On April 29, 1945, the U.S. Seventh Army’s 45th Infantry Division liberated Dachau from the Nazi's. What they found there was absolutely horrifying. As they neared the camp, the Americans found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies in various states of decomposition. Inside the camp there were more bodies and 30,000 survivors, most severely emaciated. The German citizens of the town of Dachau were later forced to bury the 9,000 dead inmates found at the camp.
In April and May of 2019, testimony was given that babies that were aborted with beating hearts were then taken to be dissected for body parts. We may even remember the "scandal" that this caused for a short period of time. In the end what did WE do as a nation? Nothing. It ran the news cycle and then went away.
Maybe what needs to happen is for all of us to have to pick up the bodies and bury them. There is little difference between what Germany did during WWII and what we are doing today. Oh, there is one difference. We've known this has been going on since 1973 and have done little or nothing to stop it. For those who would argue with me, I would ask a couple simple questions.
#1 - Are we still aborting 3500-4000 babies a day in America?
#2 - Do we KNOW that this practice or organ harvesting, even to babies with beating hearts, has stopped? Have those who did it been brought to justice under KNOWN statutes that they have violated?
#3 - Has the scope of abortion expanded in our lifetime? What I mean is this: Abortion began as being done during the first trimester. Now it is allowed - no better said - it is lauded even to moments beyond a baby being outside of the womb. (That, by the way, is called infanticide.)
#4 - Has the Supreme Court done anything to even limit abortion in our nation? Before you answer yes, consider the most recent decision where Justice John Roberts completely flipped to support abortion and resist restrictions made by states on it.
#5 - When is the last time you went to a prayer meeting where one of the main focuses was crying out to God for our culpability in this - and asking Him to move to bring an end to abortion in America?
I've preached consistently that what we've seen in 2020 is probably only the beginning of what God is bringing upon America for the blood of 61,000,000 babies aborted since 1973. Please do not leave this post until you read the following Scriptures.
And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. Psalm 106:38
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness . . . Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways. 8 They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
Isaiah 59:1-3, 7-8
NOTE: Many parts of this passage are quoted by Paul in Romans 3:10-18
"But your eyes and your heart Are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, And on shedding innocent blood And on practicing oppression and extortion." Jeremiah 22:17
"For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Jeremiah 7:5-7
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, Proverbs 6:16-18
In Deuteronomy 21 God put a practice in place for Israel to make sure that they were not guilty of innocent blood. It was made clear by God that a nation that sheds innocent blood is a nation He will call to an accountability for that innocent blood.
This is why the last two verses I will share are so terrifying to me. They have to do with King Manaseh, whose reign was marked with the shedding of innocent blood from one end of the kingdom to the other. Here is what God said about his kingdom and the future after that.
Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Kings 21:16
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 The LORD sent against him bands of Chaldeans, bands of Arameans, bands of Moabites, and bands of Ammonites. So He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken through His servants the prophets. 3 Surely at the command of the LORD it came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the LORD would not forgive. 2 KINGS 24:1-4
May God have mercy on me - on us - on the church in America - and on America as a nation. It is ONLY MERCY that stays His final hand of judgment. This will not be popular - but things are going to get worse, brothers and sisters - much worse. When God spoke the word about Manasseh, the judgment came 2 kings later. There was even a revival under Josiah (except the people did not turn with all their heart - but only in a feigned way - Jeremiah 3:10). But God said this about those days, "However, the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath with which His anger burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him." 2 Kings 36:26
Under President Barak Obama abortion flourished like it has never done in the history of our nation. Much like Manasseh, his administration did much to provoke the Lord to anger. You cannot shed innocent blood and not have this be the case. But it was under the Trump administration that the abuses of the abortion industry came to light - and basically nothing of any real consequence happened. Since that time we've watched state after state, emboldened by the Supreme Court, making laws that allow abortion to the very moment of birth - and honestly - beyond. Now we find ourselves in 2020 in an unprecedented time of decline in our nation. As I said earlier - things are going to get worse - much worse.
God gave a prophecy at a service at Calvary Chapel many years ago. It was a very simple one. Thus says the Lord, "As the safety of the baby in the womb, so shall be the safety of the United States of America."
"Is there any hope, pastor?" I can hear many saying. Yes, there is always hope. But our hope is in the mercy of God. It is also found in a response to Him and His Word. So I will say to you, "Yes, there is hope. Repent, return to God, and do not rely on "we were founded as a Christian nation." We have long since abandoned any godly foundation and have turned to shedding much innocent blood. Rely on the mercies of God - and on crying out to Him in prayer for continued mercy - and for a true revival that will be seen in our altars being filled with weeping and confession of sin. A hope for a return to "normal" - where we can do what we did prior to 2020 - is a vain hope. Ours is a choice between repentance and return - and destruction.
May God truly have mercy on His church in this hour.
Even as I write this - I blush at the thought of such a bold statement. But I do not make it because I think “I” have that word. What I want to do for the next couple of weeks is to make a clear exposition of God’s Word. The message was for the time of Israel - well over 2500 years ago - during the time of political names like Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. That was when Micah spoke, yet his words ring down through the ages to the time of the 21st century. We would be wise to heed the message given by this prophet - because it has striking parallels to today. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever - it would also be wise to remember that He judges all the nations in the end - not just those of 8th century B.C.
JEHOVAH GOD IS COMING . . .
This was the beginning of Micah’s message. It was not a reference to the coming of Jesus Christ in the end times. It was a call to see God coming upon that generation. God’s coming was a disturbing thing to see.
He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.
Valleys will be split
like wax before a fire
like water poured down from the steep mountains
As He came to Sinai in His glory and power - He is coming again to us. But “why” is He coming? That is what Micah answered here in this first chapter.
God is coming because of the rebellion of His people - for their sin. What was their sin? God says is was because of Samaria and the high place of Judah. What may shock us is that these were places of worship. Samaria was the center of the false religion of Israel that was set up by a former king who made up his own religion for the people to follow. Jerusalem was referred to as “the high place of Judah.” Yes the temple was there - the very one God said to build. But - Judah had turned the worship of the true and living God into a farce - a fraud. It had become “their religion” rather than what God intended.
God told them He was going to make these places a ruin. All of it was going to be burned and the idols of their own making - would be smashed. The money - all the money collected by these religious organizations - were called “harlot’s earnings.” They had prostituted God - especially His worship and what He desired to do among and in the people. In the end - it all was going to be gone.
MICAH IS WEEPING . . .
Micah wept as he saw the vision of this. The Word of the Lord was clear. This all was coming down - and would be destroyed. The people of Israel and Judah may have rejoiced in their false religion - but God was grieved by it. Micah grieved too - as he knew it was coming to an end - a very bad one. He spoke of how it was going to be taken - the gate would fall - the people would be taken into captivity - and destruction was coming. All this . . . because of their sin. They had used God for their own ends - and in the end - God was going to have none of it.
