climbers were attempting to make the Everest summit in the fateful season of 1996. One climber made the top…but he stayed up too long. On his way down, it began to grow dark and he was trying to make the base camp. He ran out of canned air. Radioing his mates at Camp, they pleaded with him to take an oxygen tank stashed nearby for that very purpose. He found the canister and even held it in his hands, but he was convinced that it was empty. That all of them were empty. They weren’t, but prolonged exposure to thin air made his brain unable to think straight. He died soon after, holding his wasted salvation in his hands.

The lost are like that. Salvation is within their reach, but they do not take the breath of life Jesus is willing to extend. They die on the mountain, not one inch closer to God than when they were in the valley.

Things in the Middle East could die down, of course. I hope they do. But it is equally likely that they won’t. Even if war does not break out today, it will probably break out tomorrow, or next week. The attack on Jerusalem, even though the rocked failed to reach the city center, pierced a bubble and now there is no going back. It is like the dogs of war have been unleashed in the rabid minds of the furiously debased and the thought to wipe Jerusalem from the map will only grow. They will circle now, eager to take what is God’s. But God will stop them.

And the LORD will inherit Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:12; also Zechariah 1:17)

“In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed saying ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:24-25)

Posted in end of days, prophecy

Praise the Lord, we live in interesting times!

There is quite a bit of interesting news out today with prophetic implications. I am making another post of the actual news. This post is to praise the Lord for the news.

There is a proverb/curse of alleged Chinese origin, “May you live in interesting times.” The implication is that a life lived in interesting times is less desirable than one lived in peace and tranquility. To be sure, the danger and uncertainty and lack and want of these years are difficult to manage sometimes, but surely it is better to live in interesting times than uninteresting. Why? Jesus.

We could change that phrase to “May you live in prophetic times” and it would be better applicable for the believer. For those who are IN the Lord, believers in Jesus and saved by His grace, we know that though difficult, the times that are more “interesting” offer more growth in sanctification than times when everything is going along peacefully. If I had my druthers, I would prefer to live in prophetic times. LOL, I don’t have my druthers, He put me here, of all us are here, for just such a time as this.

The tremendous opportunity we have to actually watch God at work in the world in such an interesting and visible way fuels my love for Him and my amazement at His sovereignty. Yes, a life in a previous time might well have been more peaceful, but less astonishing. And the difficult times offer us the opportunity to grow in Jesus. He is the Potter. He sanctifies us and shapes us through trials and challenges. And my, what challenges these times offer. Therefore the growth in Christlikeness should be even greater than when living in uninteresting times.

I agree, the times are hard. No one likes living in the era when our beloved nation America failed, collapsed, and imploded. Instead, let’s focus on what God is doing. He is so high above us, yet He told us ages ago what He would do. And now He is doing it. This is cause for praise and celebration.

What is God doing on earth? He said He would judge nations, set up kings and take them down.

“but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.” (Psalm 75:11). Also see Daniel 2:21)

Imagine being in heaven where we can recount His mighty deeds from our own generation! ‘In 1990, God threw down Gog and in 2000 He raised Him up again!” Or, ‘His might destroyed Damascus, just like He said He would!’ Or, “I lived in America, the greatest nation in centuries but He completely struck that nation down for idolatry and godlessness in just four years!’

Keep that Psalms & Daniel verse in mind as election season approaches. A Pastor friend of mine wrote: “Our vote does not determine who will be elected to serve in any political office. God ordains and appoints who will serve and for how long. … Our vote reveals our convictions and value system; what we believe.”

We can be mindful and diligent in our voting but if the outcome seems drastic (like Obama re-elected) or is not your preferred outcome, then just remember He is doing a work! We get to see it! And then we get to praise Him!

“A Psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.” (Psalm 82:1).

Matthew Henry explains, “Good princes and good judges, who mean well, are under Divine direction; and bad ones, who mean ill, are under Divine restraint.”

Obama is under restraint. What is happening is under God’s divine plan. Russia’s Putin is under restraint. Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are under restraint. Even Hitler was under restraint. The Holy Spirit sends His restraining power upon the earth. No king, or president or Prime Minister or dictator is doing anything God does not want to happen.

But… woe to the inhabitants of the earth when the Spirit is taken out of the way!

“And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)

The world really does feel like it is out of control. But it isn’t. See, this verse comforts:

“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds. “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars.” (Psalm 75:1-3).

