December 2011 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2011
People who search for Nostradamus' prophecies sooner or later stumble unto our site. Cable TV has been inundated in recent days with his ungodly predictions.
There's much confusion, even among Christians, about this man.
Many believers have been misled to think he was a "Christian" prophet.
There's even a prominent Evangelical minister, and member of the dispensationalist establishment, who often makes reference to Nostradamus' predictions on his TV show, thus presenting them as believable and lending this false prophet a measure of credibility.
Michel de Nostredame was an OCCULTIST, astrologer, apothecary and self-professed seer, who served the 16th century French court.
He was a weirdo who used magic and divination and, among other bizarre practices, used to gaze into a BLACK MIRROR to gain "prophetic" insights.
He published a collection of prophecies [Les Propheties], written in 4-line statements, or quatrains, which have gained world-wide notoriety.
Though he copied extensively from the symbolism in the Book of Revelation, he was no Christian. He was totally immersed in the occult.
Some gullible individuals credit him with predicting major events, like the rise to power of Napoleon and Hitler, World War II, the Kennedy assassinations, Osama Bin Laden's acts of terror, and 9/11.
That, however,is sheer speculation. Unlike the Bible, which has a proven, documented track record of over 2,000 prophecies being fulfilled with astonishing precision, his prophecies are so vague, that you can make ‘most anything you want out of them.
It's kind of like reading the daily horoscope.
Those who WANT TO believe that trash, somehow find ways to make them "fit" their sorry lives.
But one thing that ALL of Nostradamus' quatrains have in common is they foretell nothing but MISFORTUNE.
They're ALL about calamities, death and destruction.
There's NOTHING, NOT ONE SMIDGEON, OF HOPE, COMFORT, BLESSING, REDEMPTION or GOODNESS in them. Need I say more?
For that matter, there's not one smidgeon of TRUTH in them.
It's all a bunch of dark, gloomy,SATANIC mumbo-jumbo.
To be fair, the Bible also makes astonishing and troubling predictions, but there's always a positive, happy, good and Godly ending.
Good ALWAYS triumphs over evil.
NO CHRISTIAN, therefore, should EVER look to Nostradamus to accurately predict the future.
The World Cup octopus can predict your future better than he can.
To quote the apostle Paul:"What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? ...what concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel? [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15].
There's simply NO COMPARISON between God's CLEAR prophetic Word, which has a PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF FULFILLMENT AND PINPOINT ACCURACY, to the nebulous, delusional rants of a demon-possessed copycat.
You can't believe the God-guaranteed prophecies in the Bible, and believe this man at the same time.
The two are INCOMPATIBLE. They can't BOTH be true.
God's Word clearly states: Let God be true, and EVERY MAN [Nostradamus included] a liar [Romans 3:4].
We either believe the Holy Spirit inspired, sure prophetic Word of God, or the obscure lies of a deceived lunatic.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2011
WHO'LL FINISH THE JOB ?
Must Christians reach the whole world with the Gospel in order for Jesus to return?
I have heard more than one preacher use this line as a fund raising gimmick, telling the audience that, as they give for "the Gospel", they are "hastening" THE RETURN OF JESUS.
In fact, nothing that preposterous is found in the Bible, and MOST of the money donated DOESN'T go to "preaching the Gospel" but to making the lying televangelist EVEN RICHER, and his lifestyle even more opulent.
Jesus did command His disciples to "go into ALL THE WORLD and preach the Gospel" [Mark 16:15].
EVERY Christian, whether minister or layperson, is called by God to preach the Gospel, speak to others about Jesus, and win souls to Jesus.
We should ALL be doing that, in one way or another, UNTIL the moment He raptures us unto Himself.
Will we get the job done before He returns? NO.
But what about Matthew 24:14 "And THIS gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then the end will come"?
Oh, that'll happen FOR SURE. But nowhere does it say it's CHRISTIANS who'll reach the whole world before THE END comes.
Revelation 14:6 says very clearly that, there will be A SPECIAL ANGEL sent to FINISH THE JOB:
"Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had THE ETERNAL GOSPEL to preach to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people".
The reason God, for the first time in history, sends AN ANGEL to preach the Gospel is because by then ALL THE CHRISTIANS WILL BE GONE.
Had Christians gotten the job done and reached the whole world before they were raptured, God would have no need to send an angel some 3 to 4 years later to re-preach it.
Last, but not least, there's NO SUCH THING as "hastening" the return of Jesus [Isaiah 46:10; Mark 13:32].
The day and hour of both, the Church's Rapture and His Second Coming, were determined long before time even EXISTED.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2011
NOTHING BUT GRACE
“Because you are saved by grace (the UNDESERVED Goodness of God) through faith (TRUST); and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is THE GIFT OF God, NOT OF WORKS, let any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Some people wonder WHY we keep preaching salvation by God’s sheer grace (UNMERITED favor).
Well, WHAT would they have me preach, CONDEMNATION?
They have to go to another place for that.
They have to go to some RELIGIOUS website for that.
My Jesus didn’t preach condemnation, He preached REDEMPTION.
He preached FORGIVENESS. He preached RECONCILIATION.
He didn’t come to condemn, but TO SAVE (John 3:17).
That’s why His incomparable Message is called Good News or “Gospel”.
Besides the fact THE UNSAVED need to know that Salvation is A FREE GIFT, which we CANNOT EARN, even those who profess to be Christian need to know it.
ABSOLUTE PROOF of that are the many emails we receive -- despite ALL our teaching on this subject -- from Christians who think they may be lost, that they’ve LOST their salvation, or that they won’t go in the Rapture because they keep disobeying God and don’t act “Christian” enough.
I got three words for those Christians: “join the club”.
NONE OF US are obedient enough.
NONE OF US are “Christian enough”.
The funny thing is ALL their letters say “I know salvation is by grace”, or “I know salvation is not based on works”. If they KNEW IT, they wouldn’t DOUBT IT.
If you doubt it, it’s because you DON’T KNOW.
And if you DON’T KNOW, you DON’T TRUST.
Salvation is HAVING Jesus LIVING IN our hearts and TRUSTING what He did to save us, NOT what we do to “save ourselves”.
There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do to “save yourself”.
There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do to ensure being raptured, OTHER THAN TRUSTING JESUS.
Although in a perfect world, filled with perfect people, obedience and perfect behavior is what we’d like to see, Salvation is NEVER based on our obedience. NEVER!
It wasn’t based on what we do when we received Jesus. It’s not based on what we do AFTER we received Jesus.
You need to repent (change your mind) and TRUST WHAT JESUS DID to be TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SUFFICIENT TO FOREVER SAVE YOU (2 Corinthians 5:19, 22; Hebrews 9:12; 10:14).
You need to INVITE Jesus to enter and live in your heart.
You need to become FULLY PERSUADED that Jesus has FOREVER saved you.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011
WHAT A DIFFERENCE
What is so different about the Christian faith?
What sets our faith apart from man-invented religions?
For starters, it's the ONLY faith that GUARANTEES Salvation.
Those who place their TRUST in Jesus Christ, by receiving Him as Lord, Savior and God, and believing He forever put us in right standing with God, need not wonder whether they are saved or not:
They can and SHOULD be 100% certain (John 1:12; 3:16; Mark 16:16; Romans 8:9, 16; 10:9).
We have God's guarantee, confirmed by His own Blood, that He has forever saved us.
No man invented religion has their god(s) actually becoming human and DYING FOR man's sin.
Since everyone has sinned, unless payment for that sin has been made we're all in deep you-know-what...
Oh, but Muslims believe you start life with a clean slate. Oh, really? Then why is it that everyone is born with the UNDENIABLE TENDENCY to commit sin?
And even if they had a clean slate, it doesn't remain clean very long with all the hatred they foster.
So, their "gods" didn't solve the sin problem for them. That means those who trust false gods are STILL IN THEIR SIN and will have to face THE ONE TRUE God AND ANSWER FOR THEM.
Those who accept Jesus' payment for their sins, on the other hand, don't have to answer for sin because it's been taken care of FOR THEM... ONCE AND FOR ALL (2 Corinthians 5:17,19; Hebrews 9:12; 14:10).
Those two things and having PERSONAL, INTIMATE knowledge of the Savior are, in a nutshell, what sets our faith APART FROM ALL OTHERS.
Muslims never experience God, nor can they ever hope to have a personal relationship with Him.
Their invented god allah is a distant, implacable, exacting character and even those who do their best to follow the Koran can NEVER be absolutely certain of salvation.
They NEVER KNOW if their works are "good enough" to MERIT heaven.
Same thing goes for Hindus who worship MULTIPLE demons ("deities") and MUST APPEASE ALL OF THEM, then can ONLY HOPE that the false deities grant them multiple reincarnations that will eventually (they hope) lead to some sort of peaceful afterlife.
Just like the Muslims, they cannot even THINK of having intimacy or personal KNOWLEDGE OF their many "gods", let alone ENJOY fellowshipping with them. Not that there would be any enjoyment in interacting with demons, mind you.
Buddhism, on the other hand, doesn't even present A PERSONAL God. "God" is an impersonal energy or spiritual force that we can only join by renouncing all individuality.
THIS demonstrates PRECISELY what is SO WRONG with legalistic "Christianity": That is WHY I keep denouncing it and WILL KEEP DOING SO until Jesus appears.
By presenting A FALSE "gospel" of salvation through works, or salvation through a POLLUTED MIXTURE OF "grace plus works", they are DENIGRATING THE VERY ESSENCE OF THE GOSPEL.
They are NEGATING the ABSOLUTE EFFICACY of Jesus' PERFECT, ETERNAL once and for all, work of Redemption.
They are LOWERING the Christian faith to the ineffective and abysmal level of HEATHENISM.
Religion - whether it's called Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, or apostate Kristianity, guarantees nothing.
Satan can't guarantee anything, since his own "future" (the very "future" he INVENTED) IS rather BLEAK.
Eternal Salvation and SECURITY are found ONLY in Jesus.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2011
Can ANYONE stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?
Can ANYONE stop them from taking over Iraq, or at the very least turn it into a puppet state in the likeness of Syria and Lebanon?
According to Daniel 8:6 the answer is "NO"; at least, NOT for the time being.
In that verse, Iran, represented by a ram, is seen "pushing" westward, northward and southward which, judging from those directions on the compass, and from the former territories of the Persian Empire, would include Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
The last two are already in its pocket.
According to that verse "no beasts could stand before it, neither were there any that could deliver out of its hand, but IT DID ACCORDING TO ITS WILL AND BECAME GREAT".
But, someone might ask, "Wasn't that prophecy fulfilled in the distant past, when the Persian Empire spread into those areas"?
That doesn't mean it cannot also have a FUTURE fulfillment.
In fact, the Bible teaches that history repeats itself (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
This isn't mere speculation on my part. Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision he had about the ram (Iran) and the goat (Greece, under Alexander) was intended for "the time of the end". In fact, he says it not once, but FOUR TIMES (Daniel 8:17, 19, 23, 26).
Oh, sure, the U.S. and Israel can engage in "undeclared" war through sabotage and launching their much ballyhooed computer virus Stutnex. All of that may delay their nuclear ambitions but the end result is inevitable.
And with rogue state North Korea under new, inexperienced leadership it's a sure bet that some of their nuclear materials will make their way into Iran.
There's no reason to think that Kim Jong-Un will be any less inclined to sell their knowledge and resources to Iran, just as his wicked and recently deceased father, Kim Jong-il did.