Micah called their wounds, “incurable.” The sin had reached all the way to Jerusalem - it was affecting the whole nation - both Israel and Judah. He didn’t want it told to their enemies. He warned them they would become weak waiting for the good to come. Things were going downward - and they would continue to do so. God was bringing calamity to them. But before we give up completely we should understand something very clearly. God was doing this because He loved them. They were not the nations - they were His people - and they were a part of His covenant. When they rebelled - God promised He would bring discipline on them. It would be stern and was designed to turn them from their evil to seek God again. It is something we should remember - that there is actually hope. But that hope is for those who repent and turn from evil. That hope is for those who return to their God - to worship Him in truth as He is revealed in Scripture. Their self-made religion would have to go. The extent of the judgment was often based on the extent of their rebellion and stubbornness.
WHAT ABOUT US?
Is America any better than Israel and Judah of the 8th century BC? Unfortunately we are not. The religion of our day has steadily moved away from the God of the Scriptures. We’ve taken God and have given Him a supposed upgrade (downgrade is the truth). Today we are blind to what is happening in the world. We are blind to the financial meltdown that IS coming. We blew through the 15 and 20 trillion dollar debt barriers like they were nothing. We think we will continue in prosperity and plenty - while our debt is shaking the financial pillars which were already cracked and faltering. We continue in gross sin - both sexual sin and religious sin. We now call acceptable what God calls immorality - we are hardly concerned at the continued murder of the innocents, as well as the injustice to the innocent - and we continue in a religious hypocrisy that justifies hating those who oppose what we “believe” and stand for - being far too politically minded and far less concerned at the powerlessness of the church.
Indeed God is coming - not in the second coming of Christ. That day is also fast approaching. But the coming of God to America sounds like the coming promised to Israel and Judah in Micah’s day. It is a fearful thing - what is coming. He comes to judge the earth (something He is praised for in the Psalms - but often escapes our worship-lite songs where the word “I” is used far more than His great name). Whether we grasp it or not - mountains melt like wax - valleys split - rocks tremble - and the oceans are troubled at the sound of His arrival. It will not be a judgment upon “them” - but rather a judgment upon “us.” It is meant to discipline and call us to Him anew. It is meant to purify His sons and daughters. It will call us away from selfishness and self-centered religion - and call us to the centrality of the gospel - making it known to a generation that desperately needs to hear it. They need to hear it - but won’t until they first SEE it in our lives.
What should be our response? It should be as Micah’s response. We should weep over what is coming - and what has come before leading up to it. Our hearts should be broken over the “nones” who want nothing to do with God because of what they’ve seen from the outside of the church. We should also be broken over the “dones” - who are done with religion, with the Bible, and with God because of what they’ve seen from the inside of the church. We should first fall to our own knees - crying out to God for a return - that our hearts would return to Him. We should also cry for Him to be exalted once gain in our thinking - in our hearts - and in our churches. I need to give you a loving warning if you continue to read this set of posts about Micah. This is going to be a difficult set of articles to read - but I promise that I will do my best to only write what is written in the Scriptures. There will also be precious promises for those who return - of God’s restoration among His people who repent. But I write these things as one who is very aware that such a message as this is not common - nor is it very welcome in our day - in the days of Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump. Honestly though - it is so very needed - even as it was in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
This morning I was studying in Isaiah chapter 2 and was confronted by God in the passage. That is not a strange thing because in Isaiah 2 God is confronting His people. He was confronting them because they were no longer “walking in the light of the LORD.” When we read this we should understand that this means walking with God as the One lighting our path. The Psalmist put it best when God inspired him to write the words, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Walking in the light of the LORD means that we are surrendering ourselves to Him and to His Word daily. We are turning to Him daily to teach and to lead us in the right way. He is the One influencing us more than anything else in life. When this is not the case, we are walking in very dangerous paths.
God confronted Israel because He was no longer the dominant influence in their lives. A creeping worldliness had come into their lives and was bringing with it dire consequences. Here is a list of what they were slowly succumbing to in their lives.
God’s answer to a culture and a people who no longer valued His influence was to reveal “the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty.” The way to deal with proud, arrogant, self-sufficient men is to humble them – and to humble them hard. God was going to humble the proud arrogant look of men who disdained Him. He was going to deal with the loftiness of men who ignored Him. He speaks of a “day or reckoning” which will affect the entire earth. So great will be the horror of those days that men will retreat into caves and holes in the ground, throwing their idols to the moles and bats. Every exalted thing of man will be abased so that the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
Now such language and such situations are not mentioned much any longer in our day. The God of the American 21st century is a God who loves – and whose love is seen only in good things. Just listen to the preaching of our day. No one is out there writing down the sin of the nation with an iron stylus. The prophets of the 21st century are prophesying only good, favor, pleasing words, and nice things. No one weeps any longer over the wound of the church – which is infected and foul – not pressed out – not treated – not bandaged. It is a day when they say to the prophet of God, “Shut up and quit speaking of judgment and wrath! Speak to us only pleasant things and ‘good prophecies!’” All the while the land mourns the sins that run rampant – often with the approval, or at least the unwillingness to confront them that continue to infect the church itself. We no longer speak against the practices of heterosexual and homosexual immorality. That is cultural suicide! We cannot speak of the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way of salvation – that is bigoted and anti-multicultural! Thus the church sits silently by fiddling her cool, new praise songs as Rome (the church in this scenario) burns.
God alone will be exalted in that day! That is the instruction God offers to us. That is His confrontation of this self-drunken age. When God comes in the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty – men will hide themselves and humble themselves. His word thunders through Isaiah His prophet, “Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils! Why should he be esteemed?” So the question to us is simple. Who or what is most influential in our lives? What is the influence that is dominating our thinking and our living today? If it is not God Himself and His Word – we are making a monumental – no an eternal mistake!
I do not know how this humbling will come. Currently it may come through Russia or through a horrific terrorist attack. I recently heard of swarms of small earthquakes around the area of Old Faithful in Yosemite National Park – an area where some fear a super volcanic eruption might occur. A North Korean EMP attack could send our economy and culture back to the 1700-1800’s with untold disaster following. How will it come? I honestly have no idea. Will it come? I honestly have little to no doubts. We have left our God – we have been filled with influences that are absolutely contrary to His. Our pride and arrogance has risen to levels never known before in our nation. And . . . our pulpits and prayer altars are sadly and strangely quiet. May God have mercy on us – for that is our only hope.