The LORD will steady its pillars. May you live in prophetic times! (and enjoy them!)

Posted in end of days, news, prophecy

Another massacre in Syria, the prophetic news keeps rolling in

Here is some of today’s interesting prophetic news:

A plague of mice! The US isn’t the only farming nation to recently have a major crop cut by half…

Field mice overrun farms in central Germany
“Millions of field mice are overrunning the central German states of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, much to the concern of local farmers. The rodents are devastating food crops, cutting yields by up to 50 percent. Getting birds of prey to hunt the critters didn’t help, and now farmers want to be allowed to use a banned rat poison. … “The birds got so fat from eating all the mice that they almost couldn’t fly any more,” Kopp said. “But they still couldn’t keep up.” (Rev 6:8)

Humungous solar flare erupts in our direction
The sun unleashed a huge flare Thursday (July 12), the second major solar storm to erupt from our star in less than a week. The solar flare peaked at 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT) as an X-class sun storm, the most powerful type of flare the sun can have.” (Luke 21:25)

The flare’s effects are due to arrive on earth July 14 at around 4:30 am EDT give or take 7 hours.

Syria’s army foments war of faiths (Google translated from German magazine Spiegel)
Berlin – Again, there are gruesome pictures from Syria, and again the question arises as to the perpetrators. Syria’s opposition to the regime is accused of having murdered in the village at Hama Tremseh more than 220 men, women and children. Some are killed by artillery fire from the army, others have been killed by militia from neighboring villages. Kofi Annan said on Friday that it was proven that had been used in Tremseh artillery, helicopters and tanks. This is a clear breach of his peace plan by the Syrian army.” (Isaiah 17:1, Psalm 83 Matthew 24:6).

Syria massacre in Tremseh village shocks Annan
“Amateur video footage which appeared to show the corpses of 15 men gave an inkling of the scale of the reported bloodletting in the village of Tremseh after a major onslaught by government forces and pro-regime militiamen. Survivors and activists told of how gunmen went from house to house clinically executing survivors while others were shot dead as they tried to escape through the fields surrounding the village, which lies in Syria’s western province of Hama. The bloodshed marked the third large-scale massacre in Syria since mid-May…”

Assad may be moving his chemical weapon stockpiles, and make no mistake, he has a lot of them and they are technologically advanced. The question is, is he moving them to safeguard them, or to ready them for use?

The situation in Syria really is hazardous. Keeping in mind the Isaiah 17 prophecy, I am not kidding when I saw that one day soon we will wake up to find Damascus doesn’t exist anymore.

The Midwest drought is sparking food inflation…big time. After all, today’s drought, tomorrow’s higher food prices. (Revelation 6:5-6)

Russia Today reports on Obama. I grew up in the age of Russian propaganda via the newspaper Pravda, but now we rely on Russia to reflect back to us the doings of our president because the US press has now become Pravda.

Obama gives himself control of all communication systems in America
“US President Barack Obama quietly signed his name to an Executive Order on Friday, allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security. President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.” Rev 13:16-17).

These kind of power grab plays right into the hands of the coming oppressive regime and ultimate dictator. When the Tribulation happens, and the cataclysmic events begins to occur, control of information will be of utmost importance.

Well, that’s gotta hurt- JP Morgan admits to losing 5.5 billion this year. Moody’s downgraded Italy, junk rating awaits, but not just yet.

In regards to the coming apostasy, which many say is either here or nearly here, the following is an essay on the roots of the emergent church and how to spot it if it is creeping into yours.

How to spot the emergent church creeping into your church
“Here is a short list of authors, teachers and areas of concern that may indicate that the leadership of your church is being influenced to varying extents by Emergent Church philosophy.”

If you are of the kind of Christian who believes (knows) God is sovereign over all the affairs of men, then you know He ordained your birth at this time, now, for a reason. He has planned work for you to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us this:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Therefore, did you ever think about why He planned for you to be born, now, in this era, for just such a time as this? It wasn’t to lay around reaping the benefits of the wealth our nations have produced. It was to do a good work. Will you rise up today in prayer, seeking His face, and appealing to Him to send the work and giving you strength and resolve to perform it? Because that is where joy comes. In knowing Christ and serving Him.

Understanding His word brings joy:
“And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” (Nehemiah 8:12)

God’s presence is joy:
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:11)

And doing His work is a joy!
“And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:22)

No matter what is going on in the world, there is work to be done in His name and for His glory. Let’s get to it!