The Russians are also aiding and abetting. While Iran publicly claims they seek nuclear power only for "peaceful purposes", only an idiot would believe that.
Iran will be poised to make good on their threat to "wipe Israel off the map", when Alexander reappears and, once again, conquers the Persians as he did some 2,300 years ago.
He will appear, at least momentarily, to be Israel's savior. No wonder Gabriel warned that he will cause deceit to prosper and that through security he will destroy many (Daniel 8:25).
After all, that's what Jews wanted and expected from Jesus. It was His perceived "failure" to deliver them from the Romans and set up a universal kingdom that caused many to reject Him as Messiah.
Alexander will do both.
And, of course, he was benign to them in his first coming. To this day, many Jewish families name their third son Alexander in his honor.
Jews - who object to the terms "B.C." and "A.D." in reference to years before and after the birth of Jesus - even followed a calendar at one time based on the years after Alexander's reign which they called "year of Alexander".
Not only will Alex reappear from the abyss, risen from the dead, but will demonstrate his purported immortality by miraculously recovering from a mortal sword wound, before the eyes of an astonished world, PLUS he will have his own personal false prophet doing miraculous signs and causing fire to come down from heaven.
That's why Jesus issued the following warning:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT".
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2011
TRIBE OF DAN
Among the 12 tribes of Israel, the tribe of Dan has fueled more speculation than any other.
There's a persistent rumor that the Antichrist will come from this tribe.
Such speculation is based on the fact that Dan is the only tribe NOT INCLUDED in Revelation 7:1-9 among the 144,000 Israelites who are sealed at the start of the tribulation.
To understand WHY, we need to look back at their history.
In Joshua 19:47 we read the Danites had trouble taking their allotted territory in Canaan [Israel]. When they finally took most of it, they NAMED IT after their father Dan.
By the Book of Judges 18:1-12, they still had not fully taken possession of it.
They NAMED the place where they set up camp Manaheh Dan.
So, we know from the Bible that they had this custom of NAMING the places they possessed after the name of their forefather Dan, thus leaving a "NAME trail" along the places they inhabited.
The tribe of Dan was one of the 10 Northern tribes which were taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. [some refer to them as the "10 lost tribes"], but they seem to have left the aforementioned "NAME trail" wherever they went.
Keeping in mind that the Hebrew language contains NO VOWELS, only consonants, any place in Europe, Asia, or even Africa, that has "Dan", "Den", "Din", "Don" or "Dun" in its name was, in all probability, at some point, perhaps even at the present time, inhabited in whole or in part, by this tribe.
For instance, SiDON, SarDINia, DUNeDIN, ScanDINavia, DENmark, where they speak DANish, and citizens are called DANes, the River DANube in Eastern Europe, LonDON, DarDANelles, and MaceDONia.
In Judges 18:16-20 the tribe of Dan is THE FIRST TRIBE that INTRODUCES and engages in full fledged IDOLATRY inside the Promised Land.
In Genesis 49:1,18 it says regarding the tribe of Dan in the last days "I have waited for your Salvation, Oh Lord".
So, why are they NOT included in the 144,000 sealed at the beginning of the tribulation?
Because of their PERSISTENT IDOLATRY and UNBELIEF. If you check the list above, all the places they've been to, have one thing in common: IDOLATRY, or OUTRIGHT ATHEISM.
Revelation 14:4,5 tell us that the 144,000 are comprised of Israelite believers who are "undefiled", who "follow the Lamb, wherever He goes", and are "without guile" and "without fault".
Most Christians wouldn't even fit that criteria, let alone a bunch of idolaters, unbelievers, and atheists.
The Danites were the ones who INTRODUCED IDOLATRY in Israel. It was that idolatry which, years later, spread to the other 9 Northern tribes, and became THE REASON they went into captivity and remain "lost" to the world [not to God] to this very day [1 Kings 11:31-,33; 16:31-33, chapter 18].
That's why they're not part of the 144,000. Because when the tribulation starts, they'll still be in unbelief. That's why they will need to "WAIT FOR" God's Salvation [Jesus], for His Second Coming, to get right with God, and get back into the Holy Land.
Will the Antichrist come from the tribe of Dan? No.
He is from one of the territories where the Danites once sojourned, namely MaceDONia, but he is NOT an Israelite, he's VERY Greek: http://www.christconnection.net/id7.html
Danites will get straightened out in a hurry, and repent of their unbelief, when they see THE ONE TRUE GOD, Jesus Christ, return and rule the whole world from Jerusalem.
Despite their rebellion, their future is SECURE.
In Ezekiel 48:1, during the Millennium, when Jesus rules the earth, when ALL ISRAEL [ALL 12 TRIBES] are re-gathered and "settled after their former estates", the VERY FIRST TRIBE mentioned as occupying the northernmost part of Eretz Israel, IS THE TRIBE OF DAN.
God is faithful. Unfortunately, even those whom He chooses often aren't.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2011
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.
Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
He never had a TV show.
He didn't own great buildings.
Never had a car, let alone a private airplane.
He never amassed great wealth.
He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but Himself.
He was only thirty three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth.
When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed tomb.
Twenty one centuries have come and gone, and today He is THE CENTRAL FIGURE OF THE HUMAN RACE, and the Leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned put together,
have not affected the life of man on this earth, let alone FOR ALL ETERNITY, as much as THAT One Solitary Life.
Thank You Jesus, Happy Birthday!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2011
THE SIN OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" (Matthew 5:3).
While Jesus, Peter, John and Paul all taught against this sin, I've yet to hear ANY modern preacher talk about it.
In fact, most modern preachers ARE GUILTY, to one extent or another, of both ENCOURAGING and PRACTICING this sin.
Self-righteousness is AN ABOMINATION in the eyes of God.
Repeat: Self-righteousness is AN ABOMINATION.
Self-righteousness IS SIN.
And, with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, IT IS THE MOST EGREGIOUS AND DANGEROUS SIN A PERSON CAN COMMIT.
Self-righteous people LACK a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. ALL they have is dead RELIGION.
Self-righteous people believe that THEIR BEHAVIOR plays a role in their Salvation.
Self-righteous people THINK they are saved by their own "righteous" DEEDS,when all the while THEY ARE LOST.
Unfortunately, Christendom is rife with "Christians" who practice this prideful and horrible sin.
I KNOW BECAUSE I SEE THE EVIDENCE OF IT EVERY SINGLE DAY:
FEARFUL religionists trying to WIN God's favor through their DEEDS.
SELF-righteousness is A LIE.
There's NO SUCH THING.
God says that "there are NONE righteous, NOT EVEN ONE" (Psalm 53:1).
He said ALL our purported "righteousness" is "as filthy rags" in His eyes (Isaiah 64:6).
So, either God was lying or SELF RIGHTEOUS religionists ARE.
That means you can try to be "righteous" from the moment you open your eyes each morning, to the time you close them at night. It's not going to win you any points with God.
You can try to keep commandments till you turn into a shriveled old prune.
You can keep the weekly Sabbath till there are no more Sundays, Mondays or Wednesdays...
You can try to follow the torah until your legalistic mind goes numb...
You can follow dietary laws until you become anorexic...
You can get circumcised until you turn into John Bobbitt...
You can shun make up until Maybelline, Revlon and L’Oreal go out of business...
You WON'T merit Salvation. You're NOT saved and you're going to hell.
NONE OF THAT will save you.
NONE OF THAT will make you righteous.
There's ONLY ONE Righteousness IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, and it's God's Righteousness.
You and I have ZERO.
The sooner we come to THAT stark realization, the better.
So, if we have NO RIGHTEOUSNESS, despite all our attempts to be and ACT righteous, we might as well throw in the towel.
We might as well just GIVE IT UP.
We might as well SEEK GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, because THERE'S NO OTHER (Matthew 6:33).
His Righteousness is the ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT EXISTS.
How do you get God's OWN Righteousness?
By having the Righteous One Himself LIVING IN you.
He comes to LIVE IN you when you INVITE Him.
When you HAVE Him, brother, sister, YOU GOT IT MADE!
Get Jesus IN you, and you NEVER have to worry about sin.
Get Jesus IN YOU, and you're FOREVER Righteous!
God has NO LAW against Himself.
Get Jesus IN YOUR HEART, and you'll never know OR FEAR condemnation.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011
PHILADELPHIA VS LAODICEA
In the Revelation 1:12,13,20 Jesus is IN THE MIDDLE OF a 7-branch candlestick or menorah, which represents the "7 churches".
While Jews use a special 9-branch menorah during Hanukkah, the menorah, as designed by God, has 7 branches.
The center branch is higher than the other six and is used TO LIGHT the other branches.
It's called the "Light of the World".
In Revelation Jesus is presented (revealed) to us as the shamash, the Light of the World, the candle "in the middle" which is used TO LIGHT ALL THE OTHERS.
He's the Light that glorifies us and turns us into immortal Beings of LIGHT, like Himself (1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
He's also HIGHER than the others (praise Him forever).
So, the other lights (we) ASCEND TOWARD Him. See picture below.
The 7TH "church", Laodicea, is a church IN NAME ONLY.
They're NOT saved. They only have sterile religion.
They DO NOT KNOW Jesus, have never invited Him into their hearts, and are NOT born again.
Jesus, however, patiently stands at the door and knocks, wishing to be INVITED IN (Revelation 3:20).
Those who RECEIVE Him, are NO LONGER Laodiceans, they become Philadelphians.
They become part of the Royal Household of King David.
Since Jesus HAS "the KEY OF David", they get to go in through the open door and removed from the earth PRIOR TO the tribulation judgments.
Laodiceans aren't going ANYWHERE.
Laodiceans will remain on earth during the tribulation.
Since Laodiceans "never KNEW Him", they are VOMITED OUT OF HIS MOUTH, or OUT OF HIS BODY, since they never belonged there anyway (Revelation 3:16).
That leaves the six branches and Jesus is the 7th, the One IN THE MIDDLE, the One ABOVE ALL OTHERS, since He is THE HEAD of His Body, the One ALL OTHERS DEPEND ON and are irresistibly DRAWN TOWARD.
Amen and Amen.
Come on, Laodiceans! STOP being lukewarm. Give Jesus your WHOLE heart.
Come over to Philadelphia. Come into His Kingdom. The Door is still open.
When Jesus closes it, NO ONE else is getting in (Revelation 3:7, 8).
The Spirit and the Bride say "come", "come, Lord Jesus!"
His Grace be now and forever with us all. Amen.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011
THE KEY OF DAVID
"But they shall serve the LORD their God,and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (Jeremiah 30:9).
The Book of Revelation, penned by the apostle John, who was Jewish, is nonetheless clearly addressed to a predominantly GENTILE Church.
It's addressed to seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are ALL Greek (GENTILE) names.
They were actual congregations that existed in the first century A.D. in Turkey, not in Israel.
This Book draws a SHARP CONTRAST between the primarily GENTILE Church and NATURAL Israel.
For instance, He tells the Philadelphian Church in Revelation 3:9,10 :
"I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars-I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you".
In chapter 7:1-8, right after the rapture has taken place, we find 144,000 natural Israelites (12,000 of each of the tribes) sealed by God presumably to deliver the Gospel to the rest of their brethren HERE ON EARTH.
Concurrent with that, in Revelation 7:9-16 we find the raptured Church IN HEAVEN, before God's Throne in GLORIFIED BODIES.
