Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This Little Child Is the King of Kings

 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Real Star Of Bethlehem

Professor and Lawyer Rick Larson offers a likely scenario that explains the Biblical Star of Bethlehem.

The Bible's Reliability

The following article is taken from "Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries" and re-posted here in it's entirety.  

Manuscript Support for the
Bible's Reliability

by Ron Rhodes

Manuscript Evidence for the New Testament

There are more than 24,000 partial and complete manuscript copies of the New Testament.

These manuscript copies are very ancient and they are available for inspection now.

There are also some 86,000 quotations from the early church fathers and several thousand Lectionaries (church-service books containing Scripture quotations used in the early centuries of Christianity).

Bottom line: the New Testament has an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting its reliability.

The Variants in the New Testament Manuscripts Are Minimal

In the many thousands of manuscript copies we possess of the New Testament, scholars have discovered that there are some 150,000 "variants."
This may seem like a staggering figure to the uninformed mind.

But to those who study the issue, the numbers are not so damning as it may initially appear.

Indeed, a look at the hard evidence shows that the New Testament manuscripts are amazingly accurate and trustworthy.
To begin, we must emphasize that out of these 150,000 variants, 99 percent hold virtually no significance whatsoever.
Many of these variants simply involve a missing letter in a word; some involve reversing the order of two words (such as "Christ Jesus" instead of "Jesus Christ"); some may involve the absence of one or more insignificant words.

Really, when all the facts are put on the table, only about 50 of the variants have any real significance - and even then, no doctrine of the Christian faith or any moral commandment is effected by them.

For more than ninety-nine percent of the cases the original text can be reconstructed to a practical certainty.

Even in the few cases where some perplexity remains, this does not impinge on the meaning of Scripture to the point of clouding a tenet of the faith or a mandate of life.
Thus, in the Bible as we have it (and as it is conveyed to us through faithful translations) we do have for practical purposes the very Word of God, inasmuch as the manuscripts do convey to us the complete vital truth of the originals.

By practicing the science of textual criticism - comparing all the available manuscripts with each other - we can come to an assurance regarding what the original document must have said.

Let us suppose we have five manuscript copies of an original document that no longer exists. Each of the manuscript copies are different. Our goal is to compare the manuscript copies and ascertain what the original must have said. Here are the five copies:
Manuscript #1: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole worl.

Manuscript #2: Christ Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.

Manuscript #3: Jesus Christ s the Savior of the whole world.

Manuscript #4: Jesus Christ is th Savior of the whle world.

Manuscript #5: Jesus Christ is the Savor of the whole wrld.
Could you, by comparing the manuscript copies, ascertain what the original document said with a high degree of certainty that you are correct? Of course you could.

This illustration may be extremely simplistic, but a great majority of the 150,000 variants are solved by the above methodology.

By comparing the various manuscripts, all of which contain very minor differences like the above, it becomes fairly clear what the original must have said.
Most of the manuscript variations concern matters of spelling, word order, tenses, and the like; no single doctrine is affected by them in any way.

We must also emphasize that the sheer volume of manuscripts we possess greatly narrows the margin of doubt regarding what the original biblical document said.

If the number of [manuscripts] increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small.

The New Testament Versus Other Ancient Books

By comparing the manuscript support for the Bible with manuscript support for other ancient documents and books, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that no other ancient piece of literature can stand up to the Bible. Manuscript support for the Bible is unparalleled!
There are more [New Testament] manuscripts copied with greater accuracy and earlier dating than for any secular classic from antiquity.

Rene Pache adds, "The historical books of antiquity have a documentation infinitely less solid."

Dr. Benjamin Warfield concludes, "If we compare the present state of the text of the New Testament with that of no matter what other ancient work, we must...declare it marvelously exact."
Norman Geisler makes several key observations for our consideration:
No other book is even a close second to the Bible on either the number or early dating of the copies. The average secular work from antiquity survives on only a handful of manuscripts; the New Testament boasts thousands.

The average gap between the original composition and the earliest copy is over 1,000 years for other books.