Posted in end of days, prophecy

Why study prophecy?

Leonard Ravenhill used to say that the Puritan preachers were so heavenly minded they lived in eternity 6 days a week and came down on Sunday to preach. Those guys sure were fiercely intentional about their walk with God! I don’t think it could be said that the Puritans gained biblical knowledge for knowledge sake but failed to apply it, that is for sure.

In my opinion, the more you study the bible, including prophecy, the more you want to apply it. Why study prophecy? Why seek to be watchful and respect the signs? Aside from the fact that we are commanded to? (Mark 13:37).

I study prophecy because –

–it is part of the bible, God’s revelation of Himself through holy inspired word
–it is commanded (See above)
–it instills in me an urgency to live righteously and to witness. We don’t study just for the information and go our way. It has to affect our Christian walk, just as any scripture does.
–It comforts me to think of these promises being fulfilled:

“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1-2)

If you are driving in a fogbank, you get disoriented. You slow down. You look carefully. You are on high alert. You see a fogline at the edge and you know how far to go.

When in the fog you look for distinct landmarks, but the fog may be so heavy you don’t see them unless they are large or unless they are close. Eventually you start to emerge from the fogbank and you can see more clearly, landmarks near and far.

It is like these days, we are emerging from the fogbank. The prophetic unclarity is lifting. And even this is a prophetic fulfillment:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4).

I’m convinced that the last 5 years’ sudden burst of interest in, understanding of and controversy about prophecy is that it is a progressive fulfillment of the Daniel verse above.

The knowledge that is increasing is not just worldly knowledge like what makes the sun work and how to beat cancer. It is also knowledge of the prophecies, and we are gaining that knowledge because it is the time of the end, and the fogbank is lifting. Christians see the signs, and non-Christians feel something is about to happen.

I liken myself and other watchmen to the fogline: we inhabit the edge, and sound the warning about going too far. ‘Your doctrine is drifting!’ we say. We do this because we are protectors of the truth, contending for the faith. We live on the boundary and when someone is about to wander off we sound the alarm, and their course is hopefully corrected… While everyone is coming and going and using their gifts in church, we keep watch for potential collisions.

I feel an ever burdened weight to speak and to write. Look at the following sermon excerpt regarding the burden Jude felt:

“Like Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians, “For necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16, nkjv), Jude felt the necessity—a heavy burden or mandate—to write. Agcho, the root of the noun rendered necessity, means literally “compress.” Jude recognized that he was a watchman for the truth (cf. Ezek. 3:16–21) who could not simply watch in silence as his readers slipped into error. His fervent passion for sound doctrine, especially regarding the gospel, made even the thought of false teaching a heavy burden on his heart (cf. 2 Cor. 11:28). And he and his readers would not be able to share a common salvation if they lost the gospel.” (source)

Again, why study prophecy?
–We are observing and studying not just for knowledge:
–to learn the entire sweep and scope of God’s promises,
–to instill a wonder at His sovereign hand from beginning to end,
–to create in us an urgency so as to live righteously and to share boldly,
–to be encouraged.

I have a sincere love of the brethren that we stay strong and thus receive the ultimate blessings of God: closeness with Him in light and in truth. As we all go down the narrow path toward glory, won’t it be wonderful on that Day when we are raised to heaven and there will be no more need for watchfulness. All will be clear sailing. No more wolves, no more false doctrine, no more false teachers, no more alarms. No more watchmen! Just a blessed rest and peace with Jesus.

source
Posted in end of days, jesus, prophecy, satan, tribulation

Tribulation overview

The verse below is meant to be (mostly) fulfilled in the Tribulation. The Tribulation is prophesied to be a period where many things will happen. One of them is that the earth and heavens themselves will be wildly disrupted and disfigured. Landforms disappear. Weather patterns evaporate. Celestial orbits cease. Plagues kill. And more.

The outline of what Jesus will be doing at that time is presented to us in Daniel 9:24. The Lord will do 6 things:

“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city,

1. To finish the transgression,
2. To make an end of sins,
3. To make reconciliation for iniquity,
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness,
5. To seal up vision and prophecy,
6. And to anoint the Most Holy.”

Notice several things. First, it is a period where though the times seem chaotic, it is actually orderly. It is all in control of God. The three series of 7-judgments apiece (Seals, Trumpets, Bowls; perhaps four sets if you consider the Seven Thunders of Rev. 10:3-4) will be delivered in orderly fashion. The judgments unleash chaos, but their deliverance is orderly and controlled.

