|This ministry has a distinct kingdom, Messianic vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people and the church. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My calling is to share these great end-time dramas, to stand as a watchman and above all, to glorify my God.|
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Edition 44. July 10th 2010
In this edition:
●Why prophecy is important yet rejected.
Recent news items of prophetic significance.
● July 8 2010 "Palestinian leader Abbas branded as a moderate by the international community, speaking in Arabic to the Arab news media says he prefers war against Israel, but can't do it alone." The western press would not report this. It doesn't suit their agenda.
●10 July 2010. According to sources within the Israeli Defence Force new classified information shows that Hizballah has increased to full strength in southern Lebanon. It is stockpiling in schools and hospitals.
Both of the above items show that Israel is far from being safe. It won't take much to spark off another conflict.
Why Bible prophecy is so important yet rejected:
There is one big, enormous, overriding issue here: All unfulfilled prophecy points to and deals with the coming of our Lord and Messiah in some way. If Yeshua /Jesus is coming back again what will be the circumstances, why, how, when, what will happen to the world system, what will happen to me? And many other deep, dramatic questions immediately spring to mind.
Is He coming again like before to offer salvation, or is He coming this time for judgement? If He is coming to judge a Christ-rejecting world, can I hide from Him, or will He go away if I just ignore all of this like so many others?
If I accept the fact that He is coming again, I'll be alright won't I, because I've been more good than bad in my life? That's a huge misconception and lie! If you are going to trust your own good works to get saved the passing grade is 100%. To be saved you need to have the living God living in you through the new birth, then you get given as a free gift the 100% perfection of Yeshua / Jesus. Your own good works count only for reward as a believer, but not for salvation.
My church doesn't teach on these things Joel, so why take any notice of what you're saying?
My church teaches self-motivation and a long, happy, positive life for me and my kids if I just believe it and confess it; now don't come and rock our comfortable boat, Joel!
There are many obvious reasons why prophecy is so important, but lets have a look at it all from a pure Biblical perspective.
About one fifth of the content of the Bible is prophecy or is related to prophecy. The very first prophecy occurs right up front in Genesis and centres on the ultimate, end-time fall of Satan and victory of our Lord. Genesis begins with a paradise lost and revelation closes with paradise restored.
Isaiah was a prophet, so was Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. All were prophets! All prophesied of things to come. Many of these Old Testament prophets prophesied of the first coming of our Messiah, some with intricate detail, but everyone of these prophesied of many things relating to the second coming and the close of the present age.
An impression of the prophet Jeremiah
The New Testament repeats and expands on many of the Old Testament prophetic utterances, but also introduces the very foundational structure for the church. Ephesians 4:11 "He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God..."
These ministry offices are the very pillars of the church! Note that number two is the prophet. Now of course we all know that a lot of these ministry gifts or offices have been turned into nothing than a circus performance by many, but a bigger and more tragic issue is that many churches today have stripped out almost everything relating to the prophetic Word.
The five-fold ministry office of the prophet has been largely removed from the church today, or ignored. In some situations its been turned into the rubber-stamp of a bless-me-now club! The prophet in the church needs to be one who knows Bible prophecy backwards and uses it as his basis to direct, lead, guide and warn.
It is the prophetic word that gives us eyes to see into the future and to see where we are going and where we should not go.
If you or your church removes Bible prophecy from it's menu you are a blind sitting duck!
Let me tell you what happens when your teacher or pastor removes certain Biblical things from his preaching and teaching that he or the congregation deems objectionable. The Spirit of the Living God leaves! That church would be none the wiser, as it continues to operate in the energy of humanistic flesh!
I've seen it first hand. A number of churches that used to be right on the mark with prophetic teaching and utterances have now seen fit to remove it all. They are now Spiritless institutions. Some are spearheading inter-faith activity, some are more politicised than they should be. Some used to be pro-God's plan for Israel and now they're in the opposite camp! They're now blind to the prophetic Word and also to the works of the devil.
Why many cast down Bible prophecy:
First and foremost, we need to understand that we are in a spiritual climate and environment and that's where the battleground is staged.
Our Lord and Saviour is coming soon. If so, then so is Satan for his final hour! Satan comes in camouflage, bringing blindness to his existence and presence. 2 Thessalonians 2 :9-12 "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie." "The lie" being referred to here is that Satan is God.
Can you see it? As Satan approaches he comes with deception. On top of this God sends delusion to those who reject Him. How can these people possibly see and understand the things of God? Both Satan and God are blinding them!!