For the past several days I’ve been reading through the book of Jeremiah. The prophet Jeremiah lived in a day much like our own. It was a day when the nation of Israel was turning from the Lord and was beginning to experience more and more problems as God’s discipline rose in its intensity. I hope that you realize that for the past several decades (actually more like the past 50-60 years) we’ve been turning from the Lord as a nation. The result of that has been a steady diet of God’s discipline as He seeks to bring us back to Himself. I could go into detail on what that discipline looks like – but instead want to give a perspective from Jeremiah on what the religious world looks like in a time of decline. That is what chapter 23 of Jeremiah details for us. If you want to stop at this point in the article and read Jeremiah 23 feel free to do so – it might help in giving you a better context for this article.
One of the things that happens in a nation in decline is that the men of God meant to preach and declare God’s Word – stop doing that task. It is not a pleasant task to be those who help act as the conscience of a nation – yet without them, that nation will find itself plunging into ruin as sin abounds. What had happened in Judah was that their prophets and priests had decided to turn to a “more positive message” than that of declaring that the nation had sinned and needed to repent. Look at these passages from Jeremiah 23.
"Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray. Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” Jeremiah 23:13-14 (NASB)
Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD. They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has said, "You will have peace"'; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, 'Calamity will not come upon you. But who has stood in the council of the LORD, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? Jeremiah 23:16-18 (NASB)
"I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. Jeremiah 23:21-22 (NASB)
"I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, 'I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has a My word speak My word in truth. Jeremiah 23:25-28 (NASB)
"Behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who use their tongues and declare, 'The Lord declares.' Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the LORD, "and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:31-32 (NASB)
To summarize – the spiritual leaders of God’s people had first let their own morals and character decline. As a result of their own sin – they were less likely to speak on sin – and therefore strengthened people in the same sins that were rampant in their own lives. The second passage related how, having grieved the Holy Spirit, they no longer had the Spirit leading them. What is a prophet to do when he has no prophecy from God’s Spirit? Why that’s easy – he prophesies from his own spirit instead. That is what they were doing – prophesying on their own – telling people what they wanted to hear – preaching peace where there was no peace – and helping people sin and think God was going to do anything about it. God even asks if any of them had stood in His counsel and received His Word. The answer to that was a resounding – NO! They spoke dreams and visions of their own making – or they stole stuff from other prophets who were popular among the people. God said that these “so-called” prophetic words, dreams, and declarations were not helping people at all. God’s Word would have declared to them their sin – and presented God’s remedy for it. They didn’t want that because that meant speaking of sin and repentance to the people. What is truly dangerous about all this is that in the end – the people love the new prophets! They are not “negative” and don’t speak of things like sin and repentance. They have a God who never judges – except against those who are judgmental!
There is a haunting end to all this according to God – who speaks to Jeremiah.
"Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, 'What has the LORD answered?' or, 'What has the LORD spoken?' For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man's own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. Jeremiah 23:35-36 (NASB)
The end of all this is a complete loss of the Word of God among a nation – or at least a perverting of it. The men of God, who should be waiting on God for His Word, are no longer doing so. Instead they prophesy from their own inspiration and share their own “more positive” message. Before long – everyone can “learn” to prophesy – and they start to do so, which results in just about everyone thinking that they have, “a word from the Lord.” But what has actually happened is that the “Word from the Lord” has actually been lost. This is because as God says here through Jeremiah, “every man’s own word will become the oracle.” What happens is that everyone’s word is considered the Word of the Lord – because to say otherwise is to be judgmental and sectarian. The religious world looks very similar to the time of Judges when “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” The only difference is that in this situation – every prophet’s word becomes God’s message in his own life.
God sent Jeremiah into the midst of this mess to declare His Word in the midst of it. It was a word of righteousness calling the people to repentance and return to God and the Word He gave in Scripture. It was a word that sounded harsh to that generation – because they no longer thought God to be a righteous God – who had absolute moral truth – and a godliness to be followed. It was also a word that warned that God WAS about to bring judgment to the world – and severe discipline to His people for their abandonment of Him. When they asked Jeremiah what the Word of the Lord was – he simply answered, “I will abandon you.” That is a difficult word to hear – especially for any generation like ours. But an even more terrifying word was coming to those men who were posing as prophets, priests, and men of God. To the ones who prophesied out of their own spirit – who turned from being God’s prophet – to being one who only seeks profit from being a prophet – God had an even harsher (yet perfectly righteous and just word).
"Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten." Jeremiah 23:39-40 (NASB)
In the end – these posers faced not only their own demise – but also the demise of the entire nation whom they had led astray. They would be cast from God’s presence – along with the city (or maybe in our generation we can read “audience”) where they prophesied. They would receive an everlasting reproach and humiliation from God Himself for their wickedness.
Saints of God – I don’t particularly enjoy having to write such things. But the fact of the matter is that we are living in Jeremiah’s day again in our nation. As we plunge head first into whole new depths of wickedness, sin, and depravity – the false prophets and dreamers are continuing to tell people that what they lack is health, wealth, and prosperity. You can turn on the religious TV stations and hear it again and again – with an appeal at the end for more of your money to help fund their wicked empires (and to get them a new jet which they say is a necessity for their ministry). Their preaching draws huge crowds and their “self-styled” and “self-inspired” words from God are providing absolutely no profit to the people – even as they do provide plenty of profit for the false prophet. In the end – both they and their hearers will be abandoned and given over to judgment. Oh that there were men of God who would wait in the presence of the Lord to declare the Word of the Lord to His people. Oh that God would raise up true prophets who would declare the sin of this nation to its people – so that there would be a benefit from their words. Oh dear God – where are the Jeremiah’s of God for this current generation!?
Prophecy/News Update 2016
Falling Apart or Falling Together?
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As this New Year begins I want to begin it by saying, maranatha! For those of you who are not familiar with this word, it means, “O Lord, come!” in Aramaic. It was a phrase that was used by the early church – and was used by Paul in the New Testament. The word or phrase was used to speak of a strong desire for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I mention this because like never before I want to pray daily, maranatha!
Next Sunday I will be sharing the 2016 Prophecy/News Update message. This year has been filled with events that involve Israel, and that possibly foreshadow the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. World events are definitely heating up and many, even in the secular world, are predicting that we may be on the verge of World War III. It was also a year in which the United States Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriage. This decision has set up a monumental battle between the newly fashioned erotic rights of our age with the constitutional right to religious liberty. That battle will be fought right before our eyes in the courts of our land and the court of public opinion. In light of how scary this can be – I want to begin this week with an encouraging word to the saints.
Things that are going in our world can be very frightening. We are definitely watching our world become more and more volatile before our very eyes. Things in the Middle East continue to degenerate almost daily. The ongoing Syrian civil war is a flashpoint for the entire world as superpowers like Russia, China, and the United States get involved in that conflict. The rise of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iran and Syria) and the ongoing fight to remove them from large portions of Syria and Iraq are causing a destabilization of the entire region. The daily rocket fire on Israel continues (those it is a situation almost completely ignored by the mainstream news media) – as does the daily threat to Israel from Hezbollah, ISIS, Hamas, and Iran. Add to this the uptick in terrorist activity in Europe, Africa, and the United States – and we have a world that is ready to blow up in a worldwide war between various factions and nations. In the midst of all this it would be easy to want to throw your hands up and say, “The world is falling apart!”
