Category Archives: Spiritual

A King a Curse and a Secret Princess (A True Christmas Story)

A king, a curse and a secret princess.

It was the last days of Judah.

(the Southern kingdom of Israel)

Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) was king.

2 Kings 24:8-15

To paraphrase…Jeconiah was an evil king.

Can a corrupt throne be allied with you–

a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? Psalm 94:20

The prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord numerous times with a word telling Jeconiah to straighten up and live right with God.

Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne–you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. Jeremiah 22:2

Jeconiah set himself against the prophet Jeremiah.

Yet, another warning from the Lord that Jeremiah

was delivered to Jeconiah :

 …”O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'”

Jeremiah 22:29-30

A curse to Jeconiah’s (and King David’s) blood line?

Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 2:37 that Jeconiah would leave his throne and his land in captivity.

You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeconiah, his  son Shealtiel, and many others were taken captive and moved to the city Babylon.

The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son,

1 Chronicles 3:17 

Some years later, after the exile, Jeconiah’s  great grandson Zerubbabel (son of Pedaiah) returns to his land and should be king but, he is not (only a Governor) due to the curse on Jeconiah’s throne and the land.

The royal line of David appears to be broken.

Years passed.

Here is a line of descendants to follow Zerubbabel

(from Matthew 24: 13 -16)

Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim,Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

What?

Isn’t this is interesting?

So, Joseph, son of Jacob, husband of Mary…should have been a Prince or the sitting King during his lifetime?

Yet, Joseph grows up poor and humble (yet righteous man)

Joseph is off of the throne due to a curse of his forefathers?

The Old Testament prophesied that Messiah and King would be from the line of David but with this blood line it seems impossible.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.   Isaiah9:6-7

Now what?

Is there another blood line of King David’s that isn’t cursed?

A secret prince …

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…or princess?

Yes.

Nathan.

Nathan’s blood line was a line not cursed by Jeconiah’s

foolish decisions and disobedience to God.

Nathan was King David’s and Bathsheba’s child.

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua,  Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel.

1 Chronicles 3: 4-5

Mary (mother of Jesus) was of the royal blood line that came through Nathan!

Mary, the secret Princess?

Here is Mary’s abbreviated line chronicled in Luke 3:31:

the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha,

the son of Nathan, the son of David, 

(You can read King David’s complete blood line in 1 Chronicles 3)

(You can read Mary’s and Jesus’ complete blood line in Luke 3)

(3…the number of the Trinity…interesting)

So, here we have two poor, humble, God fearing people,

(Joseph and Mary)

who will soon be married by an arrangement made by Mary’s father.

I wonder…

Did either of them realize that they were of “Royal Blood”?

Or, had everyday life and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from their minds and lives?

A secret Prince.

And…a secret Princess!

Now, this is the awesome part!!

Because this was a virgin birth…

Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit, not Joseph…

There is NO CURSE!!!

This is described in Luke 1:26-35:

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

The curse is broken!

Royalty is restored!

King Jesus sits on the restored throne of David!

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Do you realize that our story is so similar?

You and I were also born under a curse.

You know the story, right?

The curse of Adam.

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 The woman, the apple & the serpent.

(That sounds like a book title)

Any way…

We too are a “secret Prince” or “secret Princess” through our Messiah and King Jesus.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.    Peter 2:9-10

Has everyday life, sin and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from our own minds?

Sin does not have to reign in your kingdom and close the door to our royal priesthood.

Grace returns our crown!

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.    Romans 6:11-14

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Wear your crown with your head held high!

You are royalty!

So am I!

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Why Bethlehem?

Why Bethlehem?

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Why did God choose for His Son, Jesus

(The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Messiah)

to be born in the sleepy little city of Bethlehem?

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

There could be a few reasons.

Reason     Image result for free clipart of number 1

Isn’t one of Jesus’ names, The Lamb of God?

The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Who were among the first to greet Jesus?

The shepherds.

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And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”…Luke 1:8-12

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This is interesting,  the land surrounding the city of Bethlehem was the land that the Temple’s sacrificial lambs were raised and cared for by the shepherds.

So, those shepherds that the angels visited were out in pastures tending to lambs and sheep that would one day be sacrificed…just like the Lamb of God.

This was prophesied in the Old Testament.

 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, Isaiah 53:7 

Jesus fulfilled those same words in the New Testament.

 Phillip used that scripture to proclaim that Jesus was the man who fulfilled that prophecy and shared the Good News with an Ethiopian eunuch and baptized him in Acts 8.

And he (an Ethiopian eunuch) invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.

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A sacrificial lamb without blemish.

but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:19

Jesus is your sacrificial lamb.

Offering you a gift bigger than life, for an eternity.

Reason Image result for Free picture of number 2

Jesus, our Shepherd.

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Psalm 23:1

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Just as the shepherds of Bethlehem greeted the “Lamb”, they also greeted their “Shepherd”.

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

Though some received Jesus as Messiah, most Jewish people  turned away from Jesus and for 2000 years they have been a scattered flock with no shepherd.

 “They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. “My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, Ezekiel 34:5-6

So he (Micah) said, “I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd; And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'”

2 Chronicles 17-18

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Jesus is gathering His sheep.

The Jews.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. “When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.…Ezekiel 39:25-27

Ezekiel 16:63
Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.'”

And the Gentiles.

…and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25

He came that they (we) may have life, and have it abundantly.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.…John 10:10-12

Jesus seeks you.

Receive the free gift of peace and safety for your soul

from the Shepherd and rest.

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Reason # Image result for free clipart of number 3

Jesus is called “Bread of Life”.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. “I am the bread of life.  John 6:47-48

The word Bethlehem is made up of two Hebrew words:

Bet Leḥem:  [bet ˈleχem]

Those two words mean: “House of Bread”.

The “Bread of Life” was born in the “House of Bread”.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35

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Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!   Psalm 34:8

Reason   Image result for free clipart of number 4

Jesus is King.

His (Jesus) ancestors, specifically King David,

had humble beginnings as a shepherd himself in Bethlehem.

Matthew 1:1-17 offers the Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.

In verse 1 it starts out like this:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David,

the son of Abraham:

When my daughter was younger, she learned a cute little song that helped her remember this.

It’s a snappy little tune.

Here it is if you are interested.

An angel (yes, an angel) explains it like this to Mary in Luke 1:32-33:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

The Old Testament prophesied it in several locations.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Jeremiah 23: 5-6 says it like this;

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.