Perhaps the biggest reason prophecy is rejected is because it's truth. Satan hates truth and always tries to sow confusion into it or replace it. "Our God id not the author of confusion" says the Bible - 1 Corinthians 14:3. Then in James 3:16 "Demonic wisdom brings envy, self- seeking, strife, confusion and every evil thing."The Bible declares that in the last days truth will be cast down in the streets.
The Bible identifies the spiritual climate at the time of the end of the age:
2Timothy 3:1-5 "In the last days perilous times will come, because people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, without self-control...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying it's power and from such people turn away."
Today we are in the me now generation. It's especially evident in the youth of today, but its widespread. There is really only one answer and that is the application of the cross. Death that results fro the application of the cross kills self and this me now existence! As I die to self, I am more and more delivered into victorious living. It was Paul the apostle who said "I die daily" and "its not I that live but Christ who lives in me" and "As I decrease He increases."
Pride and self-opinion are sure ways to become blinded to the things of God. James 4:6 "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." If God is resisting you because of your pride, Satan will fill the gap! You will never ever be able to see things God's way if He is resisting you!
Unbelief also produces blindness to the things of God, including prophecy:
2 Corinthians 4: 4 "The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God should shine on them."
People will not be able to see or understand prophecy because spiritual sight comes conditionally. If you're not born again you can't even see the Kingdom of God says the Bible. What a shock that is! Then on top of the new birth there is a further requirement for spiritual sight which is to be in the spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14 "The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, but he who is spiritual judges all things."
To see, know and understand the things of God, including prophecy, one needs to be born again and baptised in the Spirit. These are foundational. Then obviously, one needs to study and know the Word of God.
Have you ever tried explaining some of the deeper things of God to an unbeliever? Have you ever felt like tearing your hair out because they just can't see it? Well, this is why.
There is a huge difference between the gospel of the Bible and the gospel of today. Much has been removed for the today's church teaching. The application of the cross and the brokenness that comes with it is all but gone today. "I determined to know nothing among you but Christ and Him crucified" This is the way of the Christian life. Denial of self is central to discipleship. Yeshua / Jesus said "take up your cross and follow Me"
The fear of God has been removed from modern preaching. Today its all about accepting the Lord as a sort of background sponsor to your life. Today the church has created God in its image and a half truth is presented as the whole truth. It's not Jesus come into my very special life. Its me come into His! This is a subtle but huge difference.
If you don't chose the cross you do chose to lay it aside and your life may be full of nice happy, motivational living, but it will be powerless and essentially blind.
Today, spiritual discernment and insight is desperately needed and what he have instead is a world of spiritual blindness!
We have no right to remove from the gospel what Jesus, the apostles and the early church didn't"
We need to know and understand Bible prophecy very well through the teaching and leading of the Spirit of God.
During the dark ages the Catholic church banned the private ownership of Bibles and burned many people at the stake for owning one! Here is Canon 14 of The Catholic Church Council of Toulouse: "We prohibit the laity from having books of the Old or New Testament; we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books." To this day this counterfeit church discourages the private study and ownership of Bibles. It's not their official stand anymore, but nevertheless its very evident.
They have always and still do insist on the separation of the clergy (priests in frocks) above the laity (ordinary people). They believe that it is their priests who are the dispatches of their truth to the ordinary people. By the way, this is called "the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans", which is found in two of the messages to the seven churches in the Revelation. (also in the book of Acts). 'Nicao' in the original means to conquer and 'laos' means the people. The Nicolaitans were the forerunners of this dangerous heresy of separation of the clergy above the laity and is strongly condemned and "hated" in the Revelation.
It was and still is an evil practise to keep ordinary people in blind subjection to the proud, pompous, arrogant so-called leadership of a dead, blind church.
Ignore prophecy at your peril!In this day and age of variable values and multitudes of opinions on everything, isn't it wonderful to know that we have something that cuts right through all the rubbish and stands supremely, solidly and securely as it has for multitudes of generations.
Bible prophecy is totally trustworthy. It has never failed and never will!
The beliefs of so many millions of people will be shattered and turned upside down as the prophetic Word unfolds more and more in our day.
On a personal level I can testify that I've had my own belief system challenged and shattered on numerous occasions soon after I was saved and began to study God's Word. The Bible absolutely shocked me as God shed His light on it and started to open my eyes. In many instances I couldn't believe that I was such an idiot and so wrong!
As our Messiah began to break down my pride, I began to see and understand why I was blind to so many things.