Things are also scary when it comes to the changes in our nation. The battle between religious liberty and erotic liberty is heating up every day. It is no surprise that the world system is standing firmly behind erotic liberty. What we were told was a quest for tolerance has become a very intolerant attack on the church for holding to a biblical view of sexuality and marriage. Close on the heels of the recent victories for gay marriage we watched as the next battle began concerning gender confusion. The speed at which the sexual revolution is happening is dizzying – and frightening. It is as if nothing is either sacred or stable in our culture any longer. On top of all this there is a growing racial tension in our nation as we watch police shootings being questioned and riots erupting that engulf entire cities in flames and lawlessness. In light of all that is happening around us it would be easy to say, “Our nation is falling apart!”
Those with a Christian/Biblical worldview understand this differently. First of all we know that the world has been falling apart ever since the “fall.” When man chose to sin against the Lord – everything began to fall apart. The descent into chaos and destruction began in that moment – and for those who forget the narrative of Genesis – resulted in the whole earth being flooded to address the wickedness of man just 10 chapters later. Shortly after Noah and his family departed from the ark – Noah got drunk – and the whole process started all over again. Our current situation is not any more wicked than others in history – it is just that we are given vastly more information about the results of godlessness in our day. Sin has always been destructive – wars and devastation have always either been ongoing – or on the horizon as mankind continues to reject God and live according to their own sinful nature and inclinations.
A Biblical understanding of the chaos that happens as a nation turns away from God is also nothing radically new. The history of nations recorded for us in Scripture makes it clear that when a nation rejects God and godly principles bad things happen. The history of Israel and Judah’s kings as recorded by the historical record as well as the prophecies spoken against them for their rejection of God is clear. Just as a nation is blessed when it submits to God – it will be under a curse when it rejects and turns from Him. Our nation is rejecting not only godly principles – but God Himself as it rebels against what the Scriptures say.
When we take a few minutes to refocus our thinking with Scripture, we may come to a different realization about the current state of affairs in the world. Things have always been falling apart due to sin – but God is working so that things are falling together for the return of Christ. Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21 are accounts of Jesus’ teaching about the last days. In this teaching Jesus presents the things that will be happening before His second coming. Many of these things match events that are taking place in our time. Jesus closes this section of both gospels with the following words, “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” (Mark 13:29, NASB) When you read through the previous verses to this one, you will see that what is happening in our day was foretold by our Lord Jesus. He spoke of wars and rumors of wars – earthquakes – famines – and a wholesale rejection of God by humanity. What is equally fascinating is that passages that speak of future prophetic events, which require a certain aligning of the nations against Israel, are being fulfilled before our eyes. Truly things are falling together just as God said – even as they fall apart because of mankind’s rejection of Him. The more they fight against Him – the more they are unwitting accomplices to do what He said would be done.
Take courage saints, none of what has happened has taken God by surprise. All of it was foretold 2000 or more years ago. Anyone even remotely aware of what the Bible says about the last days knows that the return of our Lord Jesus Christ will be at a time when the world is falling apart. You cannot read of what the prophets foretold and imagine a world getting better and better. You cannot be familiar with the seal judgments of Revelation 6, the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 and 9, and the bowl judgments of Revelation 16 and think that things will be at an all time best at the second coming of Christ. All the nations, all the prophetic predictions, all the things necessary to see all thing fulfilled just as God spoke – are falling together as if God were sovereign over the affairs of men (which, by the way, He is). Based on this knowledge, then, we need to live in reality concerning where the world is headed. This is not our home, saints – it is the place where God has been rejected. We await the kingdom of our God and of His Christ. And as that falls together the world itself will fall apart. But take courage dear ones of God – He has overcome the world – and by His grace and the power of His Spirit – He will grant to us the ability to be overcomers even in this difficult hour!
May God give us wisdom to see calamity and disaster as a call to Himself. May we not give in to a world defined only by what is visible - explaining the problems of our world only in humanistic terms. May God give us grace to grasp His transcendent hand behind all that is allowed on the earth.
Recent events have had us reeling in our minds when it comes to grasping what is happening in our world. One of the reasons for this is because our news reporting agencies and our governing officials have a humanistic world view. When they see the Paris attacks, the Colorado Springs and San Bernardino shooting rampages - they only see things from human perspective. They have rejected even the thought of God - and some even shame anyone who says that they are praying for those whose lives have been devastated by these events. "God is not fixing this," is their rallying cry. Therefore WE have to fix it. The inference in this is that there is no God - only human understanding and human action.
Things were not always like this. There were those in our past who saw God's providential hand and dealings in all that He allowed in this world. When calamity broke loose upon a people our leaders turned to God - especially if such things came in a time of spiritual decline in the hearts of those throughout the nation. Abraham Lincoln called for a day of fasting, prayer and public humiliation (meaning humbling of oneself before God and confession of sin) in the midst of the Civil War. He spoke of things like our national pride and arrogance - and urged humbling ourselves before Him. This happened often in the early days of our nation because our leaders - and especially our pulpits were filled with men of God who did not shrink from declaring the Word of God to our nation. Today I read one of the passages that they would turn to in times of distress - and it spoke like a thundering from heaven to me. I hope it will prove helpful to you as I share it this week.
“You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment? Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something? Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all? If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy? Amos 3:2-8 | NASB
Amos prophesied in Israel in a time of horrific sin and decline in the nation. The early chapters of his prophetic word from the Lord were filled with what God was going to do because of the gross sins of the nations. The pagan nations were being punished because of terrible sins that are shocking to our senses as we read of them. But when the Lord speaks of Israel and Judah - their worst sins were departing from Him and turning to other gods who led them into godless and sexually immoral living. To read of the disaster that was to come is to read of far more than shootings - it is to read of entire armies destroyed and cities demolished. Just as in our day - those in their day asked the question, "Why?"
Amos starts with a statement: "I chose you among all the families of the earth - and therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Whether we get it or not - that is a very loving promise, because the Lord disciplines those He loves. After Amos makes this statement from God - he goes into a series of easily understood analogies. All of these statements are those that no one would question until he reaches his last question. "If a calamity happens in a city has not the Lord done it?" We find ourselves nodding in agreement without question until we read over this last and most important statement. Well - we do in our day. But that is because we've bought into the lie that we are the masters of our own fate. God, through Amos, presents a different view of things.