So, another reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was so God could

give Jesus back the throne of His Father David to reign over Jacob’s

descendants forever with a kingdom that will never end.

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Amen!!!

Why Bethlehem?

There is one more reason…

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Look in the mirror.

You!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:16-21

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God continues to reveal himself to us in so many ways.

His love, mercy, wonder and mysteries are without limit.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts, Isaiah 55:8-9

We will truly never understand all He is this side of heaven.

Matthew 24 – Part 8

 

 

In Matthew 24 – Part 8 we look at Jesus’ final words of

instruction to His disciples:

36“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,f but only the Father.

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We cannot know the day or the hour.

The angels do not know when they will be called for the harvest.

The Son (Jesus) does not even know that appointed time.

But God’s people are suppose to be studying God’s Word,

(like Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation)

so we can know the signs and discern the season.

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37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

What were the days of Noah like?

The LORD saw how great the wickedness

of the human race had become on the earth,

and that every inclination of the thoughts

of the human heart was only evil all the time.

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings

on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

Genesis 6:5-6

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth

had corrupted their ways.

Genesis 6:11-12

Sound familiar?

Genesis 6:9 described Noah like this:

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous

man, blameless among the people of his time,

and he walked faithfully with God.

He walked faithfully with God.

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith like this;

Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us

of the existence of things we cannot see. (GWT)

Noah believed things he could not yet see.

Noah built a very large boat NO WHERE near a body of water.

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Noah prepared for a flood when he and his peers

had no idea what rain was yet.

Noah prepared to house and feed many animals on his boat

(at least 2 of every kind)

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and those animals did not currently even live on his property,

much less in his own town or country.

 Noah built an ark because he believed his God.

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Do you believe your God?

How much faith do you really place in God’s Word?

Do you believe what He has written?

 Genesis 6:22 also says,
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Noah did everything God commanded him…

Regardless of his neighbors heckling him.

Regardless of the fact he may have looked foolish to men.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no rain.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no animals (yet).

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Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

Hebrew 11:7  says this about Noah:

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Noah was warned about things not yet seen.

In reverence to God, Noah prepared.

Noah prepared because he had faith in God’s words.

Because of Noah’s faith,

he became an heir of righteousness.

Because of Noah’s faith in God,

his family survived.

The earth healed.

Noah’s remnant repopulated the earth.

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38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

It was a normal day.

Life was happening.

People were eating, drinking and marrying.

Because Noah listened, walked in faith and saw the signs

he was prepared to enter the boat at the first rain drop.

The rain came and took the others away.

40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

One taken.

One left.

Which will you be?

42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Jesus is telling us to keep watch.

We will not know the exact day.

But, understand this…you must be ready.

(So after all the things happen that we have discussed in

Matthew 24 blogs 1 through 8,

keep watch and be ready because the time is near)

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

The faithful and wise servant found completing their tasks

 and in good standing when the master returns will become

in charge of all the masters possessions.

Would you call yourself a “faithful and wise servant”?

Will the Master return finding you doing what

He has placed you here to do?

48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What about the wicked, unaware servant with the

“while the cat is away, the mice will play” attitude?

The one not expecting the Master’s return?

Not too good.

They will be assigned a place with the hypocrites,

where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What???

Hypocrites???

(That is a another post for another time)

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Matthew 24 – Part 7

Finally, back to the blog and Matthew 24 – Part 7.

Let’s learn a  lesson or two  from a fig tree by beginning

with Matthew 24:32.

32Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

Learn this lesson.

God is wanting us to learn something here.

From the fig tree?

Why a fig tree?Image result for free clipart of a fig tree

There could be a few reasons.

Here is the first:

This particular tree was well known in Judea.

The disciples were familiar with it’s growing seasons.

The fruit of the fig tree typically appears before the leaves.

(Do you remember?)

Jesus cursed the fig tree and it died in Matthew 21:19,

because that particular fig tree had leaves but no figs.

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Solomon said this about the fig tree,

ye know the summer is nigh; spring being already come:

the fig tree putting forth her green figs, is a sign that the

winter is past, the spring is come, and summer is at hand.

Solomon 2:11.

The fig tree ‘s growth cycle of stretching branches, bearing fruit,

and growing leaves fell under the observation of

everyone in that area.Image result for free clipart of a fig tree

They knew the signs of the passing of winter, the birth of spring

and the sudden approach of summer.

They recognized the signs.

Today, don’t  we do the same thing in our day to day lives?

When the young tender leaves appear on the naked dormant

trees of winter, then we know Spring is approaching.

They are the first signs of Spring. Image result for free image of signs of spring

Once we see the flowers bud, the pollen swirling in the air,

(settling on our car),Image result for free image of pollen covered cars

and temperatures warm,

we know that summer is right around the corner.

This is called good ‘ole deductive reasoning.

(You know…using our brain to put 2 + 2 together)

As soon as you see these signs…

 it is almost time.

Spiritually, we must look for and see the signs also.

Here is reason #2:

 While Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, that Tuesday

evening preceding His Crucifixion,

His disciples came to Him and asked what shall

be the sign of Thy Coming, and of the end of the age…

Jesus was prophetically speaking.

He was forecasting the future.

He was telling His disciples about things that had not yet happened.

Did the “Fig-tree” symbolize Israel?

The Bible is full of scripture describing Israel and God’s people as

the vine, the olive tree and the fig tree.

The vineyard of the Lord Almighty

is the nation of Israel,

and the people of Judah

are the vines he delighted in.

Isaiah 5:7

Remember, It’s peculiarity is that the the fruit appear before the leaves.

Does this signify that Israel is to be revived and restored

nationally before she recognizes Messiah (Jesus)

and He returns for the harvest?

Theologians believe that this scripture was fulfilled

when Israel was re-established as a nation

 again on May 14, 1943.

To this day Israel is experiencing a gathering of

God’s original  chosen people, (the Jews) to their original land.

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.  All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspringa forever.  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.  Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

Genesis 13:14-17

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadie of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—  the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” Genesis 15:19-21

And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:8

Was  prophecy fulfilled May 14, 1943?

Jeremiah 30:31-40 stated the following:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.” These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “Thus says the Lord: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace. …

Amos 9:14-15 says it like this:

I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

This is my favorite:

Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.

Isaiah 66:8

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?