Another orderly aspect of the entire age, not just the Tribulation, is that He said it will take 70 weeks (70 bundles of 7 years, called shavua in Hebrew). This adds up to 490 years total for Him to perform the 6 things. The Tribulation is the time for it all to come crashing to a conclusion and so it is a time of demonstrable wrath and the culmination of the 6 things. In further orderliness, He stopped the clock at 483 years. Nowhere was it promised to be 490 consecutive years! But they should have known that, because the interruption was stated. In Daniel 9:25-26, a mere verse later, the angel told Daniel that after seven sevens and 62 sevens, “Messiah will be cut off (vernacular for died) and the people of the prince who is to come (antichrist) shall destroy the city.”

Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem was 483 years to the day and then the clock stopped. Then Jesus took 2000 years to build His church, and when it reaches His quota, (Romans 11:25) He will snatch us away from this earth, and He will finish that last 7 years of the prophesied 70 weeks and accomplish the promised 6 things. (More here)

The angel also explained to Daniel that it is a time when God directs His attention to “your people” and “your holy city (Jerusalem). That does not mean He isn’t paying attention to non-believers or non-Jews during the Tribulation, or that nothing will happen to them during the Tribulation. Not at all. Jeremiah 30:7 calls it the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, though, and its point is for the LORD to finish His promises to His people. #1 is to finish the transgression which is to allow sin its full course unhindered (unresisted) by the Spirit- because they have rejected the Spirit. In other words, they will get what they asked for.

#2 says He will make an end to sins. This making an end to sins is an event that will affect everyone on the planet. God always sees the world through the lens of His people the Jews and through the central location of the Holy City. But all the world will be affected.

Note the progression of the 6 things. At the beginning, He allows the transgression to have its full expression. By the end, the Most Holy is anointed. The Most Holy is Jesus. Ahhh, what a day that will be! The Tribulation is the cap-stone to the final age of man where He allows the total outcome of rejection of the Holy Spirit to have its course. His Spirit does not strive with man forever, you know. (Gen 6:3a; 2Thessalonians 2:6-7). Like in Noah’s day, where all of man’s thoughts were only evil continually, (Gen 6:5) so it shall be again at the end of days (Matthew 24:37).

The Daniel 9:26 verse also promises that the end will come like a flood. This does not mean that there will be a flood of actual waters as in the first global judgment. As part of the cataclysmic geo-physical upheavals during the Tribulation there will be floods and tides and hurricanes and tsunamis, but He promised Noah that he would never drown the world again as a judgment. (Gen 9:13). Rather, the verse uses figurative language. The Hebrew word in Dan 9:26 is “sheteph; from shataph; a deluge (literally or figuratively) — flood, outrageous, overflowing.” He means that SIN will have its outrageous overflowing. Remember, the antichrist who overpowers the world is called The Man of Sin. (Rev 13:7; 2 Thess 2:3).

This flood language mirrors the language in Revelation 12:15. Midway through the Tribulation, the antichrist tears up the peace treaty he had confirmed with the Jews at the beginning of the Tribulation. He then persecutes them with all unholiness and evil. He goes after the Jews with an evil vengeance that makes the WWII Holocaust look like a picnic. “And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” Satan pours out his evil and sin flows over the world like a flood.

Floods have waters that rise, and rise and rise, eventually washing away all that is in its path. Even tsunamis which travel at jet speeds have waters that flow and rise accordingly. The end began when Jesus ascended, but it has been 2000 years and we can see that the flood waters of sin are not lapping at our toes…are not sweeping against our waists…but the flood waters of sin seem like they are actually crashing over our heads by this point in time. It seems the flood of sin in the world since the beginning is rising and rising, and now even crashing over our heads. It is like the famous photo of the lighthouse and its keeper:

But we are not destined for wrath! (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Though sin tries to engulf us, it will not prevail against His church! (Matthew 16:18). That is one reason we will not be here during the Tribulation, Jesus said that the gates of hell will never prevail against His church. (Mt 16:18). Notice where the keeper is: INSIDE the Lighthouse. Would you want to be anywhere else when the wages of sin try to engulf you? No. You would not survive that wave. You would not survive the hidden reefs under the wave. (Jude 1:12). Being in the Lighthouse is the only safe place to be, in ages past and in this present age.