Again, in Chapter 12, we find the glorified Church IN HEAVEN, as a woman "clothed with the sun", while NATURAL Israel is STILL ON EARTH and has to hide in the desert from Satan's and the Antichrist's persecution for 1,260 days or 3½ years.
But the most telling passage is Revelation 3:7-10:
"These things says he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HAS THE KEY OF David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have LOVED you.
Because you have kept the word of my patience, I ALSO WILL KEEP YOU FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION, WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH".
WHAT IS THE KEY OF DAVID?
And why is it that, when God opens the door with THAT KEY it's primarily GENTILES, not Jews, THAT GO IN?
Wasn't David a Jew?
Didn't he reign over Judah 7 years and 33 years over ALL Israel?
Why, the Church DIDN'T EVEN EXIST at the time David reigned!
It wouldn't even be born until 1,000 years later!
What, then, does the VERY JEWISH David HAVE TO DO WITH the Church?
Instead of appreciating its unique covenant relationship with God, natural Israel wanted to be LIKE the other nations (gentiles) and DEMANDED a king (1 Samuel 12:12).
God didn't like it. Samuel didn't like it. But God complied nonetheless.
He gave them THEIR HEARTS' DESIRE in Saul, the first king of Israel.
Saul disobeyed God, rebelled against God, consulted a medium in DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE TORAH, and ended up defeated and dead, his severed head carried around like a trophy by the wicked Philistines and his decapitated body displayed on Beth Shean's city wall (1 Samuel 31:1-13).
Then God gave them HIS HEART'S DESIRE in the person of David.
David had THE HEART OF God.
David was God's Anointed, the king "AFTER God's OWN heart" (Acts 13:22).
The HEART OF God, or God LIVING IN a person's heart, is what became known in the New Testament as the "born again" experience (John 3:3-5; 1 Peter 1:23).
By giving them a King after His VERY OWN heart God was basically telling the rebellious Israelites:
"So, you want to be LIKE THE GENTILES, do you? I'll tell you what:I'll give you a King after MY heart. And ONLY THOSE who acquire MY HEART (those who are born again) will be in MY King's Royal Family.
Because you have despised my covenant and DESIRED TO BE LIKE the Gentiles, Gentiles WILL COME INTO my Kingdom and into my King's KINGDOM AHEAD OF YOU".
Hence, it's mostly Gentiles that have had the born again Experience by receiving Jesus Christ into THEIR HEARTS, thus acquiring, like King David, God's OWN heart.
Jesus was/is the Son of David.
Those who receive Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, into their hearts become SPIRITUAL Israelites, part of King David's Royal lineage, heirs in the Kingdom of God, and kings and priests of the Most High (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10).
Meanwhile, the vast majority of NATURAL Jews languish in their unbelief and hardness of heart.
Oh, the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
The name "David" means "LOVE" or "beloved".
The born-again Church, David's Royal Family, the beloved of God, is represented by the Church of Philadelphia, the Church of "brotherly LOVE".
Hence, Jesus assures them that HE'S GOT THE KEY... of David.
That He has set before them an OPEN door that NO ONE can shut.
And, that He WILL DELIVER THEM (US) FROM THE HOUR OF TRIBULATION that is coming upon this sinful, rebellious, Christ-hating world.
Eventually ALL natural Israel that has survived the tribulation will be saved (Romans 11:26).
They, too, will come into God's Kingdom.
They will even have David as their King, during the Millennium (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24,25; Hosea 3:4,5).
But, as Jesus so eloquently put it in Matthew 20:16, "the last (gentiles) SHALL BE FIRST; and the first (Jews) SHALL BE LAST".
REJOICE, House of David.
The King of kings is about to take us Home.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011
The Feasts of the Lord are given in Leviticus chapter 23.
These Feasts are known individually as moed, and in the plural as moedim meaning "appointed times".
God HAS AN APPOINTMENT with natural Israel on those Feasts.
Repeat: God has an appointment with NATURAL Israel on those Feasts.
That's why Jews were COMMANDED to observe those Feasts.
That's why Jesus METICULOUSLY kept those appointments by:
1. Dying on Passover (as the Lamb, which God promised Abraham, to TAKE AWAY SIN, (Genesis 22:8; John 13:1, 28, 39; 19:14).
2. Being buried on the first day of Unleavened Bread (which begins in the evening after Passover; Mark 15:42-46).
3. Rising from the dead on First Fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20), and
4. Sending His Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
God has appointments with NATURAL Israelites on those dates. He, however, DOES NOT have appointments WITH THE CHURCH on those dates.
THAT is where a lot of prognosticators have MISSED IT.
But isn't the Church Israel?
The Church, SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING, has been made part of the Eternal Covenant with Abraham and David. The Church, therefore, is part of the SPIRITUAL Commonwealth of Israel.
The Church, however, is comprised MOSTLY of NATURAL gentiles.
But aren't there natural Israelites in the Church?
Yes, praise God. But they represent a VERY SMALL minority in the Body of Christ.
As stated above, Jesus kept the appointments of the spring Feasts with NATURAL Israelites in His First Coming.
Likewise, Jesus will keep the appointments of the fall Feasts with NATURAL Israelites in His Second Coming.
His Second Coming to save NATURAL Israel, judge the world, and set up His Kingdom on earth, is ONE THING.
The Rapture of the Church (SPIRITUAL Israel) is ANOTHER entirely different event.
These TWO distinct events are separated by a period of approximately 5 years.
How do we know? Because the Bible gives us the ORDER of these events:
1. The Church MUST BE raptured (Revelation 7:9).
2. Six trumpet judgments must take place which, AT THE
VERY LEAST, WILL TAKE 7 months, probably more (Revelation 8:2; 9:1-20).
3. Antichrist must reappear risen from the dead (Revelation 11:7; 13:1; 17:8).
4. Antichrist must reintroduce himself to the world, gain popular support, form a political coalition, put together an army, occupy Libya and Iraq, fight battles against Egypt, Turkey/Syria, Iran and, finally, Israel (Revelation 13:1-4; Daniel 8; Daniel 11-40-44).
5. Then and only then - when Israel's power is finally shattered - he must reign for 3½ years (Daniel 12:7).
6. At the END OF those 3½ years, Jesus MUST return (49 years after the SECOND word to "return and build Jerusalem", Daniel 9:25).
How do we know that Jesus will KEEP THE FALL APPOINTMENTS with NATURAL Israel, JUST AS HE KEPT THE SPRING APPOINTMENTS?
Because His written Word says He will. The Book of Daniel tells us, repeatedly, that such things will happen at APPOINTED TIMES (moedim):
"And he said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter end of the wrath: for AT THE TIME APPOINTED (lemoed) THE END SHALL BE (Daniel 8:19).
"And both these kings' hearts shall be to do evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper: for THE END SHALL YET BE AT THE TIME APPOINTED" (lamoed, Daniel 9:27).
"AT THE TIME APPOINTED (lamoed) he (in context, Antichrist) shall return, and come into the south; but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former" (Daniel 11:29).
Last, but not least, there's Psalm 75:2 (God speaking):
"I CHOOSE THE APPOINTED TIME (moed); it is I WHO JUDGES uprightly".
Just like He kept those appointments with Israel in His First Coming, Jesus will keep the appointments with Israel in His Second Coming.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2011
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord [1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17].
Tonight is the Feast of Hanukkah in the Hebrew calendar, which lasts 8 days. Hanukkah means "Dedication".
It was during Hanukkah, in the 10th chapter of John's Gospel, that Jesus talked about the catching away of His Church [John 10:22]:
[I've edited out certain portions of the chapter for the sake of space and continuity].
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice...
7 Then said Jesus to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep...
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture...
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father...
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication [Hanukkah], and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch...
as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one".
The reasons we know He's referring to the Rapture are:
1)"THE OPEN DOOR" (that no man can shut) is mentioned repeatedly [Revelation 3:8; 4:1].
2) The sheep "HEAR HIS VOICE" - is stated over and over. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT [voice], with the voice of the Archangel and the Trump of God"...
3) OTHER SHEEP: [verse 16] "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd".
This could only be "the Church", since it didn't exist yet when Jesus spoke that parable.
4) ONE FOLD - "There shall be ONE FOLD" can only refer to when we are ALL gathered together unto Him [2 Thessalonians 2:1-3].
When ALL the dead IN CHRIST rise first, then we are caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM to meet the Lord.
Lord knows, we're NOT "one fold" yet, even as we speak.
5) Verse 28 "they shall NEVER perish" can only refer to those who NEVER DIE because they're changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal[1 Corinthians 15:50-55].
6) Verses 28 and 29 where He says TWICE that "no man can PLUCK THEM out of my hand".
The Greek word for "PLUCK THEM" IS HARPAZO. Harpazo means "to snatch, or seize suddenly".
Interestingly, HARPAZO is the exact same word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (the anchor verse quoted above) "then WE WHO ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP [harpazo] in the clouds to meet the Lord"...
So, He's saying that once He "harpazoes" us, no one else can "harpazo" us.
Curiously, the first person to EVER be "raptured", in all of history, was Enoch [Genesis 5:24].
Enoch, is Hanokh in Hebrew.
It means "DEDICATED" AND COMES from the same Hebrew root as "Hanukkah", the feast of DEDICATION.
The feast of Hanukkah celebrates the CLEANSING AND DEDICATION of the TEMPLE which had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes. That's EXACTLY what happens to the human temple at the Rapture.
The temple is cleansed, the mind renewed and DEDICATED ENTIRELY to God, as it was before they [Adam] sinned.
It's that renewed mind, filled with God's Manifest Presence [Shekinah] that will cause our transformation from mortal to immortal.
Hanukkah ALSO commemorates the re-lighting of the menorah, the 7-branch CANDLESTICK in the temple.
And WHAT WAS THE VERY FIRST SYMBOL THAT JESUS SHOWED John WHEN he WROTE REVELATION?
The 7-branch menorah. And He said it symbolized THE CHURCH:
"And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the middle of the seven candlesticks [menorah] one like to the Son of man"... [Revelation 1:12,13].
"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [menorah] which you saw are the seven churches" [Revelation 1:20].
Seven, of course, being the number of completion.
As for the oil lasting 8 days, what did Jesus say in the parable of the 10 virgins? [Matthew 25:1-12] That ONLY THOSE WHO HAD OIL IN THEIR LAMPS got to go into the marriage feast.
So, the parallels between this Feast and the catching away of the Church are truly amazing.
Do you HAVE OIL? Have you received the ANOINTED ONE, the Giver of Oil, into your heart?
If you haven't, DON'T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2011
STAR OF DAVID
... "and the Lord God shall give unto Him the Throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end" [Luke 1:32,33].
Is there a more beautiful or PERFECT symbol than The Star of David? The Magen David, a six-point star, or hexagram, is probably the most mysterious symbol in history. Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian symbols have been deciphered, but today no one seems to know what this Star represents.
No one in Israel seems to understand its meaning, EVEN THOUGH IT'S THEIR NATIONAL SYMBOL, EMBLAZONED ON THEIR FLAG.
Yet ancient Israelites [even up to the second century A.D.] understood that there would be A SPECIAL STAR that would SIGNAL the birth of their future and ETERNAL King.
Carnal and religious minds can't make any sense of it but, fortunately, the Holy Spirit reveals all Truth, and shows us things to come.