First of all - calamity - is from the Lord. This is especially the case when it is calamity in a nation that has rejected Him and run after wickedness. God brings calamity to turn us from our godlessness. That is the kindest thing He can do considering the facts of eternity and His final judgment that is coming. But Amos gives us more to think about here. God also does nothing unless He first reveals His secret counsel to His prophets. You see a loving God also warns us when He is about to do something. He does so through His prophets as He reveals Himself to them. It is their responsibility to announce His Word to the people. The way that Amos refers to this is by saying the following, "A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord has spoken but who can but prophesy?" Maybe we should take a look at this.
When God speaks in this situation, it is as a lion roaring. That is a figure of speech that is meant to incite a sense of fear and trembling. God acts in allowing calamity in a nation to bring it to a point where it fears God and turns to Him. But this is only known when God's prophets speak - and do so boldly. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks America seemed to turn to God - at least the churches were much more full than they were before the attacks. But for the majority there was no prophetic message coming from the men of God. After our current string of attacks we find rather than a turning to God that there is a mocking of Him. Prayer is considered by many as a useless platitude that changes nothing. Those who would pray are shamed for doing so. But in all honesty - who can blame them when what passes for prophecy lately is the words of the false prophets who say that all is well. When prophets steal their words from one another saying that God is going to bless you with health, wealth, and prosperity even as you act wickedly and spend your faith-obtained riches on yourself and your pleasures, there is not a true prophet in the whole lot of them. They are blind guides leading the blind - and both will fall into a pit as things continue to turn worse in our nation.
We need a true prophet of God who will speak boldly against sin - first his own in broken repentance before God in his personal times with Him - and then that of a church and nation that has turned far from God. He needs to speak without reservation about what IS happening in our nation - and where God is acting to bring us back to Himself. He must speak as the roaring of a lion publicly - and yet have the heart of a Jeremiah who weeps over the wound of his people. We desperately need such men in this hour.
Dear saints of God - here is the truth. What has happened in San Bernardino - and in many other places is only indicative of what IS going to be happening in the days ahead. The shootings and rampages will get worse - and no law passed by government will be able to stop them. What is happening with the growing unrest and discontent over race relations is only going to increase to the point of riots that cause smoke to rise from our cities as they burn in the throes of raging protests. What happened in 2008 where we saw the stock market plunge with trillions being lost and fortunes being lost - is only a drop in the bucket of what is on our horizon. In addition to this we are going to begin watching as our military is decimated in future encounters as they no longer have the blessing of God upon their endeavors. I fear worst of all is the specter of a mushroom cloud billowing over one or more of our cities as the discipline of God reaches its peak. Fear and trembling will grip our nation as it reacts in horror to these things. And yet - as long as there is the possibility of repentance and return to God - there is hope. Recently a young man asked me whether there is any hope for America. My answer to him was that Nineveh was 3 days from being destroyed - and when the people repented - God showed them mercy and relented from the evil that was coming. Therefore there is hope - but not a hope in government (on either side of the aisle). There is hope - but not in manmade solutions of no guns or more guns. There is hope - but not in our bank accounts - fancy new cars - massive homes - or even new jets for a television false prophet. Our hope is in the mercies of God. Our hope is in people turning to Him in prayer - in repentance - and in humbling themselves and turning from wicked ways. I do not say this lightly saints - but outside of this - there is no hope nor is there any future for our nation.
God is disciplining and punishing our cities. God is speaking through His prophets. He is roaring in our land. Are we listening? Have we heard? Will we respond?
Last night was the final in the series of blood moons that have had the prophetic community on high alert. The whole “blood moon” movement, as I call it, has been at the forefront of those who study Bible prophecy. It has been almost all that they write about for a long time. Numerous books and thousands of articles have been written on this subject. But I would submit to you that we should be far more concerned about a “bloody earth” than blood moons. Just today I reread Jeremiah chapter 7 and trembled deep in my spirit. I fear that God is currently writing His, “mene, mene, teckel, upharsin” upon the walls of the United States. As I’ve watched the butchering and sale of babies in our “bloody earth” take a back seat to the furor over “blood moons” my heart has grieved over my own lack of brokenness and the lack of brokenness of the church about the horrific wickedness that has been perpetrated and defended in our land. I’ve also trembled as I’ve considered how the church in America thinks it will be spared the judgment of God because we’re in a Christian nation. Such a deception also existed in Judah too - and considering their end - I truly tremble when I think of the future of the United States in the days ahead.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, "Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house and proclaim there this word and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the LORD!'" Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. "Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.' "For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Jeremiah 7:1-7
God sent Jeremiah to prophesy at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem. There were still droves of people who attended the worship there in Judah, even though the morals of the nation were quickly deteriorating among the worshippers. This in many ways mirrors our current situation in the United States where church attendance, though declining, is still high among a populace that goes to services. But just like in Jeremiah’s day attendance is high - but godliness and our morals are low.
Jeremiah’s word from the Lord was clear - “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” Here was what Jeremiah was addressing. Too many in Jerusalem thought themselves immune from God’s judgment and disaster because of their religious heritage - illustrated by the fact that the “temple of the Lord” was in their midst. The people had completely divorced the reality of God’s call to practical godliness from their weekly religious practices. They did the religious thing - religiously! What is all this talk of judgment in light of how they attended worship weekly - and did all the religious holidays! You talk of judgment - but what about our awesome religious temple - the temple of the Lord! God would never judge the nation that has such a wonderful religious heritage! Hey Jeremiah! We were founded as a godly nation - as God’s people - as the place where His religious building was built! We trust in that building - in that religious heritage - in our past as His people! That was the cry of the people - and they thought they could ignore and declare the words of the prophet null and void because of it!
Jeremiah declared that God does not view things this way. God was calling them, through Jeremiah, to amend their ways. Trusting in your religious heritage and your religious buildings was trusting in “deceptive words” according to God’s prophet. Your previous religious heritage meant nothing if you were not treating each other with justice and righteousness. It meant nothing if innocent blood was being shed on the land. It meant nothing if false gods were being followed instead of the Lord. Let’s look at these issues one by one in this first installment on Jeremiah 7.
Please understand that I do believe that we are guilty of injustice against the alien, orphan, and widow. But few things cause me to tremble as much as the tragic drama that is being played out about the butchery that has been occurring daily in our nation in the abortion industry. But even more terrifying is the general lack of response in brokenness and prayer to these horrors.
Abortion on demand has led to the death of over 50 million unborn babies in our nation. The clarion call for absolute autonomy over our sexual decisions has led to abortion being elevated to a birth control choice. This has led to over 4000 abortions a day in our nation - many for no other reason than sex selection or a pregnancy being a hindrance to what we want at the time. But with the recent revelation of the house of horrors called, Planned Parenthood, where babies are being killed and then dismembered for sale and profit, our nation has faced a decision on a whole new level of the carving up of the unborn.