The New Testament, however, has a fragment within one generation from its original composition, whole books within about 100 years from the time of the autograph [original manuscript], most of the New Testament in less than 200 years, and the entire New Testament within 250 years from the date of its completion.

The degree of accuracy of the copies is greater for the New Testament than for other books that can be compared. Most books do not survive with enough manuscripts that make comparison possible.
From this documentary evidence, then, it is clear that the New Testament writings are superior to comparable ancient writings. "The records for the New Testament are vastly more abundant, clearly more ancient, and considerably more accurate in their text."

Support for the New Testament from the Church Fathers

As noted at the beginning of this chapter, in addition to the many thousands of New Testament manuscripts, there are over 86,000 quotations of the New Testament in the early church fathers. There are also New Testament quotations in thousands of early church Lectionaries (worship books).

There are enough quotations from the early church fathers that even if we did not have a single copy of the Bible, scholars could still reconstruct all but 11 verses of the entire New Testament from material written within 150 to 200 years from the time of Christ.

Manuscript Evidence for the Old Testament

The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible.
In fact, in these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900).

The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.

The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament's manuscript transmission.
A full copy of the Book of Isaiah was discovered at Qumran.
Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.

The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling."
From manuscript discoveries like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christians have undeniable evidence that today's Old Testament Scripture, for all practical purposes, is exactly the same as it was when originally inspired by God and recorded in the Bible.

Combine this with the massive amount of manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament, and it is clear that the Christian Bible is a trustworthy and reliable book.

The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the copyists of biblical manuscripts took great care in going about their work.

These copyists knew they were duplicating God's Word, so they went to incredible lengths to prevent error from creeping into their work.

The scribes carefully counted every line, word, syllable, and letter to ensure accuracy.

God's Preservation of the Bible

The Westminster Confession declares: "The Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, being immediately inspired by God and, by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them."

The Westminster Confession makes a very important point here.

The fact is, the God who had the power and sovereign control to inspire the Scriptures in the first place is surely going to continue to exercise His power and sovereign control in the preservation of Scripture.
Actually, God's preservational work is illustrated in the text of the Bible.
By examining how Christ viewed the Old Testament, we see that He had full confidence that the Scriptures He used had been faithfully preserved through the centuries.

Because Christ raised no doubts about the adequacy of the Scripture as His contemporaries knew them, we can safely assume that the first-century text of the Old Testament was a wholly adequate representation of the divine word originally given.

Jesus regarded the extant copies of His day as so approximate to the originals in their message that He appealed to those copies as authoritative.

The respect that Jesus and His apostles held for the extant Old Testament text is, at base, an expression of the confidence in God's providential preservation of the copies and translations as substantially identical with the inspired originals.
Hence, the Bible itself indicates that copies can faithfully reflect the original text and therefore function authoritatively.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

ATHEIST PROFESSOR IN HELL! Best testimony EVER! HELL NDE. Amazing! Howard Storm. TBN Interview

Blood Design shows God's Creation

 The Psalmist said; "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."  Here, from the "Red River of Life,"  Dr. Moon shows the incredible DESIGN that God did with the Blood cell.
This is one small example of how complex we are.  Chance or design?  See for yourself.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We Have Lost - Constitutionally Backed Freedoms

Not So Long Ago In A Land Not So Far Away

   The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came out with an advisory that reinforced the stereotypes that DHS head, Janet Ann Napolitano placed on a potential terrorist watch list sent out to law enforcement agencies nationwide.  (Information taken from the US Office of Homeland Security - Intelligence and Analysis Assessment Prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis). According to the advisory, you are suspect to the DHS if you could be classified as one of the following:

1.  Returning Military Veteran

2.  Pro-life Advocate

3.  Second Amendment Advocate

4.  Non Supporter of the President’s Administration

5.  Critical of NAFTA

6.  Against Same Sex Marriage

7.  If you believe the U.S. economy will collapse

8.  If you are a Christian who believes that we're living in the   ‘end times.’

9.  If you are Unemployed

10. Concerned about illegal immigration

11. Concerned about a “New World Order"

Then at the end of this list, (in echoes that hearken back to Nazi Germany), the DHS advisory says this:  "The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) encourages anyone who suspects another of being a right wing extremist to turn them in."  (U) Reporting Notice: (U) DHS encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI." The quote was followed by a series of telephone numbers and web addresses to the DHS National Operations Center, the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC) and the FBI.