Yes.

Yes, it can.

Maybe I should say…

Yes it was.

Ephesians 2:12-13 asks us Gentiles to remember this:

Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Gentiles (not Jews) were excluded from citizenship in Israel.

Gentiles (not Jews) were foreigners to the covenants of the promise.

Gentiles (not Jews) were without hope.

Gentiles (not Jews) were without God.

Until Jesus Christ.

When you read a little further down we can see God’s

vision for Christ.

Now Gentile and Jew can stand together as one new man

Through Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two.

Ephesians 2:14-15

The Gentile’s window is closing.

The time of the Jew will be fulfilled.

Romans 11: 25-29 says, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this waye all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;

he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

And this is my covenant with them

when I take away their sins.”

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

Now back to Matthew 24:33-34:

33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

When you see all these things happening in Matthew 24…

the time is near.

Truly I (Jesus) tell you,

this generation will certainly not pass away

until all these things have happened.

What generation?

The generation that sees Israel become a nation?

Did God’s clock start the countdown to Christ’s

return start in in 1943?

Image result for god's time clock

What is a generation anyway?

Psalm 90:10 says it is seventy years.

(or eighty is we are really strong)

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years,

Hmmmm….it has been 72 years since Israel became a nation.

Image result for 5 till midnight

Are we just 5 minutes before a new day?

Are we in the generation that experience all of

Matthew 24 and experience the “end of the age”?

35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 Things will change.

Earthly kingdoms and the dark spiritual realms will pass away.

His Word is true and it will never pass away.

It is time for all people to understand that the

Bible is the only book that clearly outlines

what is going to happen in the end times.

Did you know?

30 percent of the Bible is prophecy.

Did you also know?

The Bible is the one and only book that dares to predict the future …

with 100 percent accuracy so far?

I don’t see that trend changing.

 God wants us to know to be informed.

I like this quote from a mature Christian and Bible scholar:

“The more we know about the next world,

the better we’ll live in this one.”

Matthew 24 – Part 6

The last post left us hanging at Matthew 24:30 so this post

Matthew 24 – Part 6 will pick back up there.

Then will appear another sign…

What sign?

The Son of Man in heaven.

30Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

Christians will not be the only individuals to see

the return of Christ.

The Bible says, and then all the peoples

(This includes the unbelievers, the doubters,

those who stumbled and fell away, the lukewarm,

and those who chose to follow antichrist)

All will mourn when He is seen.

His power and presence will be heavy upon mankind.

The weight of His overwhelming glory felt by all.

The perfect, spotless, Son of Man will be seen coming in the clouds.

In Matthew 26:64, Jesus tells His followers during His ascension,

“But I say to all of you: From now on you will see

the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One

and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Image result for free picture of coming of Son of Man

Jesus, in all His Heavenly majestic power

coming on the clouds of heaven.

Here is how Matthew 24:31 describes Jesus’ return:

31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call,

and they will gather his elect from the four winds,

from one end of the heavens to the other.

A trumpet sounds.

His angels will gather His elect!

Image result for eschatology

We (Christ followers) are His elect!

from the four winds,

from one end of the heavens to the other.

I want to be gathered…don’t you?

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.…

I Corinthians 15:51-53

Behold, Paul is telling us something.

Answers, to a mystery.

(So, it is no longer a mystery.)

We will not all sleep (die) from all those events listed in Matthew 24.

Some of the “elect” will remain on earth until the end of this age.

In a moment.

In a twinkling of an eye, we will all be changed.

When does this happen?

At the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound.

(Hey, we just read that in Matthew 24:31)

When this trumpet sounds,

  the dead will be raised to Him first.

They are transformed from perished to the imperishable.

Then, we (the elect still on earth) are changed.

From the perishable being created,

 to the imperishable God intends us to be.

From mortal to immortal for an eternity.

What about this?

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 not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.…

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord.

Listen…this is a word from the Lord.

We (Christ followers) who are alive and remain

until the coming of the Lord.

Remain…that is a peculiar word to be used.

Remain after what?

Maybe those who remain after all the events of Matthew 24?

(and Mark 13 and the Book of Revelation)

Read what Revelation 14:12 says,

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

So, those people of God,

who have had patient endurance

while keeping His commands and

remained faithful to Jesus,

 will be caught up after the dead rise first.

Selah.

Back to 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, for a few more minutes…

The Lord descends from heaven with a shout.

An archangel blows the trumpet of God.

A trumpet (again), like we are studying in Matthew 24.

The dead in Christ will rise first.

We who remain alive will then be caught up.

We will all meet the Lord in the air.

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To me, it looks like…

I Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Image result for free clipart of the bride of christ

coincides with Matthew 24:31.

Did you know that the Bible is just about 30% prophecy?

Did you know that so far the Bible has a 100% accuracy rate?

God’s Word is the only prophetic book and teaching

 that is 100% correct… 100% of the time.

Image result for free picture of coming of Son of Man

Question:

Do you believe God’s Word or the teachings of man?

that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Revelation 10:6-7

The seventh angel blew his trumpet; and there followed loud voices in Heaven which said, “The sovereignty of the world now belongs to our Lord and His Christ; and He will be King until the Ages of the Ages.” Revelation  11:15

So, is the church (His elect) still here until (at least)

the mid point of the Book of Revelation (chapter 11)?

(BTW…there are 22 chapters in the Book of Revelation.)

This is what the Bible seems to reveal when read/studied.

Don’t be deceived by false doctrine and another gospel.

(Remember Galatians 1:6-8 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-5)

Image result for free clipart of stayed tuned

Matthew 24 – Part 7 will wrap upImage result for free clipart of wrapped up this blog series.

Matthew 24 – Part 5

This week  in Matthew 24 – Part 5

we will be digging into Matthew 24:26-30,

but first, let’s recap the first 25 verses of Matthew 24.

So far, in red letter scripture, Jesus has told His

disciples the things that are to come at the “end of the age”.

Image result for free clipart of laundry list list

of particular things that Christ followers

“should” recognize and be prepared to experience.

To summarize briefly:

First and foremost on this list,  don’t be deceived.

There will be wars and rumors of war.

Nation will rise and nation, kingdom against kingdom.

famine, earthquakes, persecution, death, betrayal,

hatred, a great falling away, increased wickedness,

love of most will grow cold,

false prophets, false messiahs, and more deception.