As pregnant Elizabeth met with Mary, the baby in her bosom "leapt for joy" at the unseen recognition of the soon coming Messiah in Mary. Now the Spirit of the living God is again causing a "leap for joy" inside His own as our Messiah's coming nears for the second time. But at the same time Satan is preparing people for his coming by bring dull, blind deception!
Here are just the Bible chapter headings of 2 Peter: "Fruitful growth in faith." The trustworthy prophetic Word." "Destructive doctrines." "The doom of false teachers." "Depravity of false teachers." Deceptions of false teachers." "The Day of the Lord". "Be steadfast." As I turned the page I was greeted with "Deceptions of the last hour" in 1 John.
Prophecy is all open to variable interpretations isn't it?
"Oh, its all open to interpretation" is the oft chanted anthem of today! 2 Peter 1:19-20 "We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts, knowing this that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation."
The above verse is one my favourites. Venus is the morning star. It shines brightest in the darkest hour, just before dawn. What this is saying is that once you realise that prophecy is the most sure thing, the light of God has arisen in your hearts and will shine on prophetic interpretation and the way ahead. Private interpretation is condemned. This simply means that all the varying and different opinions out there do not come from God and His light of revelation.
Many say that there are too many differing Bible translations for any of it to be true. The abundance of poor translations of the Bible is a major problem. But its not surprising actually. If Satan can confuse the truth he can get in with his error. All poor Bible translations are the result of the efforts of man led by himself. There are some terrible translations that deliberately cast doubt on major doctrines. But the Spirit of the living God has seen to it that His truth will endure.
Some Bible translations like the old King James are fine. It has just a few translational errors. Its difficult to read though. The New King James Version is by the far the best and most accurate. it's in modern English, so its easy to read.
I will do an edition on Bible translations soon, as its a very important subject. Be warned it will shock you and upset many apple carts!
The term 'radical' is much aligned these days and in many instances rightly so. Many radicals have a man-made agenda normally with political overtones. But the word radical simply means the 'root". So a true radical believer is one who gets to the Biblical root of issues.
In this day and age there is a great need for a return to true radicalism. If you are not, you will not be rooted in the things of God and you will be rooted in the superficial, variable things and opinions of the world!
This is especially true with Bible prophecy, which is our eye into the future.
The answer is simple: Come to God in humility! Then apply diligence in setting you heart after our Lord. Get to know Him privately, deeply, intimately. Cast your life down before Him and into His hands! Take up your cross of death daily.
As you do this you will begin to go through a mighty metamorphosis! You will start to go through a great and an incredible identity crisis! You will begin to change from a self-centred 'me-now' person to an outward looking, giving person. Suddenly, wisdom will start to come your way. You will begin to see with new eyes! Knowledge and understanding of many wonderful things will come to you.
The way up is down. The true Christian life is full of amazing paradoxes that are most important. As we die to self we are more alive than ever. The less we are at home here the more we are seated in heavenly places. We are strongest when weakest. We lose our life to find abundant life. We're wisest when our natural reason is defeated.
Our great and glorious God of grace and mercy holds the universe together from the smallest atom to the greatest galaxy. He is entirely holy and completely other. He is the great I AM, the Prince of Peace the King of Kings, the King of the Jews, the King of all ages. His Kingdom is here and it's still coming. It will endure forever. And this God is my Father, friend and saviour!
1John 5:4 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."
2 Peter 1: 2-4 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Heaven or hell:
Crowd psychology doesn't crack it. What the majority thinks doesn't mean it's right. There is no safety in numbers with our Lord and saviour. Neither you nor I nor anyone else will be judged on the majority opinion! There's no use trusting in the majority consensus if that majority will go to hell for rejecting our Lord's exclusive salvation plan. There is no ultimate hope outside of the Biblical way.
Salvation can only be a deeply personal thing. No one else can get saved for you. Membership of a church doesn't save you. "I looked and I saw the dead both great and small standing before God and books were opened. And another book was opened which is the Book of Life...anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12) Hell will be full of multitudes of people, insignificant, small and great. You need to have your own private, deep salvation experience, which will get your name written in the all-important Book of Life!
In closing here is a painting done by Jacobus Pierneef in the late1800s of a magnificent Baobab tree. These glorious, incredible, enormous African trees live to well over 3000 years, but they will not outlast the truth of Bible prophecy! Because of their deep roots they can survive desert conditions. If we are deeply rooted in the things of God we will also endure. (There are some photographs of some of these giant trees taken by myself in the God's Garden section.)
Kind regards and many blessings...Shalom and grow in grace!