Well guess what - a law, The National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.)  made it through the Senate.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said:  "[W]hat we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment. Think about that for a minute. Life imprisonment. Without ever being charged, tried, or convicted of a crime. Without ever having an opportunity to prove your innocence to a judge or a jury of your peers. And without the government ever having to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I think that denigrates the very foundations of this country."  Then Franken voted FOR the law anyway - go figure!  



Friday, November 11, 2011

Christians and Weapons (Guns).

Christians and Guns:  What do you think?

Should Christians be armed? 
Should Christians enlist in the armed forces?

These and other questions are faced every day by believers who declare Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This became an issue that I encountered among just a couple of my fellow church goers. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1971.
Some believers said that a Christian should not bear arms.  Others said that if I enlisted, it should only be as a conscientious objector to be assigned to duties where I would not bear arms.  That was unacceptable to me, and recalling the example of our (for the most part) Christian Founders. I had the full support of my pastor, F. G. Foster whose ministry in San Antonio, was a great outreach to the military.  Thankfully, I never was in a position to use lethal force, and for that I thank my God.  

My personal beliefs, as both a Christian and an American, if called upon I would fight and pay whatever price necessary to uphold the Constitution that guarantees our freedoms, our inalienable rights for which every soldier, police officer, elected official and the President swore to defend.  Unfortunately, many have not kept that oath, and now we are experiencing as loss of rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  Officials have used tragedies to take those rights away. 

 In the infamous words of Rahm Emanuel when he was President Obama's Chief of Staff, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

After moving to California, I ultimately chose a career as a California Peace Officer in the Department of Corrections.  At my oral interview, the issue came up about my religious beliefs raised by a Lieutenant on the interviewing panel at Folsom Prison.  "What if you had to use lethal force?  In view of your religious background, could you?"  My answer was that I would exhaust all reasonable means before using deadly force. 

I was hired, trained and was assigned to an activation team to open the first of California's fast track prison program initiated under California Governor George Deukmejian.  Though I participated in quelling numerous disturbances and was involved in altercations, I was blessed never to have been in a situation to employ deadly force. 
For over two decades now, I've carried personal weapons.  I've never had to use them, since any weapon I have is defensive, strictly for my family's and my personal defense.  
Now there were no fire arms when Jesus walked the earth, but they did have swords and spears.  Those were their deadly weapons and soldiers were highly trained in their use. 

It is interesting that Christ made this fairly unknown statement to his disciples:  "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
 In the Old Testament, believers were involved in some really bloody battles.  One time Elijah, God's prophet, slew 450 of the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40).
Another time, following an all night prayer meeting, godly Samuel chopped an evil king to pieces with a sword. 
1Samuel 15:33 "And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.  And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal."

Ultimately, it is up to the individual's conscience and personal beliefs, but there are two sayings that I keep in mind as I live in America. 
1.  When seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and
2.  I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Speaking in Tongues

The day after I received Christ as my Savior, (August 8, 1964) I received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was a Sunday evening service at a Foursquare 'church in the home' in Sepulveda, CA .

Please understand that I was seeking the Baptism in the Holy Ghost - not speaking in tongues or any other gift. Kneeling at a chair with the dozen or so members of the congregation laying hands on me, I was verbally thanking the Lord for saving me, when I began to stutter and speak words that made no sense to me. When I pray in tongues today, I still have no idea what the meaning is. One thing I'm sorry to say is that there are many Christians who do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a second work of grace, and some of the ones that do, really don't believe it is for believers today but passed away with the Apostles.
Such was the case with my Baptist partner Smitty, when we worked a housing unit in the California Department of Corrections.