There will be signs and wonders.

(that does not necessarily make someone holy or righteous)

The abomination who causes desolation enters the scene.

People flee the Holy City and head to the mountains.

Jesus calls this season of time,

“the greatest distress to ever come to the world”.

And finally, “stand firm” because He (Jesus) has warned you.

What else could possibly happen

Let’s look at verse 26 and find out.

26“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go

out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west,

so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 

Jesus is basically saying here…

Stay put.

Do not go out…don’t follow…do not believe

what you are hearing or seeing.

Jesus just said (another way)

Don’t be deceived!

How many times and how many ways has Jesus said that already in the previous 25 other verses of this scripture?

I’m thinking that Jesus does not want us to be deceived.

For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

What does this mean?

When the Son of Man returns, we will definitely know it!

There will be no doubt or question about, who He is.

Jesus will not be in an inner room to be seen by a few.

He will be seen by all.

He will come to you.

His return will be as quick, bright and powerful as the

lightning in the sky when He returns in the clouds above us.

When this happens, will it be too late for many to change

their mind and call upon His name?

Will Jesus receive the lost in those final moments

if true repentance is in their heart?

28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Vulture TriviaImage result for free clipart of vulture

Did You Know?

Vultures have incredibly keen eyesight.

Vultures can discern their next meal from an enormous distance.

Scientist believe they can spot a three-foot carcass

from four miles away.Image result for free clipart of a vulture

(if they are on the open plains)

Vultures quickly gather where their next meal is.

God created them with unique enzymes and digestive tract

 that allows them to devour their less than appetizing,

germ infested meals and never get ill.

Questions to ponder:

Will the “spiritually dead”

 (those not in relationship with Christ)…

gather for the false “messiah”?

follow the wrong “savior”?

be eventually devoured by the enemy?

loose their life for an eternity?

Christ knows those who are “alive in Him”

and those who are not.

Christ’s coming will quickly be discerned by all men.

Christ will draw all men to Him.

Believers received.

Those who chose to never repent,

 will be judged and returned to the enemy

for their eternity separated from God.

Are you personally ready for His return?

FYI…Now is not the time to be doing your best

spiritually dead impressions.Image result for free clipart of a mummy

What about the “lukewarm”?

This was the message sent to the Church of Laodicea

in Revelation 3:15-17:

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked

I will spit you out of My mouth.

Doesn’t sound good for the lukewarm either.

Now is the time to repent and get our “spiritual house” in order.

Time to return to the one true God.

Time to love God with all your heart, all your soul

and all your strength as well as loving your neighbor as yourself.

“There is no other commandment greater than these”

Mark 12:30-31

Another FYI…getting your “spiritual house” in order also requires

forgiving others who have hurt, offended, wounded you as well

as those who fight, bully and argue with you.

(This is what the Bible says…not me.)

But if you do not forgive others,

your Father will not forgive you your sins.

Mark 6:15

Back to Matthew 24…

29Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

Don’t look at me that way…

Image result for free clipart of mean Jesus said it, not me.

Jesus is very clear here.

Immediately, after those days,

(after all the stuff listed above Matthew 24:29)

something happens in the heavens.

Do we (Christians) see these things happen?

(I see no where in the Bible that says we do not)

The sun and moon darkens.

Stars fall and heavenly bodies shake.

New Testament Luke wrote this in Acts 2:19-21  and I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. ‘ The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…

New Testament Mark 13:24-25 says this: “But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

Old Testament Joel spoke about the same thing in chapter 2: 30-31. “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

Is this be a lunar event affectionately named by

NASA,  a Blood Moon?

The sun does darken.

The moon does appear to look like blood.

(After all, that is why it was named a “Blood Moon”)

If you haven’t heard about these events, read my blog about them.

http://www.movingmountainsministries.com/2015/03/27/solar-eclipse/

This particular set of celestial events come to a close on 9/28/15.

Another Tetrad that falls on Jewish Feasts is not scheduled

to happen for hundreds of years.

Maybe it is just not that simple.

What other type of events could also cause the

sun to darken and moon to appear as blood?

The list is a little daunting to type.

The smothering dust particles from massive super

volcanoes (like Yellowstone) exploding  certainly could

darken our skies for a very long time.

So couldn’t multiple, simultaneous, BIG, massive earthquakes also?

What about large astroids (stars) or meteors falling from the sky

and hitting earth?

(You know that has happened before)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_in_North_America

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130214-biggest-asteroid-impacts-meteorites-space-2012da14/

Look at what happens in Revelation 16:17-21:

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”  Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.  The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.  Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.  From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

By the way…

We haven’t even discussed bombs and nuclear weapons.

Wouldn’t massive amounts dust particles surely be flying through the earth’s atmosphere with any of these big events?

Certainly, any could cause the sun to appear to

be darkened and the moon as blood.

Whatever happens, it looks like Matthew 24 and Mark 13

line up with what is going on in Revelation 6.

This is called the 6th seal.

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places

Revelation 6:12-14

A sun black as sackcloth, the moon became like blood, stars falling from the sky, mountains and islands moved out of their places.

This is a little different from Revelation 16.

Revelation 16 says,

“Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.”

Two separate events?

Image result for free clipart of I Don't KnowImage result for free clipart of I Don't Know

 exactly what will happen.

But…the Bible says (in numerous places) it will happen!

So I believe it.

Do you?

We will just have to wait this one out to see

how it all unfolds.Image result for free clipart of folded

(Wow…it appears we are all still here to see that also.)

30Then will appear the sign…

Another sign.

What is this sign?

Ok…stay with me.

We will discuss it next blog.

We are getting close to the end…literally.

 

 Image result for free clipart to be continued

Matthew 24 – Part 4

Today in Matthew 24 – Part 4, we will be

looking at Matthew 24:15-25.

 In Matthew 24- Part 3 (last week’s blog),

we looked at the “abomination”

who caused the desolation.

What is desolation?

Google defined it like this:

des·o·la·tion
desəˈlāSH(ə)n/
noun: desolation
  1. a state of complete emptiness or destruction.
    synonyms: bleakness, starkness, barrenness, sterility; More

    wildness;
    isolation, loneliness, remoteness
    “the desolation of the Gobi Desert”

There will be a  perfect set up for the abomination

that causes desolation.

Let’s pick up where we left off at Matthew 24:15

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

(Please read Matthew 24 – Part 3 regarding Daniel’s prophecy)

When could this possibly take place?

