Have you ever had one of those “reflecting” type of days? Today has been one of those days for me. The News has been jam-packed with Last Days stories of apocalyptic fires, plagues, rumors of war, earthquakes, and major political upheaval. As I write this, we recently learned that 3 American firefighters died in Australia, fighting those APOCALYPTIC wildfires. There have been at least 25 lives lost, and they now believe that HALF A BILLION animals may have already perished in the fires!.
There are rescue and recovery crews still scouring the debris for signs of life following a 6.9 earthquake that took place in Eastern Turkey on Friday, January 24th.
There is a plague called the Corona Virus raging in China, and beginning to spread into other countries. It has now been confirmed that this plague, easily spread from person to person, can spread BEFORE any symptoms show. This means that an infected person who has yet to display symptoms can carry and spread the plague without even knowing they are sick! Rumors are swirling that the death count in China is FAR worse than what is being reported. Hospitals, running out of supplies, space, and medical personnel, cannot handle the volume of sick people, and there are even twitter pictures that show individuals lying dead on the ground in crowded places. Grocery stores are running out of food, while 56 MILLION people have been LOCKED DOWN. Also, it is being reported by Mainstream media that China’s only bioweapons facility is very near GROUND ZERO of this outbreak. All signs are that this plague or birthpain is going to become BIBLICAL very quickly. Reminds me of Stephen King’s movie “The Stand”. I understand that they are remaking this movie with Oprah Winfrey playing the part of Mother Abigail, the prophet. Hollywood..what do they know?
If all of this isn’t bad enough, we just received word that the US Embassy in Iraq just took a DIRECT HIT from a missile. At this point, we have learned that one American was injured in the attack. What will be the response from Washington? Rumors of war are signifiantly heating up!
The world is in shock because a fairly young, WEALTHY American Basketball star, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash TODAY.
All of this is taking place to the backdrop of the US Congress trying to ILLEGALLY remove a sitting President only months before an election. This is UNPRECEDENTED! It did not go unnnoticed that the Speaker of the House GLEEFULLY served up pens, that looked like BULLETS on a SILVER PLATTER, to sign the articles of Impeachment.
And for the icing on the cake, so to speak, President TRUMP’S team is preparing to unveil his “DEAL OF THE CENTURY” to Israel, possibly within the next week or two. IF President Trump gives away any part of Israel’s land to the Palestinians, and IF ISRAEL accepts the PROPOSAL for PEACE, then it may be “GAME OVER” for the United States. We say this because God blesses those who BLESS Israel and curses those who CURSE Israel. The Palestinians, already assuming that Trump will not give them what they want, are planning a ‘DAY OF RAGE’ when Donald Trump releases the plan. The latest call for a “day of rage” came as the Palestinian Authority continued to threaten that Trump’s upcoming plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century, ” would ignite mass protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Because many Bible prophecy experts ASSUME that Daniel’s 70th week begins with a signed peace treaty, they may not realize how close we are NOW to the start of Daniel’s 70th week. This also means that the Resurrection is rapidly approaching, when the DEAD IN CHRIST rise first at the sound of the LAST TRUMP. Is it a coincidence that President TRUMP is in the fight of his life, when the very pens used to sign the articles of impeachment were “served up” on a silver platter, having the appearance of BULLETS? There is a PALPABLE spiritual war raging right over our heads, and it is breaking out onto the earth as we speak.
What can we do? We need to make sure that we have oil in our lamps. Oil is representative of the Holy Spirit, our comforter, guide, and teacher. The only way to have oil in our lamps is to BELIEVE in the Son of God’s (Jesus) redemptive work at the Cross..Believe that He ROSE again, and BELIEVE that He and His Father DWELL literally within each Believer via the Holy Spirit. If we put our FAITH in Jesus Christ and the work that HE did for us at the CROSS, and MAINTAIN our Faith EXCLUSIVELY in this, asking Him to cover all of our sins with His precious Blood, then we are saved and sealed until the day of Redemption. We need to walk DAILY in that Blessed Assurance that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and that His Holy Spirit, who dwells inside of us, FREES us from being slaves to the sin that is in our flesh. Hallelujah! (Praise be to Yah!).
