Born Again Christians
More than 100 Boko Haram militants opened fire sporadically and indiscriminately and set churches and houses on fire, killing many people, in the town of Garkida in Gombi area of the northeastern state of Adamawa, according to initial reports.
At least five churches were destroyed, including two houses of worship belonging to the Church of the Brethren denomination, an Anglican Communion church, and a church and a separate office of Living Faith Church.
There are unconfirmed reports of possible abductions. ... Read More
"6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and PESTILENCES, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:6-(my emphasis)
We are all conscience of the rise of wars, and rumors of wars that have been getting more and more frequent. Wars like in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Ukraine, North Korea, Syria, and even ISIS is still a threat and reported as news by the "lame" stream media. No matter what a politician says, this world is becoming more dangerous, not peaceful as all would like it to be. Ever notice the amount of earthquakes that have exponentially grown in the last 15 years? I get an update from Prophecy Update that covers all the exponential rise of earthquakes that are prevalent in the "ring of fire" in the Pacific Ocean region, but also spreading worldwide. The earth is being shaken and tribulation is coming upon the earth. I'm not talking about the 7 last years of God's wrath, written in Daniel, spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24, also in Revelation, and when Paul spoke of in 1st Thessalonian chapter 5. No, I'm talking about the run-up to this awful period of human history known as the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. These signs are a warning, or a trumpet call to those who will listen and repent before it is too late. Now let us turn to what has caught the attention of the "lame stream media" and has gotten everyone becoming afraid and I highlighted the opening verses -PESTILENCE.
A MOST DANGEROUS WORLD
Jesus plainly spoke about that during the last days of human history that there would be pestilence referring to various diseases upon the earth. We shall call them modern day plagues. I truly believe now that the last days are upon us, and we see diseases that modern science thought they had all but eradicated. Mutations of killer diseases have again found a way to rise again in our so called " modern age". These diseases are so virulent that our antibiotics and treatments have all but become ineffective to destroy them. What is the definition of the word I just used...virulent? The dictionary says " a substance that is harmful", but synonyms of virulent would be poisonous, toxic, venomous, noxious, deadly, fatal, dangerous, and destructive, just to name a few. In my lifetime, I have seen plagues such as polio, scarlet fever, small pox and tuberculosis all but eradicated, just to name a few, but these have returned in a mutated form that we cannot cure. I have witnessed the same at our local hospitals of those quarantined because they have said diseases.
In the recent past, we had the deadly Ebola virus that was all over the news. We thought that this was an African problem that only spread by close contact with another infected person's body fluids, but was reported to have mutated to being transmitted through the air from a person's cough, much like TB. Or you can pick it up on surfaces where the virus has been deposited and can live for hours, or days unless destroyed by sunlight. You can go to your local ATM and touch the keypad that is sheltered out of the sun, and pick up this disease. You can ride the subway, or a taxi cab and be exposed. But hey, we're not in Africa, we're in America. I can't come here. But oh, it did.
Reported cases (in the past) of patients exposed in Africa coming to Georgia, to Bethesda Maryland Naval Hospital, or a report of one in Nebraska that was being treated from being exposed in Liberia, or other West African countries in a "controlled" manner in those local hospitals and transferred from Africa to the homeland. But now we learn that the first case of unprotected Ebola came to Dallas, Texas and the man had come in contact with untold amount of people on the airplane flight here to the USA, doctors and nurses at the hospital where he went for treatment of flu like symptoms, and school children who have returned to their schools. The spread could have become exponential in the amount of exposure, to where one expert says, unless stopped would cover the entire USA and the world. But that threat has died down, but it still is being reported in parts of Africa still and is not eradicated.
Now we see another plague that has invaded China and is spreading and even come to the USA in certain places....The Coronavirus originated in China in the the city of Wahun. Some believe it was because of the result of unsanitary conditions and eating of animals that most people would turn their noses to see them being eaten. (like eating bats. Yes, those flying creatures that live in caves)
I read in the articles on the internet concerning this danger to the population of the world:
"About 40,573 individuals globally (primarily in mainland China) have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.
-The virus gets a temporary name, Chinese officials announced.
-910 deaths linked to the virus. Deaths worldwide exceed those from SARS.
-A phase 1 trial of a new vaccine against 2019-nCoV is on track to begin in 2.5 months, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday (Feb. 7). There have been "no glitches so far" in the steps to prepare the vaccine, which involves initial studies in lab dishes and animals, Fauci said.