The Scriptures also tell us what it means:
"... there shall COME A STAR out of Jacob, and a Scepter [as in a King's Scepter] shall rise out of Israel...Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion"... [Numbers 24:17,19].
That Star represents the KINGDOM of God on earth, which would begin in Israel [Jacob] and eventually take over the entire world [Daniel 2:44].
In recognition of this, King David adopted the "Star of Jacob" as his own personal symbol, which he passed down to posterity, since the Messiah would be his descendant.
Hence, The Star of Jacob became the Star of David.
David's Star is the Star the Wise Men saw in the East, signaling the Birth of the King of the Jews.
They knew this was the SPECIAL prophesied Star that would "rise out of Israel", signaling God's King had come to earth. They recognized it as "HIS STAR" (Matthew 2:2) BECAUSE OF IT'S UNIQUE SHAPE, having 6 points .
They knew EXACTLY what, and Who, the Star symbolized. Hence, they headed West to Israel to find and worship "the King of the Jews".
It's sort of ironic that even Persian sages KNEW BEYOND ANY DOUBT what it meant, but religious Jews and Christians alike, are oblivious to its wonderful meaning.
The sages [Magoi] didn't even ask IF He'd been born. THEY KNEW. They simply asked "WHERE IS HE"?[Matthew 2:2].
What better sign to lead the Wise Men to King David's birthplace of Bethlehem, and to designate Jesus not only as the prophesied Son of David, ALSO BORN IN BETHLEHEM, but as the True and rightful Heir to David's Throne?
The Star of David is made up of two inverted triangles, one pointing upward and one pointing downward.
The triangle is the symbol of the Godhead [or "Trinity"].
Each TRI-angle is a TRINITY. God is a Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and so is man: spirit, soul and body [1 Thessalonians 5:23].
The downward-pointing triangle represents God's incarnation, when He came down to us in human form as Baby Jesus [Immanuel, God with Us] IN ORDER TO SAVE US. The One pointing upward signifies that Jesus the God/Man would bring man BACK UP TO God, where man originally was before he sinned and fell.
Six is the number of man [Genesis 1:26-31, Revelation 3:18].
The six-point Star is, therefore, THE SYMBOL of God BECOMING A MAN and bringing His Kingdom INTO US, thereby ELEVATING US BACK INTO HIMSELF.
The Kingdom of God on earth began with King David, the man "after God's own heart" [1 Kings 2:33; Psalms 89:34-37].
But it wasn't ANNOUNCED until the first century A.D., when John the Baptist and, a bit later, Jesus began preaching it.
Since those days, MILLIONS HAVE COME INTO the Kingdom of God..., and vice versa: God's Kingdom has come into them, in the Presence of King Jesus [Luke 16:16].
2 Peter 1:19 tells us that His Star will arise IN THE HEARTS of all who have received the King, and into whom His Kingdom HAS COME.
It's no wonder, then, that Jesus personally identifies Himself with David's Star [Revelation 22:16].
The star of Jacob, which became the Star of David, symbolizes Messiah Jesus, the King of Kings.
The real stars aren't those in the sky, they're not on earth and, heaven knows, they're NOT in Hollywood...
The REAL STAR isn't even the beautiful 6-pointed star that led the wise men to the King of Israel.
The star in the sky was only A SIGN.
The REAL STAR lay in the manger.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2011
WRONG DATE ?
December 25 is NOT the date Jesus was born.
It is, however, the date when the Wise Men (gentiles) FOUND JESUS... in a house in Bethlehem.
Jesus was born on Tishri 15, during the Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles (John 1:14).
The Wise Men found Him some 68-75 days later, on Kislev 25 which, in the gentile calendar, was December 25.
It's on that date, during the Jewish Feast of Hanukkah, known as the Festival of Lights, when they found the King of Israel, the Light of the World, and WORSHIPED Him.
By then, Jesus and His parents had moved from the sukka (hut or "stable") to a nearby home in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11).
So, why do we celebrate His birth in December, instead of October?
There are no "accidents" with God.
You can argue that convenience and tradition played a role, but ultimately, God knew this would happen, and HE ALLOWED IT.
Because as beautiful, wondrous, glorious and NECESSARY as His Birth was, His Birth is NOT enough to save you.
It's ONLY His atoning Death on the Cross, the Blood He poured out for your sins and mine, and His glorious Resurrection that save us.
Most people don't have any problems with Jesus the baby.
Who doesn't like an adorable, tiny, new born infant, wrapped in swaddling cloths, being tended by loving parents, on a beautiful starlit night, with a chorus of angels singing His praises?
But it's altogether different when they deal with Jesus the Man.
It's not so heartwarming or appealing to consider that baby, becoming a man, preaching the Kingdom of God, then carrying THE SIN OF THE WORLD, covered in spittle, Blood, beaten, lashed, crucified, mocked, lanced, agonizing on a cruel cross, and finally, DEAD.
Salvation's NOT complete with Jesus the baby being born in a manger. It's ONLY complete when Jesus THE MAN, who died and resurrected, is BORN in OUR HEARTS.
God allowed us to celebrate not the day He was born, but the day when He FOUND WORSHIP, when He FOUND A HOME, both in Bethlehem and in the Wise Men's hearts.
Jesus the baby didn't have any problems finding A HOME.
But has Jesus the Man found a home IN YOUR HEART?
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2011
I want to start today's message with an apology. I apologize for the subject. I hate to even have to address such topic, particularly at this time of the year. And I know that what I'm about to say DOES NOT apply to the VAST MAJORITY of you (thank God, or they'd have to put me in the looney bin).
Having said that:
Do religions morons get together and decide to strike ALL AT ONCE?
From my vantage point, it sure seems that way.
I'm pretty patient with silly questions, and I get tons of those, but when idiotic ARGUMENTATIVE emails come in -- and they seem to do so IN CLUSTERS -- I have to admit that, at some point, my patience runs out.
To Jesus be ALL the glory, besides this daily message, there's A LOT of DEEP, SUBSTANTIVE, BIBLICAL teaching on our website.
It's one thing when someone has a LEGITIMATE question or statement, or disagreement, about these issues and can back it up with the Bible.
But when someone comes across our site for the first time, and WITHIN SECONDS is firing off some stupid email "correcting" something that offended their religious sensitivity...
When they FALSELY accuse us of teaching false doctrine, without even BOTHERING to check our Statement of Faith... (I dare anyone to find ANY declaration of faith more biblical than THAT): www.christconnection.net/id6.html
When ALL they focus on is whether Jesus had short hair instead of long hair, and whether the picture we show is an accurate depiction of Him.
And, three weeks later, after I've PATIENTLY given TOTALLY BIBLICAL ANSWERS, are STILL hung up on Jesus' hair.
When they got NOTHING BETTER to do than criticize our "little prayer" that we offer merely AS A GUIDE for those who realize their need for the Savior and wish to invite Him into their hearts.
It's called "10 Seconds"... what do they expect, A 30-MINUTE SERMON?
Paul got saved with a THREE-second prayer "Lord, what do you want me to do"? (Acts 22:10).
When ALL they are capable of is criticizing the color scheme on our website (I guess they dislike the American flag, since it's also red, white and blue)...
Or the type of FONT we use...
Or they take PERSONAL offense at my entirely justified criticism of the prophecy establishment and the unscriptural garbage THEY dish out.
(I guess they're too stupid to realize that,unless THEY THEMSELVES ARE on Christian TV, or SELLING BOOKS about prophecy on the internet, it DOESN'T APPLY TO THEM).
When they FALSELY accuse me of "attacking" or "disrespecting" INDIVIDUALS...
(I harshly criticize the prophecy establishment IN GENERAL, but I DO NOT attack INDIVIDUAL prophecy authors or teachers).
When they are SO STUPID, SUCH HYPOCRITES, or both, THAT THEY READ THE HUGE WARNING ON OUR HOME PAGE that says we use "strong, plain, blunt language"yet they CHOOSE TO keep reading anyway, then act "shocked"... like they "had no idea"...
I'm sorry, but I've HAD IT.
I'm just NOT going to WASTE my precious time, energy and knowledge arguing with FOOLS, ABOUT FOOLISH, INCONSEQUENTIAL THINGS.
Anyone who's more interested about the website's style or appearance, than IN THE CONTENT, is in THE WRONG PLACE to begin with.
Please MOVE ON to ANOTHER website whose style and appearance you find pleasing.
Anyone who's more concerned about our "little prayer", or whether it should be there at all, than WITH HOW MANY SOULS are coming to Christ, is wasting their time, AND OURS.
I find it amusing how the UNSAVED DO NOT -- EVER -- take offense at ANY of the above, only religious retards do.
We keep very accurate records of those who find Christ, and are not going to change something THAT WORKS, TO SUIT THEIR IDIOTIC opinion.
Anyone whose main concern is the length of Jesus' hair, or whether He had "Scandinavian features", should examine his/her heart and GET SAVED.
They should learn that great biblical Truth that "man looks at the OUTER APPEARANCE, but God looks AT THE HEART [1 Samuel 16:7].
Precious as our Lord's countenance is, His hair doesn't save anyone, His BLOOD DOES [1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 7:14].
It's His Spirit --not His hair-- that must enter OUR HEARTS and renew their minds [Romans 8:9].
So, let 'em go to some STUPID website where Jesus is portrayed with "politically correct" hair and features THAT NO ONE will recognize.
I got IMPORTANT THINGS to do, like preaching the Gospel, bringing souls to Jesus, and answering His call on my life.
Write about such idiotic things and, I PROMISE, you WON'T LIKE the answer.
And ANYONE who wants INFORMATION from this ministry, better ask in a POLITE manner.
If you start off by calling me "arrogant, rude, harsh, mean, angry or insulting" and then have the gall to ask for information, YOU'RE EITHER A COMPLETE MORON, or you're dreaming.
I'm not about to waste my precious time or lavish my hard earned knowledge on some UNGRATEFUL, OBNOXIOUS NITWIT.
So whether it's an orchestrated assault on the part of religions morons, or whether Satan just uses their stupidity in concert...
If there are ANY MORE nincompoops out there lurking in the shadows, do everyone a favor:
Take your RIDICULOUS objections elsewhere.
Reminds me of an old saying : "Don't pee on water. YOU may have to DRINK".
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2011
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Just like there are those who hate Christmas and would do away with anything associated with this holiday, including the worship of Jesus, there are those who hate the Christmas tree, Christmas ornaments and wreaths.
They CLAIM the origins of the tree and wreaths are pagan and attribute it to the Druids.
Druids were a priestly class that existed in Britain, Ireland, Gaul and other parts of Western Europe from around 500 to 200 B.C. and practiced human sacrifice.
We're living some 2,200 PLUS years AFTER they ceased to exist. If you, however, consider yourself Druid, and want to worship Saturn, and dedicate tree branches to him, that's your problem. You need to repent and give your heart to Jesus.
Sadly, there are Christians who have been brainwashed by ignorant naysayers, looking for some "biblical" excuse to shun the Christmas tree, and try their best to make the rest of us feel guilty for having one.
As recently as two days ago, I had A FOLLOWER OF THIS MINISTRY quote Jeremiah 10:2-6, TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT, as "justification" for not having a Christmas tree.
Problem is, when Jeremiah wrote his Book there were no Christmas trees and NO CHRISTIANS, since Jesus had not even been born.
No one even KNEW what Christmas was, since Jesus was born some 600 years AFTER Jeremiah wrote his prophecy.