Jesus told us to pray that we may be found worthy to escape the things that are coming upon the earth and stand before the son of Man. (Jesus).
With everything that is going on around us, it would be easy to give into a spirit of fear. But Jesus tells us in His Word that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. Keeping an eternal perspective in the storms of life helps us to stay anchored in the Peace of Jesus. When chaos is breaking out around the world, we need to remember the promises of Jesus and TRUST that He will deliver.
- Jesus will NEVER leave or forsake those who BELIEVE in His Name. This means that whatever we are dealing with, Jesus is right there with us. This is very comforting. There are times in our lives where no human being can be present with us, but Jesus is there. Imagine Him holding your hand, or even giving you a hug when you need one. HE is there. Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 41:10-13)
- Jesus will provide for our needs. HE is our Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider. Even though the earth should shake and tremble, even if the economy were to completely collapse and there be no food available at the Grocery stores (like it currently is in parts of China), and everything seems very bleak, remember the Promises of God. The Lord provided for His people, Israel, with supernatural manna from Heaven when they were starving. What will He do for us now when we cry out to Him? God wants us to BELIEVE His Promises. (Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:19, Luke 12:24, Deuteronomy 2:7, 1 Samuel 2:8)
- The wind and waves still knows Jesus’ Name. Jesus can and does calm the “stormy seas” around us when we cry out to Him. God tells us that He hears the prayers of the Righteous, those who are spiritually covered by the blood of Jesus. Remember that when a believer prays, it is like opening a PORTAL to HEAVEN, where God can send important resources and help when we are in desparate need. God tells us to go BOLDLY before His Throne, asking for what we need, in the Name of Jesus, and it will be done according to HIS WILL. (Psalm 89:9, Luke 8:22-25, Hebrews 4:16)
- Jesus is God our healer also (Jehovah Rapha). After wandering for days in the desert of Shur, the Israelites were in desparate need of clean drinking water. They discovered a river, but the waters were unfit to drink. God divinely cleansed the waters by instructing moses to throw a piece of wood into the water, thereby making it drinkable.Following this miracle, God declared HImself as Jehovah Rapha to His people by proclaiming, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in HIS eyes, if you pay attention to HIS commands and keep all HIS decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26). Jesus performed many, many miracles of healing during His earthly ministry. There is NOTHING impossible for God. (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14-15. Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 53:4-5, Jeremiah 33:6)
- God is our Jehovah Nissi (God our Protector). God declares that He surrounds His people with Ministering angels when we cry out to Him for help and PROTECTION. Never underestimate the PROTECTIVE POWER of our God! (2 Thess 3:3, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 138:7, 2 Samuel 22:3-4, John 10:28-30, Psalm 91)
- As for me personally, I believe I had a personal encounter with an angel once. One day I was putting my children into their car seats (when they were young), and just as I went to step away from the car, I felt something forcefully put pressure on my back and shove me towards my car. I was unable to take the step out that I was intending on taking. At that very moment, a car went SPEEDING by within inches of me. It literally came out of nowhere. Had I taken that step, I would have been hit and probably killed by the car. Nobody was present with me, it was a supernatural experience.
- My mother had a similar incident as a child. Her ball went rolling into a road, and as she was running out to get the ball, there was a tap on her shoulder and someone softly said her name. She stopped running and turned around to see who was there. There was nobody there. As she did this, a car went SPEEDING down the road. If she would not have been stopped, she would have been in the middle of the road when the car sped by. These are just a couple of PERSONAL accounts with, I believe, God’s PROTECTIVE angels. Angels are NOT to be worshipped, but they do exist, and they do protect God’s people according to God’s Will.
We highly recommend Psalm 91 as the Protection Psalm. It is a good idea to try to memorize this psalm (if possible), so you can pray it when you need it. Inserting your own name and personal pronouns into the Psalm makes it personal to you and your situation
Finally, there was something else I feel led to share. It is something that I think the Lord put on my heart today, possibly a revelation of sorts. In the Old Testament, the book of 1st Samuel, there is this story where Israel had sinned big time by using the Ark of the Covenant as a “good luck charm” in much the same way that the neighboring pagan religions used idols. In God’s anger, He allowed Israel to be defeated by the Philistines and the Ark of the Covenant to be taken.