-More than 800 Americans have been evacuated from Wuhan on four flights.
-The U.S. is prepared to spend up to $100 million to assist China and other countries in combating the virus, according to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
-About 3,700 people are being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan due to the coronavirus, with 130 individuals testing positive so far, the Times reported.
-The 34-year-old Chinese doctor who was silenced by police for warning about the coronavirus outbreak has died after contracting that virus. China's Communist Party has said it will send a team to investigate the death," ( The New York Times reported).
Then we have reports that some claim to be conspiracy theories...
"2016 documents show that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, an organization increasingly suspected of being linked to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, has been studying the virus over the last several years. This comes as a growing body of evidence suggests the disease did not originate in a seafood wet market as the Chinese government claims.
If the unconfirmed reports are true, it would not be the first time a deadly disease has escaped from a Chinese research facility. In March 2004, 9 people became infected with 1 fatality after the deadly SARS virus escaped from the National Institute of Virology in Beijing, China. The current coronavirus outbreak may have a similar origin."
But wherever this disease originated, it is affecting our world, as even the fear is having an economic effect causing stocks to plummet on one day and recover in the next few days, as reported in this news article:
"Many economists that I have spoken to are concerned that the global economy will continue to decline as a result of the Coronavirus. Do these fears have merit? It does not matter. Perception drives reality. If the people on this planet believe that their health is threatened by this virus, the global economy, already on thin ice, will collapse. (Dave Hodges, "Will the Coronavirus Cause a Global Economic Collapse? The BDI Says Yes!" January 30, 2020)
WE WERE WARNED
It was said way back in 1993 that a pandemic of Biblical proportions would come because of the huge amount of the earth's population:
"One professor of microbiology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, Australia, told a conference of his peers in Sydney: "We don't know what it [the plague] will be, or where it will be, but there will be one, we only have to look at history." He cites deteriorating refugee conditions worldwide, fast-increasing populations, high-risk sexual habits and the scarcity of pure drinking water as factors that presage global epidemics (Intelligence Digest, September 3, 1993, p. 3)."
That was over 26 years ago it was warned that a plague would come, and this Coronavirus could be that plague. How did it mutate to become the next big human killer of possible millions? I'm not into conspiracy theories, but the fact that many have questioned why and how this could be happening, poses the question "Is this a natural occurring phenomenon or something sinister has been unleashed upon an unsuspected planet?" Here's a quote from an article I just read :
EBOLA and CORONOVIRUS : BIO-WEAPONS OF WAR
(But the first words of the opening paragraph should give anyone pause:)
"Simply stated, each of these plagues can be a bio-terrorism weapons and are airborne. Those are big statements. The facts will show a unique trail and why the US Federal Government does not want you to know these frightening truths. This is not meant to panic anyone, but inform them of the facts that are being withheld from the American public."
In reading this article, would any government allow such a dangerous diseases loose in any country? Think on what one scientist said that needs to happen to "save the planet".
"At first, I thought someone was making a really stupid April Fool's joke, but apparently it is true that the Texas Distinguished Scientist of 2006, University of Texas ecologist Eric Pianka told a meeting of the Texas Academy of Science that '90 percent of his fellow human beings must die' in order to save the planet. A very disturbed Forrest M. Mims III -- Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, writing at The Citizen Scientist -- reported:
Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number."
If you take what is now the population of this planet of 7.7 billion people, if 90% were eliminated by whatever means, would mean 6.93 billion people would have to meet an untimely death.
Can you say Climate Change and save the earth plans found in Sustainable Development and Agenda 2030? (Want to know more about these two agendas? Check it out on Google and see their sinister plans of controlling every human being on this planet.) The rate of morbidity (rate of disease symptoms) and mortality (death) of an infected person approaches near 100%. Now let's make some hypothetical math equations. If we take what has happened in Africa to their population and what is happening in China, just taking one plague like Ebola or alternately the latest coronavirus, it has been mathematically calculated that compared to the country of Liberia for Ebola which has a population 4.2 million people, let us examine what it would be like if calculated to the population of the USA. If 3692 cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in Liberia and of those 3692 cases, with a fatality rate of 54% or 1998 people have died in Liberia alone. Of that number 3692, represents 0.0086% of the population:
"If that same infection and death rate were applied to the United States Ebola would infect 269,000 people and of those 156,281 would die. And now we have another plague that the news is reporting on. Over 600 people have died with this latest disease and millions quarantined, with even the doctor in China who reported it has succumbed to this disease and died.