So, clearly, Jeremiah wasn't referring to Christmas trees, but to IDOLS MADE OF WOOD CUT FROM TREES. In fact, Habakkuk 2:19 and Revelation 9:20 say THE VERY SAME THING in reference to IDOLS made of wood.
Is the Christmas tree pagan? Absolutely NOT.
Jesus was Jewish.
JESUS' REAL BIRTHDAY is Tishri 15, which is the Hebrew Feast of Sukkot, a/k/a Tabernacles (John 1:5).
God COMMANDED... repeat: GOD COMMANDED the children of Israel TO CUT TREE BRANCHES from palm, myrtle, willow or citron trees (commonly known in Israel as lulav & etrog) and dwell in temporary huts made out of those tree branches (Leviticus 23:40).
They've been doing it, IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S COMMANDMENT, since at least 1,200 B.C., LONG BEFORE Jesus was even born, and LONG BEFORE there were any Druids.
And, following God's EXPLICIT ORDERS, they continue doing it to this very day.
If you've ever seen a Sukka (hut) and Jewish decorations used during Sukkot, you will notice they are strikingly similar to what Christians call Nativity Scenes: Tree branches are reminiscent of our Christmas trees. They are used for decorative purposes and often shaped into decorative wreaths. Jews also use RED POMEGRANATES as decorations which our tree ornaments -- which originally were ALL red and round in the shape and color of pomegranates-- are mere copies of. See Sukkot symbols below.
So the idea that the tree's origins are pagan is BOGUS. It's a bunch of malarkey invented by religionists, intent on making everyone miserable, including themselves.
Unlike ignorant Christians, Jews know their torah. Try going to Jerusalem and telling Jews that decorating huts with tree branches during Sukkot is "a pagan custom".
After they're through laughing at your ignorance, chances are they'll run you out of town, claiming YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S PAGAN.
As the Christian faith grew and spread AMONG GENTILES, the Jewish symbols of Sukkot were gradually ADAPTED by gentile communities to the celebration of our Lord's Nativity and became the Manger or Nativity Scene, the Christmas tree, and Christmas wreaths.
For Christians, since at least the 6th century A.D., the Sukkot tree branches became Christmas trees symbolizing the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.
Originally, all the ornaments were round and red, resembling pomegranates, which is one of the biblical symbols of our redemption [1 Kings 7:18-20,42; Song of Solomon 4:13; 6:11;7:12].
The ornaments symbolize the forbidden fruit [pomegranate] which our forefathers ate and which, in turn, brought sin into the world.
The eating of the pomegranate (forbidden fruit) was THE REASON that Man and the Creation fell, and that caused God to send His Son into this world, AS A BABY, to REDEEM US.
It also represents the tree on which Jesus, as a grown man, would be crucified (hung), to atone for our sins [Galatians 3:13].
Last but not least, it signifies that by dying on that tree and rising from the dead, Jesus became the Tree of Life to all who receive Him [Genesis 3:22; Revelation 2:7; 22:2].
So, this business about the Christmas tree being "pagan" is a bunch of baloney!
Like everything else that religion and religionists INVENT, it's FEAR-BASED.
Fear doesn't come from God (1 John 4:18).
Fear comes from Satan (2 Timothy 1:7).
Nobody forces anyone to put up Christmas trees. Nobody forces anyone to celebrate Christmas. If you want to skip this HOLY (set apart) Day to honor Jesus, be my guest.
But don't heap your unbelief, fear and condemnation on others who, WITH A CLEAN CONSCIENCE and grateful heart, washed in the Blood of Jesus, CHOOSE TO honor Him and rejoice in His wondrous Birth.
If you're a believer in Christ, don't let anyone steal your joy, ruin your Christmas, OR PREVENT YOU from CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR.
Jesus didn't come to condemn, but TO SAVE (John 3:17).
And THAT is worth CELEBRATING.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
HOW SHALL THIS BE ?
"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How shall this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...For NOTHING is impossible with God" (Luke 1:30-37).
Has God promised what your finite, human mind can't fathom?
Has God called you to do something which, in the natural, seems impossible?
That, try as you might, you can't "envision" it happening?
For one thing, "join the club".
For another thing, this is God's standard M.O. He does this throughout the Bible.
I'm sure childless Abraham had that feeling when God told him, at 100 years old, that he'd be the father of "a great multitude".
Noah had it when God told him to build the ark. Joseph must have felt that way when he was falsely accused and thrown into a dungeon.
I know Moses felt totally inadequate to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage. The first words he blurted out, when God revealed his mission, were "who am I?"
Betcha Daniel felt that way when, as a youth, he was suddenly separated from his country, his family, his friends, taken into slavery, made a eunuch and, later on, as if all of that wasn't enough... thrown into a lion's den.
Job felt totally dejected when Satan destroyed his children, and everything he owned, and gave him a wicked rash.
On top of which, his own wife wanted him dead, and his self-righteous religious buddies, blamed him for everything.
And Mary couldn't understand HOW she'd conceive and give birth to the Messiah when she was a virgin.
But NONE OF THE ABOVE could stop God's purpose from being fulfilled in their lives.
Despite all the roadblocks Satan placed in their path, God's Will and Divine Purpose ended up manifesting, just like He had said.
All these guys and gal had to do was make themselves available, and allow God to do "His Thing" in their lives, in His Good Time.
When the right "time" came, Satan and everyone else who'd written THEM off, found out much to their chagrin,that they were UNSTOPPABLE.
Why? Because "with God NOTHING shall be impossible" [Luke 1:37].
What God says WILL happen [whether He says it in his written word, the Bible, or in His Personal, direct Word to you...] IT'S SO SURE, YOU CAN TAKE IT TO THE BANK. IT WILL HAPPEN! No "ifs" "ands" or "buts"!
So, what to do if you find yourself in such quandary?
As David said in Psalms 37:4,5 [read the entire psalm, it's truly wonderful] "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. COMMIT YOUR WAY unto the Lord; TRUST also in Him; and HE SHALL BRING IT TO PASS".
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011
IF I WERE SANTA
It's Christmas time, so we're entitled to a bit of good natured fun.
I know who's naughty and who's nice, I've made my list and checked it twice.
If I were Santa, what would I give certain people and characters this Christmas?
TBN - REAL, Bible-based, Spirit-inspired teaching, instead of "GIMME, GIMME, GIMME", religious fluff and greed.
Paul Crouch - a book about "less is more".
Jan Crouch - An adjective other than "incredible".
A badly needed makeover.
A GREEN wig. She's worn all other colors.
Pat Robertson - a year-end prediction that comes true (for a change). Plus GOOD HEALTH: God forbid he should get Alzheimer's and, by his own advice, Dede would DIVORCE him.
Jim Bakker - another PTL (stands for Pass The Loot).
A sequel to his book I Was Wrong, entitled "I WAS wrong, BUT I'M STILL DOING IT".
Steve Munsey - Rick Perry's hair.
Joel Osteen - Michelle Bachman's "titanium spine".
Don Stewart - in keeping with the season, a RED prayer cloth; I'm tired of that GREEN "prosperity" handkerchief he SELLS.
John Hagee - whole body liposuction.
Benny Hinn - a REAL, VERIFIABLE miracle (ouch!)
A small part in an Austin Powers movie. If 007 had Miss Moneypenny, Austin Powers should have Mr. Moneybenny. How "shagadelic" is that?
Bob Tilton - a VOW... of SILENCE.
Glenn Beck - a radio show... in Utah.
Mitt Romney - a one-way ticket to Salt Lake; after all, birds of a feather should flock together. Or maybe "flock" isn't the right word...
Mike Murdock - a lifetime supply of Truth serum.
Morris and David Cerullo - some credibility and accountability. Right now all they have is "crook-ability".
Tim Tebow - winning the Super Bowl.
Anyone who's that bold in proclaiming his faith in Christ and, FOR THAT REASON ALONE, takes the beating he's taken from the stupid, biased press deserves it.
See? There ARE some nice people on the list.
Creflo Dollar - anything but HIS LAST NAME.
T.D. Jakes - a horse and buggy. Paula White already gave him a Bentley.
Joyce Meyer - a pearl-encrusted bathroom mirror to match her $23,000 marble toilet.
Eddie Long - a SHORT walk out the door.
Peter Popoff - a bottle of clean, clear spring water. Anything's better than that snake oil from the tap he pushes.
Jimmy Swaggart - A SIX PACK. It's time Jimmy found out "what beer tastes like". Lord knows he's tried everything else.
Desmond Tutu - A pair of ballerina slippers to match his last name.
Garfield - a year's supply of lasagna.
Rudolph - the milk and cookies they left near the chimney. Just leave me the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
America - a NEWT President.
Americans - Salvation, jobs, and a better economy, in THAT order.
Gaddafi (if he were still alive) - a slow, camel ride to Algeria. Or Condi Rice... Nah, it would have to be the camel, I couldn't do that to Condi...
Ahmadinejad - I just hope his Christmas is A REAL BLAST.
Assad - a one-way ticket TO HELL.
Mubarak - a GILDED cage. After all, he used to be THEIR PRESIDENT.
Arabs - no more "spring", how about a HUGE FALL?
Palestinians - a homeland... in neighboring Jordan.
Israel - their Messiah.
The World - JESUS.
And, finally, what would I give the Body of Christ?
WHAT ELSE, but the glorified Manifestation of our Lord and Savior?
I'd give you all His Rapture.
As far as the Church is concerned, TOO BAD I'm NOT Santa.
As far as dictators and religious personalities are concerned, good thing I'm NOT.
Ho, ho, ho…
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011
I'm so tired of people grumbling about how wrong it is to celebrate Christmas. And I don't mean atheists or the ACLU griping about public displays, I'm talking about grumpy religious idiots who have nothing better to do than "find fault" and try to ruin the holiday for everyone.
Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say, that includes certain Evangelicals, and even certain members of my own family.
They argue that Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th. Well, duh?
That it USED TO BE a pagan holiday.
That wreaths are evil, ornaments are evil, Christmas trees are evil, Santa Claus is evil, and Nativity scenes are inaccurate.
Next thing you know, EGGNOG is sinful because it contains a little alcohol.
What's next, GINGERBREAD HOUSES?
You know what? I DON'T CARE.
They can't produce A SINGLE VERSE OF SCRIPTURE to back up their ridiculous objection.
And, frankly, I DON'T GIVE A DAMN about the carnal OPINION of religious idiots.
How's THAT for a little Christmas attitude?
EVERYONE in the civilized world knows that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th, SO WHAT?
That's THE DAY we SET APART (sanctify) TO CELEBRATE HIS FIRST COMING into this corrupt, sin laden world.
The actual date is far less important than the fact He SO LOVED you and me that He took on human form in order to save us (John 3:16).
Unless, of course, you'd rather than Jesus had never been born. In which case, EVERYONE, including little old sanctimonious you, is going STRAIGHT to hell.
As far as December 25 being a FORMER pagan holiday, WHO CARES?
I know of NO CHRISTIAN who's ever worshipped Helios, Apollo, or Sol Invictus (same pagan god, known by three different names). Most people don't even KNOW such false deity was EVER worshipped.
And, what are you saying anyway? That we can ONLY worship Jesus ON DAYS WHEN PAGANS HAVE NEVER CELEBRATED ANYTHING?
By that STUPID rationale, there would be NO DAYS LEFT in which to worship Jesus.
I'm sure if we dig deep enough EVERY DAY ON THE CALENDAR has, at some point, been desecrated by some form of pagan worship in some ancient civilization.