We had just received a busload of new prisoners and among them was a voodoo practitioner nicknamed Jamaica. Smitty and I were sitting just outside of our upstairs supply-room monitoring housing unit floor activities while distributing toiletries to the new arrivals. In the meantime we had been casually talking about faith in God etc. and I referred to my experience with the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. I could sense Smitty's skepticism, and declined his urging for a personal demonstration, which no doubt added to his skepticism.
Meanwhile we were observing Jamaica going about to the day room making hand gestures and generally attracting a lot of unwanted attention among the units population. One of inmates came to Smitty and I saying that Jamaica was putting voodoo curses on the guys and word was one way or another, Jamaica was going to be stopped.
In the next few minutes, Jamaica himself came running up the stairs, looking wild eyed he began speaking curses on Smitty and me. "I rebuke you Satan in the Name of Jesus Christ" I said - followed by speaking in tongues at which Jamaica fell down prostrate pleading for me to stop. I instructed him to go to his assigned cell and quit bothering others; and he obeyed.
Afterwards, Smitty asked, 'was that tongues?' (Obviously he was re-evaluating his thoughts on the matter). Praise God for the power of the Holy Ghost in the Name of Jesus!

I could recount many incidents regarding tongues, but what matters is what the Bible says.

At this time, I'm addressing only the fact that there is a further experience beyond salvation, available to any believer, and it is commonly known as the 'Baptism in the Holy Ghost,' with the common evidence of speaking in 'tongues.'
Here's what the scripture says:

Isa 28:11: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. [cf. 1Co 14:21]

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luk 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Mar 16:17: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

John 7:38, 39: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 1:4, 5: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 2:4: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:33, 38-39: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 10:44-48: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Act 19:5, 6: When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1Co 14:18a: I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

Act 8:14-22: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Note: Three of the five times in the book of ACTS where people were baptized in the Holy Ghost, it specifically states that the recipients spoke in tongues. The other two times are when Saul (Paul) received the Holy Ghost, and of that his testimony is "I speak in tongues more than you all." In the incident "when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given," it is obvious that some sort of visual demonstration was given, and we're left to decide what that might be for ourselves. For me there is no question - and perfectly consistent with the Bible, that tongues is the immediate evidence.

Also, since Jesus Christ is the one who Baptizes in the Holy Ghost - according to John the Baptist - it is also proof positive that Jesus lives and is baptizing believers today - Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Promoting Evolution by Denigrating Christians

It's politics as usual on MSNBC and the left wing media. When Rick Perry was asked by a child what he thought of evolution, Perry stepped into it with camera's rolling and even though his statement was mildly non-committal, the left wing media wasted no time portraying it as a 'gotcha' moment. Worse, but not unexpectedly, they salivated as they went on the attack relegating every Christian as an enemy of science. Good heavens, Christianity will send us all back to the dark ages!
I guess they forget that many of the modern scientific disciplines resulted from those who called themselves Christians. Here's Rick Perry and the question of evolution.

Here are the left media poking fun at Tea Party advocates as well as those who believe the Bible to be the Word of God.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Religion or Relation

"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one." - Thomas Jefferson

I frequently quote Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson considered himself a "real Christian" and said as much, but he was more like a Deist, in the classical sense of the word. Such stalwart and knowledgeable Christian scholars as the late Dr. D. James Kennedy considered Jefferson as more of what we would today term an atheist than a deist. Yet many of Thomas Jefferson’s' statements indicated that unlike most deists or atheists, he did believe in the Bible, at least as it referenced morals and general principles, as well as the judgment that surely befalls a nation or people who fail to heed its warnings.

Many of the quotes of our founding fathers seem contradictory when placed side by side, but when taken in the perspective of evolving beliefs, one may track their personal struggles within themselves. Pardon the personal reference, but in my own life there was a time that I wasn't a follower of Christ, didn't believe in the Bible and have on many occasions been highly critical of both. Statements I made prior to my conversion are 180 degrees opposite of what I am, profess and believe today notwithstanding even statements I make today, taken out of context may present themselves as conflicting with my profession of faith. As an example, I don't disagree with atheists in many of their conclusions about 'religion.' That's because virtually every religious label has at one time or another brought with it all manner of bondage, death and destruction on humanity...yet I declare myself a Christian, not based ‘religion,’ but rather on a ‘relationship’ to the risen Christ of the Bible. Therefore, that distinction really highlights the difference between 'religion' and 'relationship.' Receiving Christ as ones Messiah, Savior and Lord actually changes everything about us, "...if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" and that includes our parentage, which includes inheritance: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) We’ve been adopted into the Family of God.