Now looking just at Ebola, if as doctors and scientists fear the basic reproduction rate rises to 2 in countries in Africa the numbers change very quickly. Using the mean average incubation time of 9 days it would take around 13 weeks for the entire populations in Africa to become infected. (10 doublings starting with 3692 = just under the population of say, Liberia. This multiplied by 9 days gives us 90 days which divided by 7 gives 12.85 weeks.) Of the 4,290,000 people infected 2,316,000 would lose their lives.This is just Liberia, not the other affected countries in West Africa.
Translated to an equivalent outbreak in the United States, where the basic reproduction rate is also 2, the numbers are horrifying. Starting with patient zero it would take around 245 days, 35 weeks for every person in the United States to become infected. Of those 171,180,000 people would die. (27.17 doublings x 9 days = 245 days =35 weeks)"
Those figures were for the spread of Ebola, and Coronavirus was not even on the radar screen yet. But now this disease is greater than the prior reported SARS outbreak that again, came from China.
Those figures quoted are pulled from the CDC website and the percentages are correct, so if these percentages were applied to the USA, you could see a pandemic the like we have never seen before in our lifetime.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Taking the words of our Lord seriously, I claim also His promises. First and foremost is my faith in my God. I am reminded of the words written in Psalm 91 and it has been my rock of divine protection whenever danger is about me.
5 "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." (Psalm 91:5-10)
That is our promise from Almighty God, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper; but that's not given to all of humanity. This promise is made to the child of God, the redeemed man or woman, and the Christian who walks with God daily.
God has not called us to fear: II Timothy,1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
God shows us what is coming and he gives us tools to combat the coming man-made tribulation. Note that I say, man made. We are not part of the wrath of God that will be coming on the whole world during the "real" Tribulation and Great Tribulation, but that is no assurance that we won't be tried in our faith when evil men come on the scene and plan an evil scheme. This could be the run up to even more death and destruction, when God gets really involved and the prophecies of Revelation start to unfold in real time and God pours out His wrath on all humanity that is still on this planet.
In the coming days, before the actual wrath of God reigns down on this earth, God shows us and will lead us to make the right decisions to protect ourselves prior to the removal of His church to the portals of glory, and when we have done all we can do, He will take over and do the hard part. ....and from all I have been reading, it's not a question of "if" it will be a pandemic, but when. It's coming and a person of a sound Christian mind takes the steps to protect himself and rely on God to fulfill His promise quoted in Psalm 91.
Now God is able to protect His people in trying times like we are bound to see before we are lifted out of here. The wise person does not tempt God, but allows God to lead him and to use the Holy Spirit's direction to protect one's self. Remember the words that Jesus said and I opened with a portion of that passage found in Matthew 24?
24:8 "All these are the beginning of sorrows."
We are seeing these played out in our present time, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and now killer plagues. What do you do reader when the prophesied Tribulation is actually on the scene? We have so-called man-made biological weapons being formed for the purpose (if it be true) of population control and how sick is that? But know that there is coming a time when everything that is good and Holy will be removed from this planet and then all "hell" literally will be loosed on this earth. The only thing holding back the total annihilation of life on earth, by men, by Satan and his demon horde, is the Holy Spirit residing in men and women of faith, washing in the blood of the Lamb, which is our King Jesus who gave Himself for a sacrifice to save us 2000 years ago. He died to save all who believe on His name.
TAKE NOT THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN
I heard a great message from another brother in the ministry and he opened my eyes to something I had not thought about. It's found in the 3rd Commandment of the written Word of God given to Moses on Mt. Sinai..."Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"....now most folks thought that meant using God's name in a curse word...My dad was bad about that to his own shame, but that is not what God meant. Those of who call ourselves "Christian" we take the name of Jesus Christ...."followers of Jesus Christ"...that's what the word "Christian" means. But if we take the name as a label, or moniker about our necks and don't live like we follow Him, are we taking His name Jesus Christ or "Christian" in vain? Have we not broken the 3rd commandment? Yes, we have. You can't play with God. You can't proclaim, "I'm a Christian" and not live it. You have just taken the name of the Lord in vain. If you're not living it, then how many sins are you committing that have not been repented of....are you even a Christian or just a pew warmer? It's not about works we do, but being true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ and living like it and rely on the righteousness that Jesus gave us, not of our own, as our righteousness before God are "as filthy rags"....even though we fail at times, because the spirit wars with the flesh. As Paul said in Romans chp. 7 and I would ask that you read the whole chapter, but our victory is in Jesus:
"23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:23-25)
That is why each of us need "JESUS" and His protection in time of trouble, as we see it growing about us.