Which, in turn, means that we would NEVER worship Jesus...
By the way, I better NOT catch any of you self-righteous nitwits singing "THIS IS THE DAY that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it", because YOU'RE CONTRADICTING YOURSELVES.
That verse, Psalm 118:24, applies to ANY day of the year, to WHATEVER day it happens to be.
The whole POINT of that verse is that it's NEVER WRONG to worship the One true God, Jesus Christ.
He SHOULD be worshipped EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR.
As far as Christmas trees, ornaments and wreaths, we will discuss them separately, in another message.
EVERYONE who loves Jesus should rejoice and be glad that there's at least ONE day a year in which THE WORLD stops to celebrate His Birthday.
Celebrating our Lord's birth is TOTALLY scriptural. I encourage everyone to read the beautiful, timeless story in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel, and the second chapter of Luke's Gospel.
Mary and Joseph celebrated it. Elizabeth celebrated it. John the Baptist, even while in his mother's womb, celebrated it. In the temple, Simeon and Anna celebrated it. The wise men celebrated it. The shepherds celebrated it, and even the angels rejoiced and glorified God over it!
THE ONLY ONE who DIDN'T celebrate Christmas was wicked Herod. THAT says a lot about you Christmas haters, right there.
Let me leave you with this happy thought: EVERY DAY you DENY to Jesus is a day which, by default, YOU'RE GIVING TO SATAN.
Christmas haters are nothing but a bunch of fruitcakes.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2011
Saturday night's GOP debate in Iowa was, in my opinion, the best one thus far.
It was also very revealing, exposing some career politicians for the flip-flopping, lying hypocrites they really are (hello, Mitt Romney).
For starters, when many Americans are hurting financially, and thousands unemployed, Romney tried to place a bet with Rick Perry.
Not for dinner or for $100.00, mind you, but for $10,000!!!
And I thought devout Mormons didn't bet...
Secondly, he tried to accuse former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of being a "career politician", thus hypocritically casting himself as someone from "the private sector", a Washington outsider, and Newt shot back "Let's be candid: the ONLY REASON you didn't become a career politician is because you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994".
That was good...
But my favorite part was when moderators brought up Gingrich's recent comments to the Jewish Channel about Palestinians being "an invented people".
In the aforementioned interview, the former Speaker -- who also happens to be a former history professor- and is thus well acquainted with the Middle East's thorny history, had said:
"Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community.
They had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it's tragic".
The former Speaker didn't backtrack, nor try to "explain away" his comments, as politicians often do, but rather STOOD HIS GROUND and went even farther than before, saying:
"Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes.
Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth.
These people ARE TERRORISTS. They TEACH TERRORISM IN THEIR SCHOOLS. They have textbooks that say if there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?
We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It's time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say say 'enough lying about the Middle East'."
His comments drew applause from the audience. Even I stopped answering emails with one hand, and eating a sandwich with the other (talk about multitasking!) to applaud.
I follow politics pretty closely and I had NEVER heard ANY politician, from either party, SPEAK SO CLEARLY AND ACCURATELY about what's really been going on in the Middle East since Israel, as a nation, was born-again in 1948.
Israel is constantly pressured into giving away portions of its tiny land "for peace". What NOBODY says, until Newt had the boldness to do so, is that THERE'S NO PEACE.
ALL Israel has gotten IN EXCHANGE FOR forcibly removing Israelites from Gaza and the border with Lebanon is even MORE HATRED from its Arab neighbors, and rockets launched from both sides on a DAILY basis.
Sometimes the rockets land on some empty field. Sometimes they destroy property. Sometimes they destroy lives, and sometimes BOTH.
Even Romney was forced to admit that Gringrich's comments were historically accurate, while claiming, in contrast, that he would act with "sobriety".
Gingrich added: "I think sometimes it's helpful to have a president of the United States who has the courage to tell the truth. ... I will tell the truth even at the risk of causing some confusion sometimes with the timid."
There you have it: Romney, THE TIMID.
Washington is so stupid, so naive, and so politically self-serving that it has brainwashed itself into believing these people really want peace.
What they fail to realize is that YOU CANNOT NEGOTIATE GOOD WILL. It's either there, or it isn't.
You could give so-called "Palestinians" ALL of Israel's territory and THEY WOULD STILL HATE JEWS AND DO THEIR UTMOST TO HARM OR DESTROY THEM.
Based on Daniel 9:25 I do not believe the 2012 presidential election will ever take place.
But if it were held today, Newt would have my vote.
So, he's not perfect, NONE OF US ARE. But I've always liked and respected people who are direct and tell it like it is.
What I can't stand is phonies who PRETEND to be perfect based on outward appearance. Who beat around the bush, have no convictions, and will say ANYTHING, just to gain their end.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2011
What would Christmas be without Christ? NOTHING.
This Holy Day is ALL about the birth of the Savior and Messiah.
Yet the world thinks it can celebrate Christmas WITHOUT the VERY REASON for its celebration.
They already managed to "X" out the name of Christ, by writing "Xmas".
Even then, God gets the last laugh, since the "X" is in the shape of A CROSS.
Political correctness has done its best to substitute the traditional greeting "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays"... whatever THAT means.
Personally, I don't shop at places that find it "offensive" to say "Merry Christmas".
I'm offended WHEN THEY DON'T say it.
If the ACLU had its way there would be NO MENTION of Jesus' birth anywhere, and NO PUBLIC DISPLAYS of anything associated with Christmas or the birth of God Incarnate.
If Hollywood had its way, Jesus would be replaced by fictional characters such as Santa Claus, Frosty, Rudolph, Scrooge and the Grinch.
And if some politicians in Washington had their way... (you're smart enough, fill in the blank).
I got news for those who find the mention of the Name "Jesus" or "Christ" offensive.
I got news for the spineless slaves to political correctness that won't even say "Christmas" (what are they so afraid of, anyway? I'm not afraid to say "Ramadan" or "Rosh Hashanah").
I got news for ALL those who HATE CHRIST and, consequently, HATE Christmas:
YOU'RE GOING TO GET YOUR WISH.
One of these days you're going to get your heart's desire: A Christmas WITHOUT Christ.
It will also be a CHILDLESS Christmas, since you rejected even the Christ Child.
Jesus will have raptured His children, young and old, leaving all Christ haters behind.
The day will come, sooner than they think, when they'll MISS the Christmas trees, the decorations, the carols. They'll WISH they COULD say "Merry Christmas", but won't be able to.
Who knows? It may even happen THIS year.
I rarely recommend anything on YouTube, but this Christmas video seems appropriate. It was sent in by a sister named Rosemarie. Only takes three and a half minutes to watch. I cry every time I watch it : http://www.youtube.com/user/beckykelleySTL?feature=g-all
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011
VISIONS OF HELL
Another form of religious scam polluting the internet are certain websites that feature ALLEGED dreams and visions that kristians had about heaven or hell.
ALL OF THEM, without exception, teach legalism: salvation through WORKS, salvation through one's OWN "MERITS", salvation through "obedience".
Apparently, they've never read Isaiah 64:6, 2 Corinthians 5:21 or Ephesians 2:8,9 just to mention a few pertinent Scriptures.
Well, don't you believe in obedience? Totally.
What I DON'T BELIEVE is that "obedience" is A CONDITION for Salvation.
Everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God.
All it took for Adam and Eve to lose Paradise (Jesus) was ONE act of disobedience. So this business about someone having a better place in heaven or based on "merit", or about going to hell because they weren't "good enough" is TOTAL, SATANIC GARBAGE.
Don't come to me with this heathen ABOMINATION that "obedience" is a condition to enter heaven. It is NOT.
The ONLY REASON we obey God is because we LOVE HIM. Not because Salvation hinges on it.
ALL these sites, without exception, PROMOTE FEAR.
Fear is NOT of God. In fact, God and fear are complete opposites (1 John 4:18).
FEAR, even when the Name of Jesus is mentioned, ALWAYS comes from Satan (2 Timothy 1:7).
ALL OF THEM, without exception, CONTRADICT THE BIBLE.
Anyone who CONTRADICTS the Bible, CONTRADICTS God Himself, since the Bible is His written Word.
So, my advice to anyone who's read about someone going to hell and seeing the "horrors" there, or seeing some celebrity there... is FORGET IT. STOP READING THAT TRASH.
Hell IS a place of torment, but the ONLY reason they're in torment is not because of their works, good or bad, BUT BECAUSE THEY NEVER KNEW JESUS.
Likewise, those who read some piece of religious crap that says that there are places in heaven with mansions (supposedly for the super-spiritual) and other places where people are "shamefully saved" (what the hell does that even mean?) ARE RELIGIONISTS, who DO NOT KNOW JESUS OR TEACH HIS WORD.
NO ONE in heaven is "ashamed" of anything, since ALL our sins have been BLOTTED OUT (ERASED) BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS.
If they're forever erased, NEVER to be remembered, WHAT ON EARTH would ANY SAINT (all those in Heaven ARE saints) have to be "ashamed" of?
My advice to terrified Christians who come across these abominable sites, is IGNORE them. And for those who AREN'T Christian, it's GIVE YOUR HEART to Jesus.
When you do, you won't have to worry about hell.
When you do, you're CERTAIN to be with Him in heaven.
Our rewards in heaven are NOT material things.
Our Eternal Reward is Jesus.
I don't know about you. But He's MORE THAN ENOUGH "Reward" for me.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011
I HAD A VISION
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The internet is filled with websites and videos of people who claim to have a handle on eschatology based on some special vision or revelation they had.
They claim exclusive knowledge of what will happen and when, based on their alleged vision or revelation.
Two cases in point I recently came across:
The first is a VERY confused individual who kept contradicting himself, one moment quoting (or should I say "misquoting") the Bible, another saying that the Bible was written TO DECEIVE US.
Among the 7 billion people who populate the planet, he claimed to be THE ONLY ONE who understood that EVERYONE will be saved. So, it doesn't matter at all whether we receive Christ into our hearts or not, cause in the end everyone will be reconciled to God.
And, unless we believe THAT, we have "no faith".
Needless to say, this individual KNOWS NOTHING about God, faith, the Bible or Salvation.
His message is UTTERLY SATANIC.
The only "good" thing about it is that -- as demonstrated by the feedback he got -- only a complete idiot would buy it.
The second case is far more dangerous and much more typical of the type of deception that abounds on the internet.
This individual saw our YouTube video about the Second Coming in 2016 and wrote us a very complimentary note about how true it is, how God had obviously revealed it, and how he'd received a similar revelation, with an almost identical timeline.
He CLAIMS to have had a private rapture, where he was caught up to heaven, Jesus appeared to Him personally, and gave him this revelation, partly Himself, and partly through an angel.
He invited me to read his material and contact him since we're very close to the Rapture and communication may be difficult or impossible once it happens.
I will say, to his credit, that he does teach salvation through faith in Christ. I'm thankful for at least that portion of his teaching.
I read some of his material. Took me 3-5 minutes to realize that while we do coincide on THE YEAR of the Second Coming and the GENERAL time of the Rapture (he's far more specific on the latter than I am), the rest was pure hogwash.
How do I know?
Simple: Because it CONTRADICTS the Word of God.
One thing I know about my Jesus is He will NEVER, EVER contradict Himself. He is Truth personified.
If He did, He'd be LYING.
And what does Romans 3:4 say? "Let God (Jesus) be true and EVERY MAN a liar".