The Bible suggests that near the midpoint of this

agreement brokered by the

antichrist, everything gets a little dicey.

So, doing some math…,

 1/2 way through a 7 year Peace Treaty is about 3 ½  years.

(Some would call it the Tribulation mid-point or mid-trib.)

At that time, people flee the Holy City

Image result for free clipart of head to the hillsand head to the mountains?

Matthew 24:16-18 says :

16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

It appears, people will head to the mountains very quickly.

Image result for free clipart of run to the mountains

So quickly…that they take little with them.

(That must be pretty dreadful stuff happening.)

Is this when the Holy City is… “trampled”?

Revelation 11 says, the Holy City will be trampled for 42 months.

(42 months x 30 days = 1260 days = 3 ½ years).

During that time God gives power to His two witnesses.

(some think this could be Moses and Elijah)

(others believe this is Enoch and Elijah)

They (gentiles) will trample on the Holy city for 42 months

and I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will

prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 11:2-3

Repeating what Jesus said in Matthew 24:21…

How dreadful it will be in those days.

Great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the

world until now –

And never to be equaled again.

(Wow! Enough said. I have nothing to add here.)

Thank goodness in the next verse

Jesus says those days will be

 cut short in verse 22.Image result for free clipart of cut short

22“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Those days will be cut short.

If they weren’t cut short…no one would survive.

But for the sake of the elect.

Who are the elect?

That has been long debated.

I believe “the elect” are Christ’s followers.

(He has referenced us as “elect” in other

scriptures in the Bible.)

Those days will be shortened?

During those dreadful days of great distress

that will be unequaled from the beginning of the

world until now – And never to be equaled again.

Daniel says that he (antichrist) will speak out against the

Most High during this time  and

wear down the saints of the Highest One.

 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, Daniel 7:25

Wear down the saints?

(That is us also…right?)

So, those days will be shortened.

Shortened…but not removed completely from the saints?

Question:

Could Christ followers still be on earth to see/experience a large portion ( at least 1/2 ) of the last days events?

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Now, see what Jesus warns in Matthew 24:23-4.

 23At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Here it is again in Mark 13:22-23.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

Why is Jesus warning the elect?

Because pastors, prophets and posers will teach another gospel.

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!…Galatians 1:6-8

Distort the gospel of Christ?

A gospel contrary to what we have preached to you?

He is to be accursed!

What about this:

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

As the serpent deceived Eve…

minds will be led astray from devotion to Christ?

 Jesus warns us of this in Matthew 7.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in

sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are

ravenous wolves.Image result for free picture of a wolf in sheep's clothing

“You will know them by their fruits.

Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-20

But…read on.Image result for free clipart of warning sign

      Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’

will enter the kingdom of heaven,

but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Matthew 7:21-23

They will “perform many miracles“.

They will “prophesy“.

They will “cast out demons“.

They  will “work” really hard but “PRACTICED LAWLESSNESS

(In the Bible, that one was in ALL CAPS right after

the words…DEPART FROM ME)

Jesus does not know them.

Now, back to Matthew 24:23-24…

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Signs and wonders to deceive.

If possible…even the elect?

“Do not believe it?”

Why would Jesus be giving a warning to His people if

His people are suppose to be already in heaven

during this time?

Selah…

Is Jesus trying to tell us…

we are still here folks!

Image result for free clipart of elevator

What if ?????

What if…There is no proverbial  “First Elevator Up”?

What if…There is no Pre-Tribulation Rapture?

(Just something that needs to be prayerfully considered)

Regardless…

He wants us to be alert.

“Therefore, be on the alert— for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning–in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’” Mark 13:35-37

Be on your guard.

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

Mark 13:23

It is each person’s own responsibility to know what is going on.

People are going to come onto the scene and appear to

walk, talk and act “godly”.

Jesus is saying,

“Don’t believe everything you see and hear”.

False Messiahs and false prophets will appear and try to

 deceive (you) with great signs and wonders.

We must always remember…

the enemy also operates in the supernatural.

The enemy tries to mimic God.

Image result for free clipart of a copycat

Why?

Because he wants to replace God.

Right?

The enemy will try to deceive.

If possible…even the elect.

Does that mean…to see all this happen.

Matthew 24:25 Jesus sums it up…

25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

I (Jesus) have told you ahead of time…

(I, Jesus, am warning you)

 Image result for free picture of stepping on religion

Matthew 24 – Part 5 is coming!

Matthew 24 – Part 3

So…

What is…

or

Who is the Antichrist?

The Bible says, “the spirit of antichrist” is already

among us on earth.Image result for free clipart of antichrist

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that

Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.

And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard

that it is coming; and now it is already in the world.

—1 John 4:2–3 NRSV (1989)
Image result for free clipart of antichrist

The Bible says,  even now are there many antichrists.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18 (KJV)

Many have been used by the enemy throughout history.

Image result for free clipart of antichrist

(I am certain you can name a few of them.)

However, there will be one.

One , used by the enemy, like no other so far.

A poser.

A persuader.

A false Messiah.

Someone who can even perform supernatural signs and wonders.

Image result for free clipart of spirit of antichrist

This person will be Satan’s primary agent (in human form) on earth.

He has a number of other names that the Bible mentions like:

“the little horn” – Daniel 7:8

“the desolator” – Daniel 9:27

“the king of Babylon” “oppressor” – Isaiah 14

“the Assyrian” – Micah 5:5

“the Beast” – Revelation 13:4

“the man of sin” “man of lawlessness”

“the son of destruction” or “son of perdition”

from 2 Thessalonians 2

This man (antichrist) will have a “partner”

that will appear on the scene.

Satan actually raises up this second person the Bible identifies as the  “second beast” or “false prophet”.

His primary purposes will be:

Great “public relations”.

Pretty impressive “signs and wonders”.

Eventually, he enforces the global worship of the Anti-Christ.

He will help lure humanity from the worship of the One True God.

Image result for free clipart of 666 He will remove those who do not.

Revelation 13:11-17 describes the second beast like this:

Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.  It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.  Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads,  so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Together, they will deceive and Image result for free clipart of hold on many.

Are these guys already here?

Could they be living on earth today?

Will today’s Christian see them one day soon?

Jesus says we will in verse Matthew 24:15.