When I speak of all the protections that are afforded to the "Christian", I'm talking about the true, blood washed follower of Jesus Christ. When evil comes to your dwelling in the form of a plague, or terrorism, or say even a local thug who wishes to do you harm, are you guaranteed any protection from God because you go to church on Sunday, or any other day of the week and have the label "Christian" but live like the devil and no one can tell you apart from the drunk lying in the gutter in front of the local bar? Can you claim these promises? No, you cannot. Because you are outside of the protection of Almighty God:
" He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." (Psalm 91:1-3)
Note that you must be close to God, right up next to His altar and in His shadow.....again, you can't play with God.
7"God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."(Galatians 6:7-
If you are playing the act of being a "christian" in name only, it is time to get serious about this God/immortal man, Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world.
Friend, the hour grows short and the signs are all around us. Signs in the heavens shout the message, as I've covered in past messages. The signs on the earth that grow exponentially louder as the earth groans for it's redemption from a sin cursed world.
"22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:22-23)
Epidemics and plagues that have risen again and are even more severe and dangerous than when we last saw them or read about them. And that's just this side of the Tribulation when it begins and then kicks into high gear in the last 3.5 years called the Great Tribulation that our Lord Jesus warned us of .
21 "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22)
LIVE LIKE THE LORD COULD COME TODAY
I had a dear sister stand up in church and plead with the congregation as she proclaimed, "people we need to get serious about living for God, NOW". She read from these words:
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire."(Hebrews 12:25-29)
Jesus words in Matthew 24 are written to announce the coming Tribulation and these signs we are seeing, are the "beginning of sorrow". Folks, it is here...
As my sister said , "It is time to get serious about living for God". I am in agreement and plead with all who will listen and take action to make your "calling and election sure as the Apostle Peter wrote:,
1:10 " Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
I blow the trumpet as a sound of warning. Please, heed the call and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, in word and in deed. The time grows short to make that decision for God, as the Tribulation hour looms on the horizon. How you say? Easy, as believing these words even as a "little child" believes:
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)
Believe in your heart, these words and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you WILL be saved:
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Again, as Paul spoke of in Romans:
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God's love, mercy and protection on each one of you. If you have a need, want prayer, or just a listening ear, drop me a line to
Christians are arguably the most committed supporters of Israel in the world. At the same time, different kinds of Christians are among the Jews' worst enemies.
In America, the ones who defend Israel so passionately are (mostly) the "red state" evangelicals. It is these people in their millions, not the so-called and vastly over-hyped Jewish lobby, who make America so pro-Israel.
Next month, the executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) is due to elect a new general secretary. One of the two candidates is Dr. Jerry Pillay, a member of South Africa's United Presbyterian Church who has urged support for the BDS movement against Israel "for the sake of just peace."
The WCC has played a key role in turning much of the world against Israel. Through its "liberation theology," it has for decades infused liberal churches with neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-West attitudes--thus placing a virtual halo over the anti-Semitism of the left.
In Britain, the Church of England and other liberal denominations are institutionally hostile to Israel. Such churches, along with immensely influential Christian NGOs such as Christian Aid, Christ at the Checkpoint or KAIROS, disseminate boiler-plate distortions and falsehoods that demonize Israel and sanitize Palestinian-Arab aggression.
In the United States, a number of churches--most notably the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church USA--have passed BDS resolutions against Israel.
According to Dexter Van Zile, the Christian analyst with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), the "Never Again" coalition of liberal Protestant denominations created after the Holocaust has attacked the primary victims of the Holocaust with a flood of dishonest propaganda.
Its message, he has written, is that "Israeli Jews abuse the rights accorded to them as a sovereign people in the Middle East," and that "by exercising undue influence in the democracies where they live, Diaspora Jews help Israel get away with its crimes."
"It's a 'cleaner' version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," says Van Zile, "but the implications are just as demonic."
While many Christians who subscribe to such views are just going with the flow of the prevalent (and unchallenged) narrative about the Middle East, that narrative's roots lie in a toxic combination of Marxism, Palestinianism and theological Christian anti-Semitism.