The videos of this are almost too macabre to even discuss - because they involve carefully aborting babies and then slicing them up to sell organs. One video even reveals that babies are being beheaded so that their decapitated heads can be sold to the highest bidder. God is already furious over the shredding of babies or their being burned alive in the womb by abortion. The revelation of the callous butchery of babies by Planned Parenthood for profit may be the last straw in this matter, revealing just how far we’ve descended into the moral abyss of our own wickedness.
The fact that we have a political party defending this organization - and another party without the moral fortitude to stand up until this butchery is stopped - reveals just how morally bankrupt our nation has become. There is no real hope that any kind of political solution is coming. The fact that there is even debate about this is shocking! We should not turn first to the political realm to address this. We should be turning to God - in repentance for allowing it to happen - then in extraordinary prayer as we cry out for it to stop immediately! But let me be clear - God is not interested in just stopping the carving up of these precious little ones - He demands that they stop being killed period. He demands that the sexual immorality that leads to these pregnancies be repented of and abandoned. He calls us to holiness - not just to trying to move the peg of sexual insanity back one step. This will NEVER happen by political action alone. If there is not a truly brokenhearted cry for our own sins first - and then the sins of our fathers and our nation second - there will not be revival, which I truly believe will be the FIRST step we must take to address these things.
To turn to religion and high profile religious figures to stop this “bloody earth” event also will not work. I thank God for the few who have blown the trumpet to warn us of what is coming if we do not repent and turn from shedding innocent blood. But the church is not even issuing a clear call on this matter. The fact that a visit by the head of the Roman Catholic church, who have long championed the unborn, did NOT mention once this godless holocaust and harvest of the unborn, reveals just how void of God our religiousness has become. If we don't have the moral fortitude to stand up against this horrific harvesting of the unborn for profit - an act reminiscent of Nazi Germany under Hitler - why should God, for any reason, not bring His judgment without mercy to our nation? We bicker about whether we should shut down our government as a political ploy - when honestly - we should be flooding the altars of our land with our tears of repentance and brokenness. We should be gathering in our public squares due to a call of the Holy Spirit (not due to a political or religious movement calling for a day of prayer) to pray and weep over such horrors. We don’t need a day of prayer - which has become far more a day of speeches and political posturing - we need a day of public repentance, humiliation, and confession of our sins and rebellion against God. Let us issue THAT call - much like that issued by President Lincoln - and see how much public support we receive. I would fear that such a clear call would make even evangelical churches back away - squeamish over how the public might view the political correctness of such language.
Where are the Elijahs of God, who hide themselves in prayer and then confront the Baal worship of our day? Where is the Moses of our land, who publicly rebukes the sin of the people, then goes before God for 40 days of prayer - pleading that God does not destroy them due to their sins? Where are the Ezras, who throw themselves before the steps of the church and government, literally tearing out their own hair as they weep for the sins of our nation - and the sins of the church? Oh that we would see men stand in the gap in these perilous times!
Now the the “blood moon” event is over - let me propose a far more important event that should arrest our attention. Let me call it - “The Bloody-earth” event. This is an event without any promotion - except that graciously given by the Spirit of God as He bears witness in the hearts of God’s people. This is an event that starts this Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - at any church service in our land. It is a call to prayer for God’s people. The blood moon event spoke of a major change coming due to its arrival. The “bloody-earth” event is a call for us to wake up to the reality that, starting many years ago (at least 1973), we’ve been filling our land with innocent blood that cries out for God’s judgment on America. It affirms that God has upped the stakes by revealing the butchery that is taking place in our land by the hands of those at Planned Parenthood. It reveals that we are complicit with this if we do not cry out for God in repentance for our sins - and also beseech Him to move in such a way that revival comes to His church - and awakening to our land - and that due to His hand - this butchery ceases. (I want to make it perfectly clear that any kind of violent response to Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider is wrong and is wickedness. We do not advance the agenda of our God by violence - but by prayer and by His changing of hearts.) This is a call to personal and corporate repentance, brokenness over sin, and prayer. It is NOT just a call for a day of prayer - but for a undefined season of prayer. The event has been successful if and only if a revival of prayer, broken hearted confession of sin and repentance, and turning to God with all our hearts happens - and continues. The success of this event is not defined by numbers - but by hearts wholly given to God.
The “blood-moon” hysteria lasted and grew for almost a year and a half. It reached huge proportions as books and entire prophecy events popularized it. Dearest saints of God - it is not a blood-moon or series of blood-moons which should arrest our attention in this day. What should be deafening us - if we are awake to God’s call - is His call to respond to a “bloody-earth.” Oh that God would get our attention - and that Wednesday night would be a time where His people come together to respond, repent, return to Him. Oh that pastors would face saints who cry out for a prayer meeting so that we can corporately cry out for revival among us - and restoration in our land. Here in my parting question . . . we responded in droves to the information about the blood moon - will we respond to His call about the “bloody-earth?”
For the past couple of years I have been inundated by a tidal wave of information and articles dealing with the fact that we are about to experience the last in a tetrad of blood moons on September 28th of this year.
Let me explain a few things as I get started on this subject. First of all let me explain what a blood moon is. A blood moon occurs when there is a lunar eclipse. The moon during these events takes on a red hue - thus the name, “blood moon.” The next thing I need to explain is what a “tetrad” is. That is when in a period of 2 years a series of four blood moons take place. This is a very rare occurrence - made even more rare because these four blood moons that have been happening have all fallen on Jewish holidays since 2014. The final blood moon will happen on September 28, 2015, which also happens to be the date of Sukkoth for this year (The Feast of Booths). The other blood moons in this tetrad have taken place on Passover (April 15, 2014), Sukkoth (October 8, 2014), and on Passover (April 4, 2015). This is a very rare occurrence, happening only 9 times in the last 2000 years. But there is one more thing that is happening on the 28th of this month. On that day it will also be the day of the Shemitah. What is the Shemitah? In the Old Testament Israel was to forego planting of crops every 7 years (Leviticus 25). After 7 or these 7 year periods (49 years) there was to be a “Jubilee year” or a Shemitah of Shemitah’s. On that year every debt was cancelled - and the Jewish people would return to the land of their tribe to receive it as theirs once again. Now I know that all this may seem strange to you - but hopefully this will all make sense in just a few more sentences.
What is happening on September 28th is that on the same day there will be the fourth in the tetrad of blood moons, a Jewish feast day (Sukkot), and the day when the Shemitah of Shemitah’s takes place. All this coincides on Monday, September 28th, 2015. This is the only time this will happen in the last 2000 years. Because of this strange coordination of days all falling on the same day - the world of prophecy teachers and followers has made predictions and prognostications at a fever pitch rate. Having recently read several of these sites recently I want to make a few comments about the whole “blood moon” craze that is happening among prophecy teachers and predictors.