Jude says, the apostates are “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 1:12).

Peter says, “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” (2 Peter 2:17).

Isaiah says, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.” (Isaiah 57:20).

What of us, individually? His word says that Hades will not prevail against His church, but what of each of us in the daily struggle against sin? Some days it truly feels like it will engulf me. Here is the remedy: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

We are Light keepers, and our job is never more important than during the storm! We are in Christ as THE Light, but we keep His word hidden in our hearts. We are ambassadors of His glory and His truths. We keep His commands. We keep His flame alive on earth by staying in Him and close to Him. It is important to be brighter during the storm and so let us be bright, by being full of peace and joy in these stormy times. Let the waves crash! We have the eternal Strength of the Light. Let others see, and come to Him.

Posted in end of days, prophecy

Are things spinning out of control? (Answer: No)

If you read the news today it seems like everything is out of control. Politics is out of control. I mean, really:

Cost of living is out of control. Gas prices are out of control. Tell me about that last one. The price of regular gas went up ten cents last week, and two cents just today. $3.69 on the way into work, $3.71 on the way home from work. I don’t get paid for two more weeks. I wonder what the price will be then. The weather is out of control, there’s 80 degrees in Maine and twisters in Michigan and 250,000 tons of snow in Anchorage. The Middle East is out of control, with hundreds of rockets falling in Israel and at one point a million Israelis huddling in shelters. Iran is threatening the destruction of the US. You heard right, they’re not just the usual threats against Israel, but Iran issued a direct threat to destroy the US and not to rest until they have accomplished that. The economic situation is out of control. 80% of Americans say they are not better off than they were 4 years ago. UK unemployment is up more that they even figured for February.

A report is out that antibiotic overuse is so prevalent a scratched knee could be deadly. That last one reminded me of a documentary I’d seen recently in which a global epidemic occurred and within two weeks civilization collapsed. In the documentary, which was interspersed with live drama to illustrate the effects of the situations the various authorities were describing, the father, who had led his family out of LA and managed to survive gangs, disarray, hunger, thirst, loss of possessions, and all sorts of animal and human dangers, died from a scratch on his hand.

I think I have mentioned every sphere in which we live; food, transportation, government, war, medicine, peace, etc. Every sphere of our lives are unraveling, undergoing pressure, or otherwise getting worse. It sure feels like things are spinning out of control.

They’re not.

I was musing on God’s orderliness. Time and time again in the bible he shows us just how much He is in control. Everything happens in His schedule, in His timetable, in His timing, for His reasons. Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing happens unless He causes it, allows it, or oversees it and then brings it all to the Good for those who love Him.

You have to read the bible a lot to get this broad of an overview. I can put in bible verse after bible verse, but it wouldn’t broaden the scope enough to illustrate what I’m saying. The best thing to do is read Matthew 1-3. I’ll synopsize here.

For millennia, the People knew that there would come a Messiah to redeem them and bring them to sinless glory. They waited and they waited and they waited. It seemed like a long time was passing. And a long time was passing. But in God’s orderliness, this is how time was passing:

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17).

Orderly. Precise. Jesus arrived at the fourteenth generation of the fourteenth generation of the fourteenth generation, just as planned.

When the Magi arrived, Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Mt 2:3). So Herod called the priests and teachers and asked about this birth and where it was supposed to take place. They replied:

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:5-6)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as He planned. Orderly.

Herod was much troubled and he decided to kill the boy Jesus, this coming King he had heard of, by killing all the tots under the age of two. But God sent an angel to Joseph, advising him to flee to Egypt. And so another prophecy was fulfilled.

“When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 3:14-15)

Herod’s massacre then happened, and so the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled–

“A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” (Matthew 3:18).

Peter Paul Rubens Massacre of the Innocents

God sent the People their first prophet in 400 years, a man to announce the coming kingdom and to call for repentance: John the Baptist. This was to fulfill he “who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘ Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3).

Orderly. He was spoken of to come, and he came.

If you take the broad view you see that all had happened just as it should. You see that it is all happening now just as it should. Though daily events seem out of control, over the long term they are actually very orderly.

As an example,  you look at the Reubens painting it looks like chaos. The mothers of the slain babies sure didn’t feel like life was orderly- it felt like it was spinning out of control. As the angel shook Joseph’s shoulder and told him to flee to Egypt, it sure must have felt like things were spinning out of control. You know how you feel when you get a 2 am phone call! It is scary at best and chaotic at worst, especially if the call brings bad news, especially if you have to run out to the police station or to the hospital.