As the Christian historian Paul Merkley has chronicled, the WCC played a key role in bringing about the anti-Zionist hate-fest in Durban, South Africa, a few days before 9/11, when representatives attending the U.N. Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance demanded that the United Nations denounce Israel for "systematic perpetration of racist crimes, including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing."
Merkley wrote: "This Durban Declaration was achieved in large part by the active lobbying of the World Council of Churches serving as brokers between the Muslim states and Western opinion in August 2001.
"Today, the Durban Declaration serves as the source of the mottos with which respectable people in our part of the world shape their campaigns to deprive Israel of her right-to-life. WCC statements on this theme are parroted by the official journals and newsletters of the major Protestant denominations in the United States and elsewhere around the world."
The deepest root of the church's hostility towards Israel lies in the resurrection of the previously discredited doctrine of "replacement theology," also known as "supersessionism."
This doctrine, which holds that because the Jews denied the divinity of Jesus they were stripped of God's favor so that Christians became the "new Israel" while the Jews were damned, was the source of centuries of murderous Jew-hatred until the Holocaust drove it underground.
It was given new life by Palestinian Christian liberation theology, which states falsely that the Palestinian Arabs were the original possessors of the land of Israel. It thus gives the Palestinian claim to the land the status of supposedly holy Christian writ, turning Israel into an ungodly interloper and her defenders into the enemies of God.
This poisonous and lethal fiction is pumped out by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem, run by Father Naim Ateek. He is a close friend of many senior Anglican bishops; while Sabeel, used as a major resource by Anglican clergy, aid agencies and pilgrimage companies, is a crucial source of systematic, theologically based lies and libels about Israel.
Meanwhile, Christianity is under actual assault from radical Islam. According to the Open Doors World Watch List 2020, an annual report that ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith around the world, 260 million Christians are suffering high to severe levels of persecution.
"Islamic oppression" was the chief source of persecution faced by Christians in seven of the 10 worst nations, while 38 of the 50 on the list were either Muslim-majority or had a sizable Muslim population.
Yet on this worldwide Christian persecution, the liberal churches are all but silent. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians are safe. Yet these churches dump on Israel, not only thus assisting the mortal threat it faces from Palestinian Muslims, but ignoring the threat those people pose to the church itself.
In a recent address in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a Palestinian researcher Ahmad Al-Khatwani raved that an Islamic state of Palestine would not only replace Israel, but its army would also "conquer Rome." It was an "Islamic cause" which should be viewed "as a conflict between Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Crusaders."
Christianity lost its way a long time ago. Losing their faith, many Christian churches turned instead to social and political activism, liberation theology and the radical Marxist analysis of the World Council of Churches.
Those progressive churches have denied their Jewish parent. Embracing instead their Islamist assassin, they are in the forefront of the charge against Israel. In the process, however, with their congregations dwindling they are destroying themselves--thus weakening even further the society for which they once provided the now degraded moral core.
Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Even though we have not been in a while, we love to visit local State Parks and go hiking at least once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Most hiking trails are narrow; sometimes they are so narrow that only one person can fit on the trail while the other person walks in front or behind. We have even seen trails that were so narrow and concave from previous hikers that your feet could not fit walking side by side; only by putting one foot in front of the other could you get down the path. Good thing we use hiking sticks to help stabilize us on our hiking adventures.
This is what a born-again Christian's life is like - a very Straight and Narrow Path, so narrow that you walk by Faith, letting Jesus lead, guide, and direct you with one foot in front of the other, one by one, one day at a time.
The Bible (God's Word) is like our 'hiking sticks' to help stabilize us on our Journey; it helps us to put on the full armor of God. It is our sword of the spirit; it is our comfort and guide; it is everything we need to endure in this life!
Because those who are truly born-again are so few in number, the Narrow Path is a somewhat lonely path, and one that gets lonelier with each passing day. It is also a very difficult path to take, one that is rife with affliction, hardship, and rejection. Remember, Jesus promises He will never leave us or forsake us. He is with us every step of the way! Only those who truly love Christ will continue on this Journey with the indwelling Holy Spirit's help. Many claim Christianity but deny Him by the way they live their lives. It is easy for one to give 'lip service,' but true believers show 'genuine service' by their submission and obedience to God's Word.
To find oneself on this Narrow Path, one must deny 'self and pick up their cross,' whatever that may be (persecution, rejection, hardship, suffering, sickness, loss, and pain) and follow Jesus. Once again, Christ told us to 'count the cost,' which means it will not be easy and that only a few would find the Narrow Path that leads to Him.