Among other lies, this person teaches -- based on the ALLEGED revelation that Jesus Himself gave him when He APPEARED TO him - that the NUMBER of tribulation days will be shortened, instead of the LENGTH of days.
Jesus would have had to LIE in at least 4 Scriptures in order for THAT to be true.
That the general Rapture of believers happens AT THE END OF the tribulation.
That the "great multitude" in Revelation 7:9 is comprised of tribulation martyrs. Not!!!
That the ONLY ONES who get raptured before the trib area small group of Christians who MERIT such "special treatment" (purportedly by their "godly" lifestyle) represented by the 5 wise virgins.
The 5 foolish virgins, according to his "vision", represent the worldly church which goes through the tribulation.
If that were remotely true, then the 5 foolish virgins would also be saved and, eventually, take part in the marriage feast. Matthew 25:11 is crystal clear that they WILL NOT enter.
And Matthew 25:12 says, clear as crystal, (Jesus Himself speaking) that HE DOESN'T KNOW THEM. In other words, the 5 foolish virgins WERE NOT SAVED. They had no SPIRITUAL INTIMACY with Jesus, were "believers" IN NAME ONLY, and were NEVER part of His Body, the Church.
This individual was also VERY CONFUSED as to what GRACE is. We know that God is NOT the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
He kept saying that those who get raptured before the tribulation are those who MERIT God's favor.
Favor and grace are SYNONYMS. They mean EXACTLY the same thing. If grace (charis) means "UNMERITED favor", then saying that "they merit His favor" IS A TOTAL CONTRADICTION in terms.
There's NO SUCH THING.
I wrote this individual pointing out these and other errors and told him, flat out, that THERE'S NO WAY Jesus could have revealed such things to him. If He had, Jesus would be A LIAR (perish the very thought).
Well, don't you believe in visions and revelations? Absolutely.
Unfortunately, 98% of what is attributed to "visions" and "revelations" on TV and the internet is FALSE.
If it CONTRADICTS the written Word of God, IN ANY way, shape or form, IT'S FALSE. No if's, and's or but's.
I totally believe in and ENCOURAGE such legitimate experiences but, NO MATTER HOW GRAND THE EXPERIENCE (and even if it IS REAL), it must ALWAYS be subjected to the Word test.
I don't care if they claim to have had 50 raptures, I don't care if Jesus appeared to them every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
I'm certain that Jesus could share some TRUE and LEGITIMATE spiritual experiences with us that would totally blow our minds, yet when Satan, THE DECEIVER, tempted Him, Jesus didn't reply "I've experienced". He said "It is WRITTEN".
God didn't give us His WRITTEN Word as a coffee table book that "proves" how "Christian" we are, nor to sit on a shelf collecting dust. He gave it to us, for "doctrine, REPROOF, CORRECTION, and INSTRUCTION in righteousness".
He gave it to us so we WOULD NOT BE deceived.
He gave it to us so we could KNOW, without a doubt, RIGHT FROM WRONG.
He gave it to us so we would LIVE by it (Matthew 4:4).
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011
LOOKING FOR JESUS
When the Wise Men came from Babylon to Jerusalem, seeking the newly-born King of the Jews, naturally, the first place they went to was the palace.
After all, WHERE ELSE would you expect to find the king?
Much to their dismay, they didn't find Jesus, the true king, but evil Herod.
These men were "worldly" wise. they could read the night sky, they knew how to interpret the signs on it, but they couldn't find a simple child.
They had trouble finding the Incarnation of God.
God, in His great mercy, supernaturally guided them thru the visible sign of the Star, which finally settled over a lowly manger in Bethlehem.
They were, no doubt, shocked to finally find the king in such seemingly "inappropriate" place.
Had they found Him in the palace, fine. Or in a large mansion in Jerusalem, no problem. Among one of the noble, wealthy families in the land... O.K. But in a smelly manger? A feeding troth?
[It should be noted that, by the time they reached Bethlehem, Jesus and his parents had moved into a local house].
I have several questions for you today:
Are you looking for Jesus?
If so, WHERE do you expect to find Him?
Could you, like the Wise Men, be looking for Him in the wrong place?
Do you expect Jesus to show up in those expensive "palaces" we've built for our glory, that we INCORRECTLY call "churches"?
Or, perhaps, in some massive palatial building we [also incorrectly] call "ministry" headquarters?
Or, since we live in the media age, do you expect Jesus to show up on a TV show, hosted by some slick, greedy, worldly televangelist?
No, those are just a bunch of "Herods".
Do you expect to find Him, maybe, in His written Word?
Well, now you're getting much closer!
You CAN find Jesus in the written Word. After all, He IS the Word Incarnate.
But, ultimately, the Word itself shows us where to find Him, in his Incarnation.
Where is that? In the place you'd least suspect:
God's Kingdom "doesn't come with observation". It's not some material showpiece that will impress the world, or the flesh.
The Kingdom, is where the king lives and reigns. The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you [Luke 17:20,21].
Doesn't the word tell us our bodies are his "temples"... where he lives? Where He incarnated? [John 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19].
"Follow the Star" [God's Holy Word], as the Wise Men did.
It will lead you to King Jesus, it will point Him out, and you will find Him, where you least expected: INSIDE YOURSELF.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2016
WHICH HEBREW FEAST?
The Feasts of the Lord are named in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus.
Every time a major Feast in the Hebrew calendar approaches, tons of people search for "Rapture on Rosh Hashanah", "Rapture on Passover", "Rapture on Yom Kippur", and so on.
Apparently, they've never read the Scriptures where Jesus pointedly states that "NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY" (Matthew 24:36).
Some are SO HYPOCRITICAL, SO CONFUSED, OR BOTH, that they turn right around and ask us if teaching the Second Coming on Rosh Hashanah 2016 doesn't contradict Jesus' statement.
Well, if they believe what Jesus said SO STRONGLY, then WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY DOING SEARCHING FOR THE EXACT DAY?
Then, of course, I have to explain THE DIFFERENCE between the Rapture (which no one knows THE day) and the Second Coming, which everyone WILL KNOW, since ALL they have to do is count 42 months or 3½ years, or 1,260 days FROM the reign of Antichrist.
Admittedly, though, this is an issue I've struggled with for THREE reasons:
1. There's an APPARENT (underline "apparent") contradiction: Jesus said "NO ONE knows THE DAY" of the Rapture. If it happened on ONE OF those Feasts, wouldn't we know THE day?
2. There's no denying the prophetic significance of those Feasts.
3. I could present a SOLID scriptural case for ANY of them: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Rosh, Yom or Sukkot to be the one on which our Lord will take His Church Home.
They ALL present different aspects of God's Redemption as described in the Gospels, the epistles and the Book of Revelation.
So, which is "THE ONE"?
If I understand my Bible correctly, and if the Spirit of God has finally helped me figure this out, NONE of the above.
There's no doubt that Jesus fulfilled the prophetic meaning of the spring Feasts in His First Coming.
There's no doubt He will fulfill the prophetic meaning of the fall Feasts in His Second Coming.
But we're talking ABOUT THE RAPTURE, NOT the Second Coming.
Yes, the Feasts have prophetic significance, FOR NATURAL Israel, not for the Church.
We're taken up BEFORE the tribulation judgments,and RETURN with Jesus at His Second Coming.
We will all DESCEND with Him to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
That's WHY these Feasts were given to NATURAL Israel, and NOT to the Church. They have prophetic significance MAINLY for natural Israelites, and NOT for us.
Peter, John, Paul, Jude and James ALL wrote epistles to the Church, which comprise MOST of the New Testament.
NOWHERE do they say we are to look to the major Hebrew Feasts as signaling the catching away of believers.
NOWHERE do they even teach that we are to observe such Feasts (although there's NOTHING WRONG with doing so, per se).
Additionally, the Book of Revelation, which is an orderly and largely chronological account of the time of the end, is VERY CLEARLY ADDRESSED TO A GENTILE CHURCH.
This Book, which takes us from the beginning of the Church to its Departure from earth, to the tribulation, the reign of Antichrist, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and Eternity, in THAT order, is addressed to "7 churches" which are representative of the Church at large -- 7 being the number of perfection and completion -- IN ASIA (modern Turkey).
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are ALL GENTILE.
Although natural Israelites are mentioned, although they can certainly benefit from studying this Book, it's NOT addressed TO THEM.
Save your emails. I know, of course, that the Church, SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING, is PART OF the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-19).
But THE VAST MAJORITY of the Church is comprised of NATURAL gentiles, not Jews.
While we acknowledge that many Messianic Jews are part of the Church and will be taken up at the Rapture...
While we're grateful to God, and praise Him for each and every one of them... they are only a TINY minority WITHIN THE BODY OF Christ.
Furthermore, Revelation 7:9 where the raptured Church is undisputedly shown in heaven, before God's Throne, specifically describes the "great, innumerable multitude" as being from "from EVERY NATION, tribe,people and language".
NATURAL Israel, as you can see, though represented, is conspicuously ABSENT.
The word for "nation" is "ethnous" which also means "gentile". So they are, primarily, from EVERY gentile group.
This is the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, back in Genesis 17:5 that he would be the father of MANY NATIONS or the father of MANY GENTILES (Hebrew word goyim).
And WHY is Abraham the father of this multitude? Because, like Abraham, we BELIEVED God, and our faith (trust) in Jesus was ACCOUNTED TO US FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3), praise His eternal mercy.
My point is this: Don't go into slumber mode, just because the major feasts are not due till next spring.
Remember Jesus' words in Matthew 24:42:
"Therefore keep watch, because YOU DO NOT KNOW ON WHAT DAY your Lord will come".
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011
TOO BUSY FOR GOD
What do we celebrate at Christmas? The Birth of Christ.
Yet as Christmas approaches, many people, including Christians, seem to have little or no time for Christ.
Many are too busy shopping, decorating, planning meals, who's coming over, sending Christmas greetings to family or friends, baking cookies, watching parades on TV, or whatever... to even spend any time with the One whose birth we celebrate and in whose Name we exchange gifts.
They don't even find time to open His Word.
Most ministries slow down during this season. We always see a small drop in readership during this holiday, which is also a holy day, since "holy" means "set apart".
It's a day we "set apart" to honor the Savior.
Yet, ironically, the One whose Birth we're supposedly celebrating, is the One we find LEAST time for, if ANY.
If it wasn't for Him, there would be NO Christmas.
Listen, I love all of the above. I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy these things, or the carols, the tree, and even the cookies... yum.
But how about PUTTING HIM FIRST for a change?
How about making time for Jesus BEFORE you brave the malls, traffic, and lines?
If you could get up at 4 A.M. on Black Friday to get those bargains, can't you begin your day 10 minutes earlier in deep communion with Jesus and thanking Him for His non-stop goodness?
Christmas is a time to HONOR our Savior.
Please don't shove Him aside for external things, which no one will remember a month from now.
While you're busy buying and wrapping all those gifts, don't forget about THE GREATEST GIFT.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011
One prophetic passage that is often misunderstood is Matthew 24:22:
"And EXCEPT THOSE DAYS SHOULD BE SHORTENED, no flesh would be saved: but FOR THE ELECT'S SAKE those days shall be shortened".
People constantly ask if that means the length of the tribulation will be shortened.
They also ask if this might be the reason WHY the Rapture hasn't happened.
The answer to both questions is "NO".