I understand how the people of Jesus’ day would be confused, the disparate verses calling for a Bethlehem-born, lamenting Rachel, out of Egypt, Nazarene presaged by a Nazrite eating locusts and honey didn’t seem to fit together. But then, just as suddenly, they did. His prophecy is perfect and perfectly orderly.

If you feel like life is getting out of control, I understand. There’s high crime, wantonness, bloated lusts. But they too are prophesied:

“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3b-8).

All these things must come to pass. And then He will call for us, and suddenly everything we have been told for thousands of years  in the twinkling of an eye will become past history.

God has everything in control. If you are saved by His grace, your soul is secure. Everything is progressing just as it should be. Nothing is out of control.

It is happening in an orderly way, precisely, and perfectly. And no matter what happens in my life, no matter how low my bank account gets, or how many rumors of reduction in force swirl past my ears, no matter how many times I have to hide in the tub with a pillow over my head from tornadoes, no matter how empty my refrigerator gets, I know He has everything in control. That knowledge is the securest place I could possibly be, and I wouldn’t trade it. I am grateful for His grace, His perfection, His plan, His love for keeping me sheltered in this wonderful knowledge.

If you would like to partake of the sweetness of His security, knowing everything is perfect in the world according to His plan, then repent of your sins. Appeal to Jesus as your savior from the wrath of God, and fling yourself on Him in sorrow for your crimes against Him. He will forgive you. And then I would be blessed to say to you, “Welcome to the family of God.”

Posted in end of days, prophecy

Why we study prophecy

It’s fairly obvious that the world is in its death throes. I get right to the point, don’t I? People who don’t know the bible understand that the times are wild and things are happening that aren’t consistent with an orderly progression of years and decades of human advancement and civilization. For bible believers, we understand that the birth pangs are gearing up to the moment when the birth begins, when the water breaks and the violent, bloody tumult of labor ends with a renewed world and sin addressed. Why do we watch the times and look up because our redemption draws nigh?

1. So we are prepared.
2. So we can tell others.

The entire word of God is inspired and good for us to study so we can hear what He has to say to us. I don’t mean just read, I mean study. Think deeply about what the scriptures are saying about you have just read. Do not give a cursory reading, shut the book and then go make a sandwich. Study. Ask questions. Learn the cross references. Mull and ponder the words and the meanings of what the verse is saying. The book is active, living. It breathes. (Hebrews 4:12). It is sharper than a two edged sword, and you don’t read this book, it reads you.

It will educate you by the power of the Holy Spirit when you pray for wisdom and understanding. But first, we need to diligently seek that understanding by applying all of our critical faculties to what it says.

The prophetic scriptures are often overlooked as being allegorical only (they’re not), as being irrelevant (it isn’t) as being fulfilled (not all of them) as being tinged with a stigma as not as important as the ‘real’ verses (nope, just as important). I’ve noticed that though the bible says we should be excited about the soon appearing of our Lord, encouraged by the imminence, (1 Thess 4:18; 1 Thess 5:11) in awe of the Lord’s deeds (Ex 15:11; Ps 66:5; Zeph 2:11…), the closer we get to rapture the more that rapture watchers say “I’ve changed my mind- I think it could be decades.”

Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, put prophecy in His Word because He knows it is good for us to understand. The Lord has put prophetical truth into His Word because He wants us to know! Prophecy reveals His sovereignty more than any other scripture, in my opinion. He tells us thousands of years prior and then it comes true exactly the way He said. I never get over seeing that and reading it and knowing it.

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other;I am God, and there is none like Me,Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’Calling a bird of prey from the east,The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.Indeed I have spoken it;I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it;I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:9-11)

Prophecy reveals His sovereignty also because it shows that His purposes cannot be set aside, diverted nor thwarted. He is over all, and He will bring it about as He has said.

Prophecy leads us to Christ. For who above anyone else can do these things. Who is like Him? None!

“Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come–yes, let him foretell what will come.” (Isaiah 44:7).

There is no God like our God, and He chose to reveal details of His plan and purpose from the ancient of times to now. Learn it! Study it! Be humbled by it! You will be in awe of Him, AND you will be comforted. He will bring about our redemption just as He brings about these other things. He will bring about our renewal from creatures of sin to creations of His glory. It is a comfort to remain in His truth, His word is a security blanket that comforts as much as it convicts.