Excerpt from Gotquestions.org: "Why did God make salvation such a narrow path?"
However, the gate to heaven is "narrow" in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance-faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way (John 14:6). The "wide" gate is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world's religions.
Jesus says that the narrow gate leads to a "hard" road, one that will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2), living by faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38), enduring trials with Christlike patience (James 1:2-3, 12; 1 Peter 1:6), and living a lifestyle separate from the world (James 1:27; Romans 12:1-2). When faced with the choice between a narrow, bumpy road and a wide, paved highway, most of us choose the easier road. Human nature gravitates toward comfort and pleasure. When faced with the reality of denying themselves to follow Jesus, most people turn away (John 6:66). Jesus never sugar-coated the truth, and the truth is that not many people are willing to pay the price to follow Him.
Satan has paved the highway to hell with fleshly temptations, worldly attractions, and moral compromises. Most people allow their passions and desires to dictate the course of their lives. They choose temporary, earthly pleasure over the self-sacrifice required in following Jesus (Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:37). The narrow gate is ignored. Most people would rather create their own religions and design their own gods. So it was with sorrow, not discrimination, that Jesus declared that the road to eternal life is "narrow, and only a few find it."
Think about all of the people that were ever created, that ever lived and died, and that ever walked this Earth. To try and wrap one's mind around this many souls is 'mind boggling' to say the least! Nonetheless, try to imagine them all as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore, basically an innumerable amount of people. Now, try to wrap your mind around the fact that most - and by most, I mean imagine a pie chart of like 90% of it compared to only like 10% of it - choose the Wide, Easy, Broad Way to Destruction!
Literally, that many souls choose to reject the Difficult, Straight, and Narrow Path to Eternal Life! It is beyond mortifying to envision that many souls unexpectedly falling off the cliff of the end of this Wide Road into (Eternal Torment) Hell on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis!
How can one tell that someone is on the Wide Road to Destruction? Just look at their life: their words, thoughts, actions, and deeds. Are they living for Christ or are they living for 'self'? Do they care about the things of God or do they care more about the things of the world? Do they live to obey God's Word or do they live to please the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life? Do they live to tell others about Jesus or not? All of these things are 'telltale signs' whether someone is on the Wide Road to Destruction or on the Narrow Path to Eternal Life!
1 John 3:8-10 "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Excerpt from Neverthirsty.org: "Wide and Narrow Roads"
Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been describing external obedience. It is the proof that you are a real Christian. You might agree with the crowd in the following passage, but it will not be enough.
"When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29, NASB).
God is looking for more. He is looking for your heart to say, "I believe in you. I yield myself to you. I give myself to you. I am ready to serve you. What shall I do?" Is this you?
If you say, "Yes," you are on the narrow road. It is marked with trouble as you seek to do His will and live a holy life. If you do, you will be building your spiritual house on Jesus Christ, and this narrow road leads to God.
For example, in order for a Diamond to be made, there has to be extreme circumstances that involve an enormous amount of heat and pressure, which ultimately emerges one of the hardest natural substances in nature! Diamonds are bright, shiny, dazzling, brilliant, and oh so beautiful to behold! In Heaven, the Bible says those who are truly born-again (those who find the Narrow Path to Eternal Life) will shine like the stars in the sky for ever and ever!
Daniel 12:3 "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
Philippians 2:15-16 "That you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."
Matthew 13:43 "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear."
***For what it is worth... just know that the Difficult, Straight, and Narrow Path to Eternal Life will definitely not be easy or even pleasant at times; but once we are on the other side and the veil is lifted, we will find that it was all more than well-worth every minute of it just to finally arrive and be in the Most Precious Radiant Presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!***
Until next time... Maranatha!
(JESUS = WAY, TRUTH, LIFE)
Two wild and crazy guys!
And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. Rev. 11:3
Most people who study Bible prophecy are well aware of the "Two Witnesses" - the two fascinating Jewish men who emerge post-Rapture at the beginning of the 7-years of God's wrath on earth. Most of what we know about them is in Revelation 11.
Dressed in interesting sackcloth attire, they arrive at the beginning of the Tribulation just after the Rapture. Based in Jerusalem, they're an impressive presence for 3 1/2 years on the world's stage. Their first assignment is to show where the Temple is to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah (Rev. 11:1-2).