Some prophecy teachers have made some hefty predictions about what will or may happen on this coming Monday. Everything from nuclear war to the financial collapse of the United States to the invasion of Israel have been put out on the internet and in chat rooms and other venues.
Now I will probably not win a prophecy guy popularity poll for saying this, but though I find all this interesting and even fascinating from a Bible scholar point of view, I am concerned that “blood moons” and the “shemitah” and “tetrads” are what are consuming us spiritually in the prophecy movement. Whether or not some spiritually significant event is going to happen on September 28th I do not know. What I DO know is that I don’t believe that God would have us focus on this kind of pseudo-biblical scholarship as a means of primary guidance for our lives.
Over the years I’ve been a student of biblical prophecy, I’ve noticed that there is a sad tendency for this movement to latch on to the sensational rather than on solid exegetical study of the Scriptures. I’m not sure how many books have been released based on the latest, greatest prophecy sensationalized claim since I’ve become a believer. But I think I could probably fill an entire bookcase with them. What is sad is that all of them have fallen short of delivering on the date of the rapture - or the next big prophetic event happening on or near the date they have given. What is even sadder is that I’ve watched people get all fired up about “blood moons” or oil or the next middle east crisis, but not have a passion to study to show themselves workmen approved so that they could handle the gospel and the Word of God rightly. The usual end of all this is that fewer are interested in prophecy - not because it is a study unworthy of our attention - but far more because of the most recent crack-pot whose wild-eyed predictions went south in the end.
Apart from the whole “blood moon” saga or recent days - there has been enough evidence to fill a whole room of bookshelves when it comes to what is happening in our world - and its relation to the 2nd coming of Christ. All we have to do is to study our Bibles to see that the events spoken of in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 and other places in prophecy are upon us. What I find most disturbing about our current focus is that it lacks a call to repentance and return that we desperately need in this hour of the church. All the time that we spend tracking down the history of Shemitah events, blood moon events, and tetrad events are historically interesting - but they don’t seem to be bringing the kind of deep conviction and repentance that always comes when true revival is coming from God. Where are our hearts when it comes to the sin in our own lives as well as the breath-taking sprint towards sin in our society? Where is the concern about the lack of God moving mightily to break hearts in His church in our day? Where is the call to desperate prayer that should be attached to claims that it all may be over in a matter of a few days? These are the things that concern me when I read through the most recent predictions of the prophecy experts. The prophets of the Old Testament made predictions to be sure. But their predictions were almost always side by side with a call to repentance and return to God. Their predictions (which by the way either came true - or are going to come true) were part of God calling His people to return to Him with all their hearts!
OK - let’s say that we have until Monday the 28th before a world-changing event is about to take place. Don’t you think we should hear with that a call to extra-ordinary prayer, repentance, and an almost insane boldness in preaching the message of the gospel? I honestly don’t know if the 28th and the last of the tetrad of blood moons on the Shemitah of Shemitah’s is going to yield a world-changing event from God. What I do know is that my own heart needs to be revived - needs to be broken much deeper over my sin and my disobedience - needs to be much more deeply concerned about the lack of holiness, prayer, and Holy Spirit power in the church - needs to be far more concerned over the multiple millions who need to hear the gospel. And - whether the blood moon day materializes in a shocking event or not - those other things still remain. What am I going to do about them? That may be the more “life-changing” event that needs to happen! Would you join me in praying that it would?
This morning I am beginning the arduous work of putting together the 2015 Prophecy News Update. This may be a difficult task, yet it is one that I actually enjoy as I look over what is to come in 2015. Just a reminder to all those who will hear this update. I do not intend to update what God has prophesied - as that is not something anyone can do. We need to be reminded of this because there are those who unfortunately think that their own statements can prophesy the future.
There are those who think that the current gift of prophecy can foretell the future in ways that are contrary to what is already given in Scripture. This is a false understanding of Scripture, as well as a dangerous one. Any choice that God may make concerning revealing the future to us through a prophetic utterance - is completely under the authority of what we currently have in the Scriptures. Anyone who contradicts what is given in the Word of God is a false prophet - as is anyone whose previous supposed prophetic statements have not come 100% true. Oh how we need to remember those two important things when dealing with any kind of statement concerning prophecy.
What I endeavor to do each year is to take a look at what is happening in our world today, and then see how that fits into the prophetic events that God says will happen in the last days. This is difficult to do because there are differing views on how those events will unfold. That is why anyone who attempts this needs to be careful how specific they are concerning what is going to happen. Ultimately, the one thing we are certain of is that Jesus Christ will return again to judge the world. That is one thing we all can agree on concerning end times. Beyond that one pivotal truth, we need to be gracious with one another.
This year's Prophecy/News Update will have the usual information about major events concerning Israel as well as the other players that Scripture indicates will be a part of the end times scenario. But this year's message will have more to do with what is happening in our own nation and how it will affect the church. This is an area that we need to be awakened to because it it going to radically affect the church in the months and years to come. The ongoing moral revolution in our nation when it comes to sexuality and now, even gender confusion, is about to have a radical affect on the church and how it operates. There are also rumblings of racial tensions as well as the battlefronts that multiculturalism will bring to the advance of the gospel in our culture. There is much that is happening news-wise that will truly change how the church will operate in our culture. There is much that will determine if the church will remain above ground in our culture as well.
One last thing I want to comment upon before I close this article is the way that I desire for you to receive this year's Prophecy/News Update. Because of the nature of this information, some react in fear to what is said. Please understand that I do not mean to try to scare anyone with what is presented. The health/wealth and prosperity movement has mislead us concerning what the Bible has to say about this world and its future.
The influence of the health/wealth and prosperity teaching has led many to believe that truly every day is supposed to be Friday for us. Forget that Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation. Forget that Paul told us that if we desire to live godly in Christ Jesus we will suffer persecution. Forget that He told us that if He was rejected, we would be rejected as well. Forget all that the Scriptures tell us about a world that grows steadily worse in its wickedness and will one day be destroyed with fire. We have false teachers who promise that only good things are coming in our future. This has given rise to an entire generation of those in the church who reject the biblical teaching of the last days. They reject it because it is not positive enough for them. They reject it because it speaks of suffering - and even martyrdom for those who remain faithful to Christ in the last days. This has led to a very serious rejection of anything negative by those who hold to these heretical teachings. It has also led to a general rejection of the last days biblical narrative. The current teaching by those who teach these heresies is that because of our wonderful influence as Christians, the world will get better and better until Jesus comes back and takes over a world that we've redeemed by our corporate wonderfulness. Those who hold to this kind of teaching will embrace two things as our world moves toward its ultimate conclusion. First, they will have to utterly delude themselves as things grow steadily worse. Second, they will embrace compromise with the world as the world embraces an ever-worsening moral revolution against true biblical sexuality and morality. Unfortunately we are already seeing this as more and more abandon any biblically informed sexuality - and embrace the sexual and gender confusion of our day.