For me, and millions of followers of Jesus Christ, that is precisely the distinction. We've been born spiritually (of the Spirit - John 3) in that moment when we invited Jesus Christ into our lives to be our personal Savior and Lord, and are witnessing an extreme change from who we were without Christ, to who we are becoming, in Christ. That is God's desire for you and the very reason that He sent Jesus Christ into this world -

Are you ready for a change? Do you want a new direction, a new vision, and a great outcome for your life? Would you consider inviting Jesus Christ into your life, to be your Messiah, your Savior and your Lord? It may sound cliché, but God really does have a plan for your life - wouldn't it be a shame not to discover that destiny for yourself?
Simply ask Him to forgive your sins and to come into your life, and be your Savior and Lord. Then follow Him and you'll never walk alone.
photo: Sierra Nevada/R. Hoeppner

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christ the Lord is Risen! Music Video

He's Alive - By Don Francisco

Have you hear about all the buzz concerning History Channel's "The Real Face Of Jesus?"
This is clip 9.

This Blood Is For You

"This Blood is For You," Passion Music Video by Carman.

"Too Small A Price" Passion Music Video by Don Francisco

Friday, April 22, 2011

1000 Years B.C. - Psalm 22:1-19: The Crucifixion

Psa 22:1
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
Psa 22:2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
Psa 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
Psa 22:5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
Psa 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Psa 22:9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
Psa 22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Psa 22:11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Psa 22:12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Psa 22:13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
Psa 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psa 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
Psa 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Latest News from the Bible

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end. And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Lk.21:24b, 25; Matthew 24:6-8; Luke 21:27, 28; NLT)

"Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:9-14 NLT)
"Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!- (Luke 21:27, 28 NLT)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Middle Eastern Unrest

As I write, the Arab world is in a great state of upheaval, the likes of what we have seen when the Iranians deposed the Shah, (Mohammed Reza Pahlavi). The power vacuum caused by the Shah's departure was quickly filled by the radical Islamic extremist, Ayatollah Khomeini.

When Daniel (Daniel 7) dreamed about the coming world ruling empires that were going to rise, he saw the political and social upheavals that accompanied their rise likened to a troubled, wind tossed sea caught in a 'perfect storm.' This is how the Amplified version of Daniel 7:2 puts it:
Daniel said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens [political and social agitations] were stirring up the great sea [the nations of the world].

Further reading in Daniel 7 describes the kingdoms to rise and the last one is going to be headed up by the antichrist, (the little horn). We are living in the end of the fourth kingdom that Daniel saw, and the little horn may well be on his way to power now. While people in the Middle East are in a state of turmoil, a number of governments are leaving a power vacuum that somebody is going to fill.

I believe what we are observing in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya is but one segment of what Daniel saw as the 'four winds.' There is more to come, as this upheaval is only a fraction of what is coming.

Be looking for the little horn to rise up, displacing three other horns, or rulers. He will be readily accepted, as he will appear to have the answers to the distressed and perplexed nations. I hope that those who know Christ as Savior and Lord will be raptured out by then.

Surely, the sea of humanity is troubled - we are living in the last days and Jesus Christ Himself gives us this warning:
Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, [not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea,
Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.
- Luke 21:24b-26, Amplified Bible.

He instructed us as believers (in describing the events in Luke 21)
Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. Truly I tell you, this generation (those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place. But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
Jerusalem was taken by Israel in the 6 day war in 1967. Jesus said that the generation living at that time would not pass away until all has taken place. We are that generation Daniel and Jesus spoke of.
What is a Biblical generation? Bible scholar, Dr. Jack VanImpe has calculated that a bible generation averages 52 years. Assuming that is correct, 1967 + 52 = 2019 when ALL the prophecies regarding Daniels visions will be fulfilled. In other words, 2019 is post the 7 year tribulation, or 2019 - 7 = 2012 as the year the tribulation will begin.
So pray you will be accounted worthy to escape - and stand before the Son.

Advice from the Lord Himself - can we afford to ignore it?