So when you seeImage result for free clipart of see

15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

When you (Christ follower) see standing in the Holy Place…

Could the Holy Place be the  third Jewish Temple in Israel?

Image result for free pictures of the Holy of holies

(The one that has not been rebuilt yet.)

Image result for free clipart of trivia

There are people in the Jewish community who daily pray

on the holy hill we know as Mount Moriah

or the Temple Mount for the third Temple to be reconstructed.

Have you ever heard about, the Temple Institute?

https://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm

They are an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

(which only makes up a bout 4% of Israel’s  population)

Well…this small community just finished creating a very big altar.

It is 16 feet tall and 52.5 feet wide.

It even has the four “horns” (or raised corners) with a ramp

to look like the Biblical Jewish altar of the Old Testament.

Image result for free picture of the third burnt offerings temple altar

http://www.wnd.com/2015/03/holy-altar-constructed-for-third-jewish-temple/

They have also recreated (and hand crafted) other Temple items

and clothing according to exact Biblical requirements

and they are ready to rebuild the third Temple in Jerusalem.

Temple Image result for free clipart of trivia

For those of you who may or may not know…

Two altars existed in the Jewish Temple.

The largest of two altars was called the Altar of Burnt Offering.

(The Bronze Altar)

This altar was placed in the outer court

and is where animal sacrifices took place.

(Like the one that has just been completed)

The second alter is the Altar of Incense which is in the Tabernacle.

Image result for free clipart of spirit of antichrist

Ok…

Who could possibly bargain a peace treaty that will allow

the Jewish community to rebuild this third temple on the

Temple Mount?

Image result for free clipart of trivia

Someone who appears to be “peace loving”?

Someone “who wants what is best” for the

Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities

 Image result for free clipart of hold on(and the world)?

Perhaps…this person will be the one the Bible calls the Anti-Christ?

So, after the temple is re-built, he (the anti-christ)

appears to do bad things in it.

Jesus said; “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand.

FYI…Daniel was the guy who was tossed in lion’s den

Image result for free picture of daniel in the lion's den and survived his stay.

(That event takes place in Daniel 6)

Let’s look at what Daniel had to say.

“Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.…Daniel 11:31-32

…”Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!…Daniel 12:10-12

So, to summarize:

Someone will come on the scene and offer a peaceful solution.

A “Peace Treaty” between Israel and others will be established.

A seven year peace treaty.

(Seven does signify a divine mandate is fulfilled.)

(Biblically, when this happens …

this “officially” begins the “Tribulation” period.)

This guy quickly becomes a hero!

His popularity sky rockets!Image result for free picture of sky rockets

Governments listen to him and nations promote him.

He aligns himself with a spiritual leader.

All this potentially happens while the Temple is promptly rebuilt.

Daily sacrifices begin taking place after hundreds of years.

During this time..

 could a sense of security, progress, peace and safety

rest among the nations?

Absolutely!

When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3

Suddenly…the perfect set up for abomination of desolation.

Hold on.

Matthew 24 – Part 4 is coming

Matthew 24 – Part 2

Matthew 24:9 begins with…Then 

Then what?

Persecution.

Here is Google’s definition of the word:

per·se·cu·tion
pərsəˈkyo͞oSH(ə)n
noun: persecution; plural noun: persecutions
  1. hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.
    “her family fled religious persecution”
    synonyms: oppression, victimization, maltreatment, ill-treatment, mistreatment, abuse, ill-usage, discrimination, tyranny;

(This is the part in the Bible most of us don’t like to read or discuss)

(We certainly don’t want it preached when we go to church.)

Matthew 24 Franklin Graham

9Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

You (Christ follower)…will be handed over to be persecuted

and put to death,

You (Christ follower)…will be hated by all nations because

of me. (Jesus)

Many (Christ followers) will turn away from the faith.

There will be hatred, betrayal, false prophets, deception,

an increase of wickedness,

love will grow cold.  Image result for free pictures of love growing cold

Can you see some of these things happening?

Significant persecution is happening right before

our eyes in multiple nations around the world.

What about in the U.S.?

At first, things may have seemed subtle and harmless.

Removing prayer from schools.

Removing the 10 Commandments from governmental,

civil and public places.

A cross comes down here and there because some

may find it offensive in that particular area of the nation.

“Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas”

to be respectful.

Image result for free picture of manger scene

Excuse me…no manger scenes please.

http://www.wnd.com/2009/10/114130/

Please don’t say God Bless you when someone sneezes

or God Bless America in school.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/god-bless-america-sparks-controversy-at-school/31234750

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2014/08/20/tennessee-teen-in-trouble-for-saying-bless-you-after-sneeze/14366865/

Don’t pray before football games, graduations or public events.

“One nation under God” randomly being omitted from the

Pledge of Allegiance.

You know…those types of things.

Nothing serious right?

Did you know Chaplain in the US military have removed

the cross from their dwellings in various locations?

Image result for military removes cross from chapel

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/army-removes-crosses-steeple-from-chapel.html

Chaplains have been asked to stop praying “In Jesus’ name”?

http://www.hendersonvillelightning.com/four-seasons-politics/2654-military-trying-to-ban-jesus-chaplain-says.html

Ever heard the story about the frog

and the pot of water? Image result for free picture of frog in a pot of water

Jesus, is informing His disciples (and the reader)

once again, in Red Letters

 what is to come…

and what signs we should recognize.

Look…here are our instructions and our hope in verse 13.

13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world

as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Those who stand firm to the end…will be saved.

This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world

as a testimony to all nations.

Is Jesus saying:

Those who stand firm for Him…

Those who are persecuted because of Him…

Those put to death because of Him…

Those hated by the nations because of Him…

Those who don’t cave in, deny their faith

 and change their testimony…

“Those”

(who actually live out the Gospel)

Hmmmm….

(perhaps like those recent 21 Christian Egyptian men)

They lived out their faith.

They followed Christ until their earthly end.

Even on their knees, they stood firm until the end.

“Those”… will be saved.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered

for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

1 Peter 2:21

 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

John 15:20

In Revelation 6, read what is going on at the

opening of the 5th seal.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Revelation 6:10-11

Souls who had been slain.

Slain, because of the word of God and the

testimony they had maintained.

Did it say… wait a little longer?

Wait a little longer for what?

…until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

Did you know what we are seeing in the news was

foretold in the Bible?

Did you know that God already knows the number of

brothers and sisters who will be killed for their faith?