Jesus said THE DAYS would be shortened. Notice what He DIDN'T SAY: He DIDN'T say they'll be shortened IN NUMBER. He DIDN'T say their number would be REDUCED.
By "shortening" the days, Jesus did NOT mean that they'd be FEWER IN NUMBER.
He meant the LENGTH of days would be shortened. Indeed, "long" and "short" are antonyms.
The days themselves would be "shorter" in the sense that DAYLIGHT will be curtailed.
This happens in Revelation 8:12 shortly after the tribulation judgments begin, when the 4th trumpet is blown:
"The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark;A THIRD OF THE DAY WAS WITHOUT LIGHT, and also a third of the night.
That's what Jesus meant. So, instead of the usual "10-12 hours" of daylight, it will be reduced to only about 6-8 hours.
It will remain that way until near the end of the tribulation.
Obviously, that'll give the Antichrist and his forces less opportunity to pursue and kill God's people.
Hence, Jesus' comment that UNLESS the days (daylight) were shortened "no flesh would survive".
We know the number of days for the reign of Antichrist is pretty much FIXED at 3½ years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:6; 13:5).
So, there's NO WAY Jesus could have meant that those days would be "shortened" IN NUMBER.
The reign of Antichrist lasts 3½ years.
That number is FIXED, and unchangeable.
God's NOT shortening THE NUMBER of days. He's shortening THE LENGTH of days, or the hours of daylight.
The length of daylight will remain shortened until near the end of the tribulation, when the reign of Antichrist - which is to say, the entire world - will be IMMERSED IN TOTAL DARKNESS (Revelation 16:10).
The other part of that verse that raises questions is "who are THE ELECT mentioned there"?
"Elect" means the same as "CHOSEN". The verse could just as easily and correctly be translated "but for the Chosen's sake those days shall be shortened". Therefore, they are God's Chosen People, the natural Israelites.
The Church will be safely in heaven, but most Jews and many natural Israelites, will still be on earth.
For THEIR SAKE, God will shorten the hours of daylight, thus ensuring their survival as a people, and their resettlement in the Holy Land, as God promised, during the Millennium.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2011
CHAPTER AND VERSE, PLEASE
Just like some people believe ANYTHING they see or hear on TV, there are those who believe ANYTHING they read, see or hear on the internet.
Religious deception in all media has reached pandemic proportions.
Paul was 100% right when he predicted that, at the time of the end, many would teach "doctrines of devils" (1st Timothy 4:1).
Quite often our readers will send us some excerpt of something they read in some religious forum or ask about some doctrine on a YouTube video where self-appointed "prophecy teachers" make ARBITRARY statements, as ABSOLUTE FACT, without a smidgeon of Scripture to back it up.
Besides providing the Scriptural portions which DEBUNK those false teachings, I always advise believers to LOOK FOR scriptural basis, or LACK THEREOF.
When someone makes ARBITRARY statements and only makes a vague reference to some biblical passage, or doesn't provide ANY Scriptures to support them, chances are it's because THERE AREN'T ANY.
And if there AREN'T ANY that means it's FALSE.
If they do provide Scriptures, read them and MAKE SURE that is, in fact, what they say. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to cite some verse of Scripture and CLAIM it says something, when in reality it DOESN'T SAY THAT AT ALL. I see it ALL THE TIME.
For instance, someone recently made a statement in one of those stupid forums (sorry, but 90% of the stuff posted there is MORONIC, to say the least) that the Rapture is a "reward" for those who are "worthy", that Jesus said He would spew "worldly" Christians out of His mouth, and that ONLY those who've MADE THEMSELVES ready and have SEPARATED THEMSELVES from the world would be taken up.
There is NO PLACE in the entire Bible that says or even supports ANY of that. The Laodiceans main problem was not worldliness, but that they WERE SPIRITUALLY LUKEWARM AND HAD NEVER RECEIVED JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS. That's WHY He was about to spew them out of His mouth, which means they'd be EXPELLED FROM His Body.
That's why Jesus was standing at the door KNOCKING, WAITING FOR THEM TO INVITE Him IN(Revelation 3:15-20).
There's NOTHING anywhere that tells us the Rapture is "A REWARD" FOR ANYTHING. That's a LIE.
Although from God's perspective, we are completely saved (spirit, soul and body, 1 Thessalonians 5:23), on this earth realm only spiritual salvation is manifest.
The Rapture is the manifestation of our FULL Salvation.
At the Rapture our mind is renewed (born-again), which in turn causes the instant transformation or our bodies from mortal to immortal (1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
HOW can anyone teach salvation is by grace through faith (no works required) and then turn around and teach that the FULL manifestation of that Salvation must be earned?
No Christian deserves Salvation.
No Christian deserves the Rapture.
No Christian gets to "earn" being raptured.
Like anything else that comes from God, it's His undeserved GIFT to His children.
It's done by His Grace (undeserved goodness) to those who place their faith (trust) in Jesus.
When one of these know-it-alls comes to you with some weird, FEAR-BASED teaching, you have EVERY RIGHT to ask him (or her) to back it up with the Scriptures.
If they CAN'T, that means it's A LIE.
Just utter those 4 little words: "chapter and verse, please".
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011
Before Jesus called me into the ministry, I used to be a huge sports fan. I still like most sports but have little time to watch or follow any.
However, one would have to be living under a rock, not to have heard about this young Christian turned media phenom.
Despite winning the Heisman trophy and leading the Florida Gators to the national title, the way this athlete's been maligned in the media, you would think that he was THE WORST player EVER to play the game.
You'd also think he was a terrible human being.
In a sport filled with thugs, rapists, sexual harassers, drug junkies and animal abusers, Tebow stands out as a shining beacon of light and goodness. And THAT'S EXACTLY what the media can't stand: he's NOT "one of them".
If he were a drinking, drugging, womanizing crackhead, they'd give ‘im a pass. They would hardly pay any attention or even mention his antics.
What really gets their crow is "he's DIFFERENT".
What BOTHERS the media elite, what really gets under their skin, is that he doesn't conform to THEIR worldly standards.
And, to top it all off, he's Christian!!!
And not just a closet Christian who keeps his faith to himself; Tebow has a history of painting Bible verses on his face, praying before the game, pointing to heaven and thanking God after the game, and at the end of successful plays, and - horror or horrors - in a public display of faith that has become known in popular culture as "tebowing", to fall on one knee, lower his head and thank Jesus right in front of TV cameras and everyone watching.
Not only is he very outspoken about his faith but makes no bones about the fact that, while he dreamed of being an NFL quarterback since age 7, football IS NOT the most important thing in his life, Jesus is.
I happen to think he's an exceptional, AND MUCH NEEDED, role model for today's youth.
Even "worse", he even had the "audacity" to appear in a PRO-LIFE commercial during last year's Super Bowl.
To sum up, Tebow is secular commentators' worst nightmare.
That is precisely WHY these godless cowards in the media gang up on him, nit pick his game to death, and try their best to denigrate him in such vicious fashion.
They CAN'T STAND the fact he's a strong, outspoken Christian.
Despite his unorthodox style and the brutal criticism he's had to endure, Tebow KEEPS WINNING.
And the Denver Broncos' game against the Chargers last Sunday WAS THE HIGHEST RATED SHOW on TV that day.
Since TV is ALL about ratings, the joke is on the godless media: now they HAVE TO live with the "monster" they created.
They HAVE TO feature Tebow's games on a national level.
They HAVE TO put up with his demonstrations of faith and worship of Jesus.
They've had to use his last name as A VERB, claiming that the losing team is getting "tebowed".
Denver fans have even taken Tebow's #15 jersey and placed the name "Jesus" on the back.
I don't know about you, but I'm loving EVERY MINUTE of it.
ESPN, biased commentators, eat your heart out.
And while they're at it, they might also eat their own, baseless, stupid words.
Tim Tebow and his many fans are getting the last laugh.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011
A RIVER RUNS THRU IT
I'm not talking about the great state of Montana, I'm talking about you.
If you have received Jesus Christ into your heart, your body, believe it or not, has become God's Temple, and it's holy [1 Corinthians 6:19,20].
His Holy Spirit has taken residence in you, and flows inside you [John 7:38,39].
There's a river, the River of Life going thru you... right now, and at all times.
What's really sad is that most believers have NO CLUE about this magnificent Truth.
It's been in the New Testament for 2,000 years, but NOBODY talks about it.
If Christians were cognizant of their respective bodies being THE TEMPLE of Almighty God, perhaps they'd treat their bodies differently, USE THEM differently, and engage in different activities.
Our bodies are actually HOLY.
Unfortunately, religion has taught us that our bodies are dirty and sinful. So who can blame Christians for acting accordingly?
Actually, it's our NATURAL MIND that is CORRUPT, and sinful.
Our bodies will do whatever our minds tell them to.
This is why our minds MUST BE RENEWED.
The great Ezekiel saw in a vision how this river [The Holy Spirit, whom all true believers have inside] would first rise to the ankles, then the knees, then the mid-section [where He is right now], and finally would overflow into and over our heads, in a virtual tsunami, that would cleanse our minds, flushing out all impurities, and sweeping us, in an instant, into the Kingdom of God [Ezekiel 47:1-12].
He prophesied that, whatever the River's waters flowed into, would instantly come alive, and be instantly healed.
How long since you've been to The River? When was the last time you dipped in it? Drank from it? Is He swelling up inside your temple?
If He isn't, please invite Him to RISE within you until He drowns the false "you", and the REAL YOU, CREATED IN GOD'S OWN IMAGE, EMERGES.
We've been drinking too much from religion's polluted fountain.
Time we had a long, cool, thirst quenching, satisfying drink from the unspoiled River of Life.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011
LOST IN JESUS
...whoever loses his life FOR MY SAKE will find it" (Matthew 10:39).
What?How can we be lost in Jesus? I knew you were a false teacher!!!
I'm NOT talking about being lost in the sense of not being saved. I'm talking about your self being LOST in the Experience of Jesus Himself.
So, drop the stones you were about to throw.
Fact is that Jesus Himself taught that if we find our life we shall lose it, but if we lose our life for His sake we SHALL FIND OUR TRUE (eternal) Life (Matthew 10:39; Luke 17:33; John 12:25).
Most saved individuals find that eternal life AFTER THEY DIE PHYSICALLY.
But Jesus taught that we can find it while being physically alive, BY DYING TO self (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34).
People often ask me what EXACTLY will happen at the Rapture.
They focus on external details like the archangel blowing the trumpet, or the appearing of Jesus in the clouds, the sun turning black, the moon red, or our being transformed in the twinkling of a eye from mortal to immortal.
Don't get me wrong those details ARE given in the Bible, and they ARE important.
But the Rapture itself is SPIRITUAL in nature.
Hence, we should be MORE focused on the INTERNAL details (seeking Jesus' Face with ALL our hearts)than on the EXTERNAL.
We should be more focused on what takes place to us IN SPIRIT.
After all, it's the Spirit that will transform us into incorruptible, immortal beings. Surely you don't think the sun or the moon changing colors are going to do that, do you?
Connect with Him, let Him PULL YOU UP to Himself.
Seek Him, love Him, praise Him spontaneously and uncontrollably from your spirit (in your stomach) until you get SO LOST IN HIM, that you don't even realize you've left this earth realm and are caught up into Him.
Until you suddenly awake in His loving arms, beholding His beautiful Face, and joyously wondering "how and when did I get here"?
THAT'S what being raptured is ALL about.
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