Dear saints of God . . . we have the honor and the priviledge of standing and shining like stars in the midst of the morass of darkness and rebellion against God and His Word and ways. As we hold fast the Word of truth and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ - we will be as lights and beacons of hope to those who watch the world crumbling under the weight of its rebellion against God. This is not a time to fear - a time to be timid - or a time to be frightened by the things the world fears. We are to fear God and hold forth the message of His salvation to a world that more desperately needs it than ever before. May God help us to be that people - that city set on a hill - that light, not under a basket, but on the lampstand giving light to all who see it. May our hearts be given fully to knowing and loving Jesus Christ. And may our testimony be to the grace that saved us - and that can save all those who come to Him in repentance and faith! PJ
I recently received a question from a precious believer who read a “Prophecy/News Update” article. Because this question was so great, I want to put out my answer for all to read. The question was, “Can our actions change God’s plan in relation to this end time prophecy?” The prophecy referred to was the one in Revelation 6 about the fourth horseman of the apocalypse who will come – and his coming will be attended with horrific plagues that will be partly responsible for 25% of the population being killed (the other three are war, famine, and wild beast attacks).
First let me deal with this question in regard to anyone being able to change God’s sovereign plan. When it comes to God’s ultimate sovereignty, no one can change this. He knows the time frame in which He is going to do things. But, having said that, it might be wise to see just what God says about what he sovereignly is going to do.
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:8-12 (NASB)
Two important things are said here about God’s ultimate sovereignty. The first is that God is working toward the, “. . . summing up of all things in Christ.” This means that ultimately we know that God will one day sum up everything in Jesus Christ. This tells us that we too should be seeking to honor, glorify, praise, and exalt Jesus – because one day it will be ALL ABOUT HIM. The second phrase used here is speaks of “God’s purpose” – the end of which is that those who hope in Christ are to be to the praise of God’s glory. This statement has huge implications, because Paul makes it in the context of the work of the gospel in the hearts and minds of men and women on this earth. God’s ultimate work is that the gospel of Jesus Christ should be the means by which men and women are saved, transformed, sanctified from sinners into those who live for the glory of God. Seeing this happen brings glory to God for His grace and mercy given through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus ultimately – God sovereignly is working through the gospel – He is doing so to manifest His own grace – which should cause men to praise God for the glory of His grace.
What does this mean for us? It means – if you believe in the sovereignty of God (which matters little – because He is sovereign if you believe He is or not), you should manifest it by both living it out in your life – and by proclaiming it to others. Ultimately – all the universe will be focused on God’s glory seen through His grace – and that grace is ONLY available through Jesus Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Ephesians 3:8-12 (NASB)
This passage actually speaks of God’s “eternal purpose” within it. That purpose was carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord. What is this purpose? It is known as those called by God make known the unfathomable riches of Christ. Once again, the eternal purpose of God is to have the gospel of Jesus Christ preached – this time so that even the “rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” can have the gospel made known to them. These are the angels – both the holy and the unholy ones – and even they need to hear about Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Let me wrap this up for you in a few sentences. God’s ultimate purpose, as revealed in His Word, is that the all people praise God for the glory of His grace in the gospel. We are to be to the praise of the glory of that gospel grace. Look at the songs at the end of the age in Revelation – they praise God for His marvelous salvation. Believe me when I say that eternity is going to be an everlasting praise and worship service for God. It will be a time when we will sing, and sing, and sing, and shout . . . and then sing some more about God’s astounding grace in Jesus Christ!
Now, back to the question that was asked. Can we change God’s plan and purpose in what happens in Revelation? The answer to that I believe is no, we cannot change it. What happens in Revelation is biblical prophecy and cannot be altered. But remember, at least in how we teach God’s Word here, that involves a 7-year Great Tribulation period. I teach that this happens after the church is snatched away in an event called, “the rapture.” Over and over again this time period is mentioned in Revelation. The things that happen in it, I believe, cannot be reversed. But also remember that we, the church, are still here and have not been raptured yet. That means that we are not currently in the Great Tribulation. We may have regular tribulation because we love Jesus, preach the gospel, and endeavor to live holy lives according to God’s Word. But the tribulation mentioned in Revelation 6 and later, that is reserved until after the rapture of the church.
Let me try to give you a conclusion on all this. Can we change the events in the Great Tribulation described for us in the book of Revelation? No, we cannot do that. But, since we are not in the Great Tribulation yet, those events are not happening. We may see the gathering storm on the horizon, which may indicate that we are not far from these events beginning, but we are not “IN” the Great Tribulation. (Note: When I write in the Prophecy/News section of our webpage, I write about things which may be leading up to this time period – but I never intend to say that we are currently “IN” the Great Tribulation) Since we are NOT in the Great Tribulation, do everything you can to help others – especially in regard to the Ebola virus outbreak (or any other situation for that matter).
Regarding God’s eternal purposes that cannot be revoked - I also have a comment for us. If you will note, God’s eternal purpose is that His great salvation through Jesus Christ be seen in His redeemed, so that we would be a cause of others (and even we ourselves, since we should praise Him for the grace He gave us in salvation) giving glory to Him for His grace in Jesus. How can we do this? We do it two ways. First we do it by working out our salvation in fear and trembling – living godly, holy lives as we wait for His coming – or our own going to Him when we die and leave this world. Second, we do it by proclaiming the gospel to the world around us – seeking to see them repent and believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. Now – you want to know what is truly awesome! We can do these two things ANY TIME IN HISTORY without worrying about something in God’s sovereignty hindering us. He desires for these things to happen – and the only thing that could hinder them from coming to pass in our individual lives – disobedience. The ONLY thing keeping us from fulfilling that eternal purpose is us making a choice to live for something else – us making a choice to NOT proclaim the gospel boldly and lovingly to the lost – us choosing to live for this present world that is passing away rather than living for the world that is to come, and that is coming even now. As I said to the person who asked this question . . . there is never a time when loving the Lord, loving your brothers and sisters in Christ, reading and studying His Word, praying and seeking God’s face, living as a servant to others in Jesus’ name, and witnessing with a loving, bold heart is not going to benefit us. Regardless of what any prophecy says – these things will bring blessing into our lives – and believe it or not – very often into the lives of those around us! Live for Jesus daily! Love God with all your heart daily! Give your life away as you love others for God’s glory and the gospel daily! These things are NEVER-MISS in the sight of God in any generation!
What is the Prophecy/News Update?
At Calvary Chapel of Jonesboro, we believe that history is moving toward fulfilling God's plans and purposes. In an effort to help us be prepared for His appearing - and also to chronicle news items you just won't see in the national media - this page is devoted to sharing those items and their possible significance to
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