The Ark of the Covenant was the very special box built to hold the ten commandments. God gave Moses the design for the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle on Mt. Sinai. The Ark was made of extremely durable yet common Acacia wood and overlayed with pure gold. The Ark was to be carried on poles inserted in rings at the four lower corners. The lid, or ‘mercy-seat’, was a gold plate surrounded by two cherubs with outspread wings. Inside the Ark was the ten commandments written by Moses while meeting with God on Mt. Sinai, some manna from Heaven that the Israelites received supernaturally in the wilderness, and Aaron’s rod that budded. The Ark was extremely important to the Israelites because it symbolized the Divine presence of YHWH with them. It played a significant part at the crossing of Jordan (Joshua 3-4), the fall of Jericho (Jos. 6) and the ceremony of remembering the covenant at Mt Ebal (Jos. 8:30).
After the Ark was brought into the Promised Land, it was taken to Bethel and later brought to Shiloh where it rested during the time of the Judges. Shiloh means “peace” and we find out later becomes a metaphor for Israel’s Messiah. In 1st Samuel 4, the Israelites had just been defeated in battle by the Philistines. Instead of examining their own sin and the reason the Lord allowed the defeat, they instead chose to bring the Ark up from Shiloh in their next battle. They assumed that if the Ark was with them, victory would be certain. However, with no repentance, and no understanding that it was their own sin that caused their defeat, they were handily defeated and the Ark taken. It is important to note that at this time, the Levitical priests, who had the responsibility for the care of the Ark, had been completely corrupted.
1 Samuel 4:3: And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (The corrupt Levitical priests who were in charge of caring for the Ark).
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died
We see the consequence for Israel’s sin. They were defeated in Battle with 30,000 soldiers dying on the battlefield, and the Ark was captured by the Philistines. The two corrupt Levitical priests, who were supposed to take care of the Ark, died (Hophni and Phinehas). I don’t think we can fully understand the magnitude of this defeat. Because the Ark symbolized God’s Divine presence to Israel, they felt totally and completely abandoned by God. They did NOT understand WHY God left them because they were NOT introspective enough to recognize it was due to their own sin. But here’s one of the most remarkable things about this situation. It seemed almost impossible that the Ark could be taken by the Philistines. Why is that? Because God had always made it clear that ONLY the Levitical priests could TOUCH the Ark of the Covenant. This was very important, punishable by IMMEDIATE DEATH.
Numbers 4:15: When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy objects and all their equipment, as soon as the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites shall come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy objects, or they will die. These are the transportation duties of the Kohathites regarding the Tent of Meeting.
Deuteronomy 10:8: At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day
The Lord gave Israel very specific instructions on who was to carry the Ark when it was moved (Those from Israel’s Tribe of Levi “Levites”), and HOW the Ark was to be carried..on poles. Everything had to be done exactly to specifications OR..the consequences would be DEATH. What is so astounding is that SOMEHOW God permitted the “uncircumcised Philistines” to TAKE the ARK from the Israelites WITHOUT DYING. Of course, one might think that perhaps by the time of Samuel, God had changed His mind about all of His requirements for touching or carrying the Ark, but we find out in 2 Samuel that the requirements were still in place. You see, the Philistines DID return the Ark of the Covenant after they were struck with a nasty plague of tumors and mice. Many years later, in an effort to UNITE ISRAEL, King David decided to MOVE the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the City of David. However, David was NOT made aware of the requirements for carrying the Ark. His men carried the Ark incorrectly on a cart via Oxen rather than having the Levites carry it with the 4 poles. At one point, the Oxen nearly overturned the Ark, and one of David’s men Uzzah, reached out his hand to steady the Ark. As soon as he touched the Ark, he fell down dead.
2 Samuel 6:6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.
What we see in 2nd Samuel is that the very strict requirements for handling the Ark were still in place at the time of King David because God changes not. This is why it is so important to run the other way when a particular church or denomination says that we must “change with the times”, adapt with the culture. We certainly can adapt with the culture, but God does NOT adapt. We are supposed to ADAPT THE CULTURE to remain with God, not the other way around. Anyway, this then leads us to wonder how it was that the uncircumcised Philistines were PERMITTED by God to TAKE the ARK of the Covenant without dying? Why did the Israelite UZZAH die when he touched the Ark, but the Philistines did NOT DIE?