“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11-12)
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Posted in cumbre vieja, el hierro, end of days, iran, prophecy, volcano

Friday This and That

Confused about prophetic end time events? This 7-part video series, 10 min each, is scripturally accurate and enlightening. Prepare to be educated AND convicted. “The End Time

Earthquakes this week, 6.1 mag in Russia far east // 6.7 in Papua New Guinea as per United States Geological survey. All eyes are on the volcano at El Hierro, though, which presents a more interesting seismic dilemma. As Professor Erik Klemetti said on his eruptions blog in the essay “Update on the Submarine Eruptions at El Hierro” he wrote that it was “the first eruption in the Canaries in 40 years and the first at El Hierro in possibly 2500 years. After months of preamble, it now looks like two eruptions occurred, both submarine, in depths of a few hundred meters.” What makes this especially interesting is that the island is near the other island in the Canaries chain, La Palma, on which is the infamous Cumbre Vieja volcano. These subsea eruptions are really interesting because of the geologic forecast at nearby Cumbre Vieja. Cumbre Vieja is currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Isles. During the 1949 eruption, three vents—Duraznero, San Juan and Hoyo Negro—opened and lava was erupted. Also during the eruption two earthquakes occurred with epicentres near Jedey. Following the earthquakes a fracture approximately two and half kilometres long, about 1/10 of the exposed length of the Cumbre Vieja, opened and parts of the western half of the Cumbre Vieja ridge moved about 1 metre sideways and 2 metres downwards towards the Atlantic Ocean. (source)

Several geologists have hypothesized that during an eruption at Cumbre Vieja at some future time, the western half of the Cumbre Vieja will catastrophically fail in a massive gravitational landslide and enter the Atlantic Ocean, generating a ‘mega-tsunami’ wiping out the eastern seaboard of the US. A BBC documentary called End Day and a Time Magazine article both followed up on the hypothesis.

With the volcanic eruptions and the seismic activity at the adjacent island, and the attendant rare subsea quakes this week at Bermuda and Iceland, interest in the Cumbre Vieja mega-tsunami hypothesis have picked up again. From a biblical point of view, I personally find this interesting because at some point the judgments will include a quake so bad that all the islands flee away. (Rev 16:20). More specifically, in Revelation 8:8-9 we are told this will happen: “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” A lava-flowing volcanic eruption at Cumbre Vieja could fit that description of a ‘mountain, all ablaze’, sliding into the sea, causing a third of the ships to sink in the resultant mega-tsunami.

In still other volcanic news, Iceland Volcano Katla Sparks Fears of Travel Chaos. Remember last year the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted and Russian, European and American air travel ground to a  halt? Well, Katla is worse.

The news reports this week that there is only one Jewish person left in Afghanistan, according to the US State Department.

Science thinks it has figured out a computer program to tell us who wrote the Torah. And it ain’t Moses. “Ghostwriting the Torah.”

Iran and the US broke off diplomatic relations after the revolution of 1979 and currently talk minimally between the mediator of Pakistan. However, the recent plot by the Iranian Quds Guard fomented in Mexico to assassinate the Saudi ambassador on US soil was revealed this week. It is a dangerous escalation of the tensions in the Middle East and here on our own soil, and so the US Administration considers it an act of terrorism. The two nations took the unusual step this week of meeting to talk about it face to face. Remember, Iran is a major military aggressor in attacking Israel in the last days as Ezekiel 38-39 show.

The economic outlook isn’t much better as we closed on the fourth quarter. Bloomberg is reporting that more than dozen banks may get downgraded. UBS AG, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc had long-term issuer default grades cut by Fitch Ratings, which put more than a dozen other lenders on watch negative as part of a global review. revelation 13:1`5-17 shows that at the time of the tribulation the economy is completely revamped and managed by one person: the antichrist.

This was a very thought provoking essay on “How Steve Jobs and Christ defeated death and preached the gospel.

Want some good news? As a girl was finishing top placement in her spelling bee, her soldier dad walks in, surprising her from Afghanistan. Heartwarming. With video.

Like cats? Here is a short video of funny cats in water.

Like earth’s beauty in reverence to our Creator? See 60 stunning satellite photos of the earth.

Have a good weekend everyone. I hope you find yourself a good and solid bible believing church to attend, and there, can praise the Savior with all joy.

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