Obviously, this number hasn’t been reached yet

because it is still happening…right?

Check out these links to see how some of our

brothers and sisters in Christ are already being

treated  in other areas of the world:

(Click on each hyper-link to read)

http://freebeacon.com/issues/chinese-persecution-of-christians-reaches-highest-level-in-a-decade/

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art_pf.html?ID=15874

 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32337725

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art_pf.html?ID=15775

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=15834

http://www.christianpost.com/news/isis-trying-to-eliminate-last-christian-speakers-of-aramaic-language-that-jesus-spoke-137709/

http://jimbakkershow.com/news/isis-sells-young-girls-1000/?relatedposts_exclude=58202

http://www.christianpost.com/news/wife-of-american-pastor-saeed-abedini-says-prison-guards-in-iran-say-he-will-never-go-free-until-he-denies-christ-137653/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/15/us/student-coalition-at-stanford-confronts-allegations-of-anti-semitism.html?_r=0

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ON THE NEWS?

Suddenly, it is much closer to America than you think.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2015/04/isis-camp-a-few-miles-from-texas-mexican-authorities-confirm/

Be alert.

“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:6

Do you believe Jesus when He said?

“Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

John 8:51

Paul believed it.

Read what he said in  2 Corinthians 4:9
“persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Look at what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12;

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus

will be persecuted,”

Do you remember the Parable Jesus taught of the

“Sower and the Seed” in Mark 4?

In verse 17, Jesus says:

and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary;

then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word,

immediately they fall away. (NIV)

Here is the same verse in the Holman Christian Standard.

But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived.

When pressure or persecution comes because of the word,

they immediately stumble.

Stumble…

Jesus says in Matthew 11:6:

Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Jesus even said this was coming in John 16:2:

…”In fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you

will think they are offering a service to God.”

Hmmm…offering a service to God.

Are you hearing this?

Now…Back to Matthew 24.

Listen to the next words out of Jesus’ mouth.

This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the

whole world as a testimony to all nations.

This gospel?

What exactly does Jesus mean by this gospel?

Could Jesus possibly mean this gospel of…

actually displaying, living out, standing firm

till the end for His Kingdom?

Oh…that gospel…gulp!Image result for free clipart of gulp

That gospel, will be preached to the whole world.

To all nations.

Perhaps even “preached” with the help of the morning

and evening  news?      Image result for free picture of news reporter

The internet?

You tube?

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art_pf.html?ID=15872

Maybe it really isn’t just about printing Bibles in every language.

Maybe it is about a living testimony.

Pause…

Ok…Bible Trivia.

Image result for free clipart of did you know

Per Wikkepdia, the Bible has been translated into many

languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic

and Greek. As of November 2014 the full Bible has been

translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages

have at least some portion of the Bible.

Image result for free clipart of lines

Matthew 24:14…again:

14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

When the “full number” mentioned above in Revelation 6 happens?

Then, the end will come?

So… what does the end look like?

(Disclaimer: Even though I believe Christians

should know about the signs and what will happen towards

the end of the age…

I also believe, we shouldn’t live in fear.

It is not really the end…

Isn’t it really just an intense beginning for an

awesome eternity for Christians?

Image result for free clipart of  big gulp

Like Big Daddy Weave says,

“We are just changing neighborhoods.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAf5hFBoQ_g

So…

will Christians see the Anti-Christ?

Image result for free clipart of  big gulpImage result for free clipart of to be continued

in Part 3

Matthew 24 – Part 1

In Matthew 24, verses 1-3, Jesus’ disciples were curious,

pulled Him aside, and said,

“Tell us”…”what will be the sign of your coming”.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Image result for eschatology

Jesus gave His disciples a very clear answer.

Is Jesus’ answer being preached from behind the pulpit today?

We hear sermons about grace, wisdom, forgiveness and tithing.

(All are very important)

But what about the “End of the age”?

Not a very popular topic for pastors…

or congregations.

Let’s look at Jesus’ answer in Red Letters verse by verse.

Image result for free clipart of red letters in the bible

4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.

So from the very beginning…

The very first thing out of His mouth…

Jesus said “Watch out that no one deceives you”

And…that many will be deceived.

Ooops…is it too late for that one?

Have many Pastors and their congregations already

swallowed the pill Image result for free clipart of swallowing a pillof deception?

What about the secular world?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes

And clever in their own sight!

Isaiah 5:20-21

As time progresses, there will definitely be many more

opportunities for another doseImage result for free clipart of swallowing a pill

of deception.

Watch out.

 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Wars and rumors of war.

Nation against nation.

(In some translations of the Bible it uses the word

“Ethnos” which can translate “race against race”.)

Can you see this happening around the world?

Even in our own country?

Famines and earthquakes in various places.

Here are a few things we see everyday in the news.

(or…maybe not)

Look at the increase of measureable earthquakes.

earthquake 2013

Of course technology has also increased in this time frame,

but there is a substantial difference between 1973 and 2014.

The state of Oklahoma now averages 3 earthquakes a day…

some days as many as 7.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102605561

California can have thousands a day…you just can’t feel all of them.

Saturday in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and largest city,

6.6 million people experienced a 7.9 earthquake.

(recently upgraded from 7.5)

At the time I am writing this, over 3,700 are dead,

and that number is expected to rise.

Massive, fast moving avalanches hit Mount Everest base camps.

Camps were demolished and 17 hikers and guides are dead.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/apr/26/nepal-earthquake-death-toll-exceeds-1500-rolling-report

 http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/25/asia/nepal-earthquake-7-5-magnitude/

Isn’t this pretty?

REUTERS/Rafael Arenas

 Calbuco volcano in southern Chile caught everyone off guard.

This dormant volcano has not errupted in over five decades and showed no signs of exploding…until it did.

Ash has been so thick and heavy that roof tops have collapsed…

Image result for free picture of chile volcanoImage result for free picture of chile volcanoImage result for free pictures of chile volcano 2015

or close to being completely covered with ash.

Calbuco is one of many sleeping giants coming out of hibernation.

Check out the increased activity of volcanoes at:

http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports_weekly.cfm

Did you know that Yellowstone is considered to be Yellowstone Volcano More Active In October

the largest of 9 “Super Volcanoes” in the world?

http://earthsky.org/earth/under-yellowstone-reservoir-of-molten-rock-2-5-times-bigger-than-thought

???????????????????????????????