James 3:1: My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Luke 12: 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
God is giving us a “glimpse” into His FAIRNESS. Those who have no clue, who have never been EXPOSED to the truth, and had no real opportunity to know the TRUTH will incur a less strict punishment than those who KNOW the TRUTH and REFUSE to follow it. How far God takes this principal when He’s judging non-believers, we do not know. All we really need to know is that God is FAIR, and at the end of the day His Judgment is JUST. The uncircumised Philistines were permitted to touch and improperly carry the Ark because they DID NOT KNOW the ways of God. However, the Israelites had been GIVEN the very ORACLES of God and were EXPECTED to know them. They incurred a stricter punishment. This is where a lightbulb went off in my head…a Holy Spirit lightbulb. God’s Holy Spirit is the believer’s teacher and guide throughout our wilderness experience. I am so THANKFUL for God’s Holy Spirit! So I received this “download” of sorts regarding this principal of fairness.
The Ark of the Covenant was a FORESHADOWING of Jesus Christ. The Ark, built with common and yet durable acacia wood, was a symbol of Jesus’ HUMANITY. The Ark was OVERLAYED with GOLD symbolizing Jesus’ DIVINITY. Jesus was FULLY human, and yet FULLY GOD. Jesus IS the manna that came down from Heaven to FEED God’s people! He IS the Bread of Life, born in Bethlehem, the house of bread. Jesus IS our High Priest FOREVER after the order of Melchizedek, symbolized by the High Preist Aaron’s rod that budded. The Ark itself, and everything in it was a FORESHADOWING of Jesus. the Son of God! Jesus was to be crucified on a CROSS (Tree of the knowledge of good and evil), and the ARK was to be CARRIED on POLES. Do we see? Can we see? The Jews did NOT KILL Jesus themselves. The Jewish High Priests ORDERED the death of Jesus, but it was the hands of the UNCIRCUMCISED ROMANS who killed our Lord Jesus Christ. At the Cross, Jesus prayed…”Father, forgive them for they know NOT what they do. The uncircumcised Romans did NOT understand YHWH. They had NOT been given the ORACLES OF GOD…and they were PERMITTED to touch and harm the Son of God, Jesus Christ. What would have happened had the Jewish Leadership, who had READ the Prophecies of the MESSIAH, been successful in striking down the Son of God with their own hands? What do you think might have happened to them?? If the Ark of the Covenant, a MERE FORESHADOWING of the TRUE ARK OF GOD – JESUS CHRIST, who IS the Word of God made flesh, caused the Israelite UZZAH to drop down dead for just a mere touch, what would have happened to the Israeli leadership, had they themselves laid hands on the Son of God? My suspicion is they would have INSTANTLY DIED. But God, in His Sovereingty and perfection, had it all worked out that it would be the Uncircumcised and ignorant ROMANS who laid hands on Jesus, NOT the Jews. God was starting the CHURCH AGE, or the AGE of the GENTILES, when the Gentiles would also no longer have an excuse.
You see, everything that God does in His Word, everything that He does has SIGNIFICANT meaning, and also has SIGNIFICANT application for our lives today.
Romans 15:4: For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
What can we take away from all of this?
- We can REMEMBER that God is sovereign and in control, even when it APPEARS that the enemy is winning.
- We an REMEMBER that God is true to His Word, watching CAREFULLY to bring every jot and tittle to pass.
Jeremiah 1:12: Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I AM watching over My word to perform it.”
- We can REMEMBER that simply wearing a cross around our neck, or sitting in a pew, is not going to save us. We need to truly BELIEVE on Jesus Christ’s finished work at the CROSS, and we also need to FOLLOW HIM as best we can. God has MERCY on unbelievers (to a point), but His desire is for all to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH. Although the Philistines were not killed immediately for touching the Ark of the Covenant, like the Israelite Uzzah, they would eventually have many in their camp die from a plague of tumors and rats. God did not allow them to KEEP the Ark of the Covenant while remaining uncircumcised.
- We can remember that God does not change, so any Church who is adapting DOCTRINE to fit the “modern culture” is an apostate Church, teaching “doctrines of demons’ instead of the pure Word of God.
