Tuesday, June 5, 2018

BEAUTY AND TRUTH FROM GOD

My sister and her husband are traveling out west and have allowed me to use their pictures showing the beauty of creation to frame some precious truths from scripture.  Enjoy and be blessed!
(Click on pictures for larger view.)





Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BIBLICAL PROPHECY AND TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES - AN UPDATE

In this blog I have focused on helping others in their study of bible prophecy by sharing what I have learned through my own personal studies.  Having shared the truth of scripture as I see it over the past nine years, I only feel it necessary to add to these studies when I learn something new or feel the need to share encouragement through scripture cards I have made and other items of personal inspiration.   

I did an update in October of 2016, and I am updating that post to reflect all that has happened since that time.  If I did not know that God is sovereign and on the throne and working out His plan for our future, I would certainly be afraid and depressed about the future.  Though I hate what those who reject Jesus as Savior will have to experience, I can’t help but get excited about the fact that Jesus is coming soon to set up His kingdom—and at least seven years before that to take those who have placed their faith in Him to heaven in an event known as the rapture.  My study of scripture declares that truth no matter how others may choose to deny it—and I have certainly read many arguments by those who deny that truth.

How do I know it will be soon?  Because the daily news headlines declare it.  Just as the LORD Jesus expected the religious leaders of His day to recognize the signs of the times that pointed to Him as the Messiah, I believe He expects believers today to recognize the signs of the times that point to His return to set up His kingdom.

Matthew 16:1–3 “The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

We know from the prophet Ezekiel that Russia will be a major player in the end times and will lead a coalition including Iran and Turkey among others that will attack Israel in order to plunder its wealth.  Such a coalition has never existed until recently.  The leaders of these countries met in Ankara at the beginning of this month to discuss the situation in Syria.  Just as he has already done in Iran and Syria, Putin is acting to increase his influence in Turkey.  He has committed to helping them build a nuclear plant and to sell them S-400 surface to air missile batteries.  I’m thinking it won’t be very long before Turkey officially pulls out of NATO.

The situation with ISIS provided a hook in the jaws that has resulted in Russia being positioned right on Israel’s border.  Russia has continued to support Assad despite recent evidence of his once again using chemical gas against the people of Douma (near Damascus), one of the last areas still controlled by rebels; the attack resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.  I believe the situation in Syria will eventually result in the fulfillment of another prophecy as declared by the prophet Isaiah—the complete destruction of Damascus.  (See my study on Isaiah 17 at www.momsbiblejournal.com.) 

Added to this is the surprising declaration from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia that Israel has a right to exist and indicated the desire to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.  It seems that their hatred of Iran has led them to befriend Israel in their effort to keep Iran from gaining strength and influence.  It reminds one of the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Ezekiel’s prophecy indicates that the countries immediately bordering Israel, though Muslim, will not be a part of the coalition that attacks Israel.  (For further details see my study on Ezekiel 38 at www.momsbiblejournal.com.)

President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has fast-tracked the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem to be completed by May 14th, the day marking the 70th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth as a nation.  This, of course, only adds fuel to the fire of passion against Israel in light of the Palestinians and their demand to take land that belongs to Israel to form another state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Apostle Paul identified the last days as being characterized by a complete decay in morality throughout the world.  (See my studies on 1Timothy 4 and 2Timothy 3.)  I, of course, am completely astounded at the complete moral corruption that has occurred in my own nation in just the last few years.  Our government has abandoned the biblical principles upon which our nation was founded and has passed legislation that rejects morality as defined in the word of God. 

Jesus declared in his teaching known as the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) that the days in which Jesus would return would be like the days of Noah before the flood. 

Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Following is how the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to define such evil in his letter to the Romans.  (I am going to quote from the New Living Translation for better clarity.)

Romans 1:24–32 “So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen

That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.

When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

I think that is a perfect commentary on the morals as reflected in our culture and, I am sad to say, in our government in America today.  The powers that be have been given a huge assist in their abuse of power with the help of judicial activism that oversteps the bounds set by the constitution. 

Advances in technology have provided the means by which some prophecies of scripture can now be fulfilled in ways that could never have been accomplished before.  The Revelation contains a prophecy declaring that the whole world will be able to see the dead bodies of God’s two tribulation (the last seven years before the return of Jesus) witnesses for three days.  This is now possible through the use of satellites and worldwide broadcasting on television and internet.

Revelation 11:9–10 “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

The Revelation also declares that the coming world ruler will be able to control buying and selling throughout the world by requiring people to have a mark on their person declaring allegiance to him. 

Revelation 13:16–17 “He required everyone—great and small, rich and poor, slave and free—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.”

Again, that technology is not only possible, but has already begun to be used in some countries.  China has begun implementation of a Social Credit System.  Consider this quote from Rachel Botsman’s article “Big Data Meets Big Brother as China Moves to Rate Its Citizens” on October 21, 2017, at www.wired.co.uk:  Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school - or even just your chances of getting a date.

And from an article by James Vincent on November 29, 2016, on www.theverge.com: “The UK is about to become one of the world’s foremost surveillance states, allowing its police and intelligence agencies to spy on its own people to a degree that is unprecedented for a democracy. The UN’s privacy chief has called the situation "worse than scary." Edward Snowden says it’s simply ‘the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.’  The legislation in question is called the Investigatory Powers Bill. It’s been cleared by politicians and granted royal assent on November 29th — officially becoming law. The bill will legalize the UK’s global surveillance program, which scoops up communications data from around the world, but it will also introduce new domestic powers, including a government database that stores the web history of every citizen in the country. UK spies will be empowered to hack individuals, internet infrastructure, and even whole towns — if the government deems it necessary.”

These are just some of the more obvious examples that I see reflected in the headlines of our news today.  Though I am not providing the full explanation of these prophecies in this post, you can use the search tool on this blog and/or go to my website to see the complete studies that provide more detail on the prophetic scriptures being referenced.

So, why should I believe that any of these prophecies are true?  Because there are so many examples of fulfilled prophecy.  (See blog posts dated December 7, 2008; July 7, 2010; July 20, 2011; and November 26 & 30, 2012 for more examples.)

The three that I believe are most important are the birth of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus and the rebirth of the state of Israel after almost 2000 years.  My heart breaks for those of you who continue to reject the truth of God’s word in spite of so much evidence for its trustworthiness—not only regarding prophecy, but also in scientific and historical accuracy.  I know what your future holds if you continue to reject Jesus as your Savior.  Read the book.  Look at the facts.  Don’t let foolish pride and deception condemn you to a future in hell!  God loves you and sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to make the gift of salvation available to you for the asking. 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


Romans 10:9 “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NLT)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

JESUS, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

My thoughts are all over the place as we once again commemorate the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus to provide for our salvation.  I am so thankful that He loves us so unconditionally! 

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I am so looking forward to His soon return to take us home to the Father’s house! 

John 14:1–3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

I am so looking forward to getting an immortal body with no taint of sin! 

1 Corinthians 15:51–54 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Yet…I am so sad that so many refuse to accept Jesus as LORD and Savior as I think of the horrific future before them—suffering God’s vengeance and an eternity outside the presence of God.

2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” 

Jesus came to shine the light of salvation so that no person would have to live eternally in the darkness outside His presence.  He doesn’t want one person to perish and suffer eternal judgment. 

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

My prayer is that you will accept Jesus as your LORD and Savior before it is too late!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

 Click on pics for larger view