Roads and paths are melting due to excessive heat under them.

Animals are randomly trying to flee the park during crazy stampedes.

A large increase of earthquakes in the surrounding area.

Is it getting ready to blow?

Google it. See what you find out.Image result for free clipart of look it up

Religious wars, race wars, gender wars, cultural wars,

oil wars,Image result for free clipart of oil wars cyber wars, water wars,

energy wars, star wars,

“super-power’s” volleying Image result for free clipart of volleying

for supreme position,

genocide, land grabs, nuclear threats.

The healthcare community is waging it’s own “war” on

“super bugs”Image result for free clipart of super bugs and over aggressive viruses

that antibiotics no longer kill.

The “Bird flu” back in the news. Image result for free clipart of bird flu

Minnesota is one state that recently declared a

“state of emergency” because the deadly strain has been

found in 46 farms in 16 counties infecting 2.6 million birds.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/23/us-health-birdflu-minnesota-idUSKBN0NE2JP20150423

Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin are fighting the deadly  H5N2  and H5N8 strains.

It has also been identified on farms in Ontario, Canada where it

has reportedly “jumped” to humans.

(FYI…H1N1 is the Swine flu)

The Bible tells us to expect more of this…in the future.

  And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.

Revelation 6:8

 By these three plagues were one third of mankind killed: by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur, which proceeded out of their mouths.

Revelation 9:18

(Yes, it seems the church is still present for the above events.)

What about famine?

Did you know that currently:

6 million people South Sudan are on the brink of famine.

14 million lives are approaching catastrophe in Ethiopia

due to drought andImage result for free picture of a dollar sign high food prices.

3 million people in Somalia are said to be in need of humanitarian

aid and the entire country is threatened with famine.

In Yarmouk, (in an annihilated refugee camp)

 children eat grass growing in the cracks

of the street while their parents burn furniture for warmth.

Syrian refugees have flooded Instanbul, Turkey and

finding themselves hungry and homeless.

Over  2.2 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes since January 2014, leaving them also homeless and hungry.

Recent violence has orphaned about 1.2 million Nigerians.

Above is a picture of 90,000 displaced Sunni people arriving at the outskirts of Bagdad this week.

A report published the end of 2014 by the Montpellier Panel a (group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe)  estimated that approximately 65% of Africa’s farm land is too damaged to sustain viable food production.

and let’s not forget…

Africa has also been on the front lines battling Ebola.

As recent as March 15th 2015, there have been 24,701 reported cases  of Ebola and 10,194 deaths worldwide.

(The vast majority of these deaths/illnesses are contained to three countries in Africa.)

Drought is plaguing the entire population of Tharparkar Pakistan

(1.5 million people)

Image result for areas of drought in the world

Right now, organizations say that the world will need to produce at least 50% more food to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

Even our nation is currently experiencing drought.

The drought is causing water stress.

Image result for areas of drought in the world

California alone has been in an extreme draught for over four years.

Residents can now be charged up to $500 a day for water over use.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/16/5908995/california-passes-500-dollar-water-fines

California water agencies can be charged $10,000 for over consuming water.

California once produced large quantities of food in the

fruit, vegetable, tree nut, and dairy sectors not only for the US but

the world; now farmers are selling farms, loosing their livelihood or

being paid by the government to not farm…

because they can’t water crops.

Food does not come from the grocery store.

The grocery store supplies food grown by farmers…

on land that needs rain.

No rain = Drought

Drought = Fewer farmers

Fewer farmers = Less food

Image result for free clipart of to be continuedLess food = More famine?

Frustrated that your grocery bill is increasing?

Revelation 6 appears to reveal that things will escalate.

Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”  Revelation 6:6

Dying oceans?

Pssst…Dying oceans also means dying food sources.

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.

Revelation 16:4

Can you imagine what all shore lines will look like

when every living thing in the sea dies?

Smelling, decaying marine life washing up on your favorite beach.

Below are just a few issues we are currently seeing in our oceans

and the impact that it is having on the environment and economy.

http://enenews.com/column-sea-creatures-sick-dying-disappearing-alarming-rate-all-along-pacific-coast-radiation-fallout-fukushima-study-be-sitting-precipice-major-extinction-event-marine-wildlife

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-gulf-of-mexico-is-still-dying-pathogenic-micro-organisms-proliferate-due-to-polluted-and-poisoned-bioterrain/5393992

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/26/us-usa-beaches-pollution-idUSKBN0F12I520140626

Have you heard about the “Blob”

http://www.cnn.com/videos/weather/2015/04/21/blob-pacific-ocean-warm-waters-weather-jennifer-gray.cnn

Wild salmon starving because their food source has left town.

 Blob Pacific Ocean Warm Waters Weather Jennifer Gray_00000915

Guys…more will happen to our oceans and rivers.

Much more.

Much worse.

What about the weather?

Image result for free picture of extreme weather

Image result for epic snowHuge storm systems.

Epic snow fall  Image result for epic snow

 Image result for extreme noreaster  and Nor’easters.

 Flooding rains.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/raging-floodwaters-caused-northwest-rain-storms-28797428

Damaging large hail.  Image result for extreme hailstones

Destructive tornadoes.

(viral picture from a tornado Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Crippling sandstorms.

This one happened to be in Cairo, Egypt on 2/11/15

Check out Dust Storm News…no joke…really.

http://abcnews.go.com/topics/news/weather/dust-storm.htm

 Destructive typhoonsImage result for extreme weather and hurricanes.

Signs of

  

the times?

Ouch!

That is just the tip of the iceburg.

Image result for free clipart of tip of the iceberg

Much more information lurks beneath the surface.

Be aware, discern the times, see the signs.

 I could go on with this list but lets get back to what

Matthew 24:6 says.      

Now, read between those lines and you get this…

Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

All these are the beginning of birth pains.

It is the beginning of discomfort.

The beginning pains that leads up to a great pain.

Excruciating pain precedes the birth.

(which is the Return of Christ in this case).

(I personally know birth pains can go on for quite a

while because I was in labor for 18 hours.)Image result for free clipart of labor pains

It seemed like forever!

That is a lot of pain and a great deal of discomfort and…

I don’t think that we will not have the option

of an epidural.Image result for free pictures of epidural

Verse 9 begins with…Then 

Image result for free clipart of to be continued

in Part 2