The day of the Lord comes when the “FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES” is complete. This could have to do with the number of Gentiles who are being SAVED, OR it could also have to do with Gentile Christians reaching a certain level of SPIRITUAL MATURITY. Either way, God will UNBLIND the Jewish people when this occurs.
Romans 11:25: For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery— so that you will not be wise in your own estimation– that a partial hardening (of the Jewish people) has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
How can we be ready for the Resurretion and the Rapture? Believe on Jesus the Christ, God’s Divine Ark of the Covenant. Believe that He died for our sins, rose again on the 3rd day, and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Believe that He is coming again, and that He will fulfill all of His promises in the Bible. Ask Jesus for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, His supernatural impartation of His power, guidance, and LOVE, and carefully LISTEN to the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT. Trust Him in the storms of Life. Obey His commandments to love the Lord God with all of our heart, mind soul, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves. Do not repay evil with evil, but overcome evil with GOOD. FORGIVE others and FORGIVE ourselves remembering that we have been FORGIVEN by GOD. Try not to be afraid of the devastation that we see with our eyes, from the severe birthpains (war, Earthquakes, plagues and death) that continue to pick up in frequency and severity, but rather, put our Trust in Jesus Christ, the Only One who can SAVE. Plead the blood of Jesus over ourselves, our families and friends, and also pray God’s Psalm of protetion, Psalm 91 and BELIEVE that God will FULFILL His Word.
We truly believe we are in the LAST of the last days, and we should EXPECT the unexpected. But God is FAITHFUL and He is our Rampart and shield. He is with us. He will not leave us. We have been chosen by Him to be His vessels for SUCH A TIME AS THIS (Esther).
God preserved Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo in the fiery furnace because they REFUSED to bow down and worship the golden statue. In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar was angry because these three youths refused to worship his golden idol, a reprentation of himself. He ordered the 3 teenage boys to be thrown into the fiery furnace. The furnace was turned up to 7 times hotter than normal, and the flame actually killed the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo into the furnace. But what do we see? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo were preserved so much so that they weren’t even singed, and their hair did not smell like smoke. Also, who was seen in the fire WITH them? One having the appearance of “a god”…My guess is this is a Theophany, or the appearance of a pre-incarnate Christ. We must trust Jesus, even if we are thrown into the fiery furnace.
Important note: This does not mean that we can put our God to the test by PURPOSELY jumping into a “firey furnace” to SEE if He will save us…that would be a very bad idea with disasterous consequences. But what it DOES mean is that when the enemy attacks, God will DEFEND those who STAND for HIM. But what about Christians who are murdered for their faith? Why did God not defend them? God does allow some of His people to be killed and persecuted; however, that does not mean that God LEFT them. Remember, God’s own Son Jesus was KILLED for a very good reason – to SAVE mankind. IF God allows persecution and death in His people’s lives, those who are walking in step with Him, it is for a VERY GOOD REASON. Either way, whether we LIVE or DIE, we put our TRUST in JESUS. Those who DIE in the FAITH will be GREATLY REWARDED in HEAVEN (Matthew 5:10, Revelation 14:13).
21Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.
“The average temperature inside a structure fire reaches 1,100 degrees. This fire was well in excess of 970 degrees Fahrenheit and according to the CCFD’s Facebook post, it got so hot that firefighters had to actually turn back.
“Though odds were against us, God was not.”
After extinguishing the fire, the church had been declared a total loss as most of the building was absolutely charred and torched by the massive blaze. As firefighters began to investigate further – they noticed something very peculiar.
These brave firefighters began to realize that none of the church’s bibles had burned – or were even charred. It was a miraculous discovery that only grew larger when they noticed the church’s massive cross was fully intact and still upright.
“Picture this, a building so hot that at one point in time, firefighters had to back out. In your mind, everything should be burned, ashes. Not a single bible was burned and not a single cross was harmed!! Not a single firefighter was hurt! Prayers for the pastor and the congregation today.”
There is no better explanation than what these folks have said already – “Though odds were against us, God was not.”
It’s always darkest before the dawn breaks.
Matthew 28:1: Now after the Sabbath, at early dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
Isaiah 9:2: The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
Matthew 4:16: “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
Isaiah 58:8: “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.