They have the ability to cause droughts and plagues in specific places around the earth, and even turn fresh water into blood (Rev. 11:6).
They become quite the tormentor to the non-Jews who are still alive on the earth. And if someone tries to hurt them, they can spew fire out of their mouths devouring their enemies. An impressive defense, to say the least (Rev. 11:5).
Ultimately Satan himself, after being thrown down to the earth from heaven (Rev. 12:9), is finally able to kill them and the world explodes in celebration over their death (Rev. 11:10).
Their dead bodies are left uncovered in the street for the world to see. But God takes the opportunity to show they were His chosen instruments by audibly calling them to stand up... and then slowly lifts them into the sky in front of their dumbfounded enemies (Rev. 11:11-12).
Satan then has full control of the earth for 3 1/2 years, although God's angels make Satan and his followers miserable through the constant release of the Lord's undiluted wrath (Rev. 16).
The identity of the first witness is not in question. One of the last things recorded in the Old Testament says:
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. Mal. 4:5
Elijah was the prophet who departed the earth alive in a whirlwind (2Kings 2:11). The Jews have been looking for Elijah to return since this prophecy was recorded around 487 BC, some 2500 years ago.
Even today at the Passover meal, most Jewish families set a place for Elijah at the table. Then just before time to eat, they send the kids to open the front door to see if Elijah has arrived for dinner.
The 2nd Witness is heavily debated, but to me it should be obvious. So let's look closely at the three best possibilities.
Some people believe the 2nd Witness will be Moses. It does seem like a natural fit since one of the Witness' miracles will be turning water into blood-like Moses did during the Egyptian Exodus. And also Moses was seen standing next to Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-3).
But Moses is an unlikely candidate because he has already died. God even said He "buried" him. Seems unlikely that God would make Moses die twice but not Elijah (Deut. 34:5,6).
If in fact Elijah is one of the two, we probably should look at people who have yet to die an earthy death-and there are two in the Bible.
Enoch is mentioned in only 12 verses in the Bible but he was very special having been born in the 7th generation from Adam. He lived 365 years before, like Elijah, he was taken from the earth without dying because he "pleased" God (Gen. 5:23-24, Heb. 11:5).
However, whereas Elijah was bodily removed, Enoch was sort of raptured/translated. Not sure you can go back to being a living/breathing human with blood in the veins after being raptured.
But the main problem with Enoch is that he's not Jewish, having lived long before Abraham, even before the worldwide flood. I can't imagine the Jews following anyone who is not Jewish.
John, the author of John, 1John, 2John, 3John and the book of Revelation, is almost certainly the 2nd Witness. He was in Jesus' inner circle of friends and John was intimate enough with Jesus that he loved to lean back against Jesus' chest during feasts and important reclining meals (John 21:20).
There is recorded history of the death of every Apostle of Jesus, except John. Each of the other Apostles are known to have died horrible deaths. John was the lone exception.
It is widely recorded in history that in Ephesus in 96 AD, when Roman emperor Domitian commanded that the Apostle John be boiled in oil, John just continued preaching from the pot. People only ASSUME he died and then speculate he died in Ephesus, or Patmos...but it's only speculation.
In the last chapter of John's Gospel account, he recorded a conversation between Jesus and His Apostles about how each would die. At one point Peter asked about how John would die, and Jesus answered:
Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" John 21:22
Jesus said not to worry about how John would die because he would remain alive until the time of Jesus' return. The disciples thought Jesus had said John wouldn't die, but Scripture then corrected that misconception saying:
Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" John 21:23
This may have been part of the reason Jesus assigned John to watch over His mother, knowing John would outlive her (John 19:26,27).
John also records a prophecy that in the future he would stand before kings regarding nations and peoples. This is an unfulfilled prophecy.
And they said to me, "You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings." Rev. 10:11
To me this is a no-brainer. But what may have caused confusion through the years is the man-made paragraph break between the end of Revelation 10 and the beginning of Revelation 11.
Paragraph breaks were not in the original scriptures but were first inserted by Archbishop Langton of Canterbury in 1227. Verses were added 300 years later by Robert Estienne.
Langton was definitely not under the influence of the Holy Spirit when he divided up the Bible into chapters as some of the chapter breaks have proved to be disastrously misleading.
In this case if he had simply backed up one verse and started Revelation 11 with the last verse of Revelation 10, no one would have missed the obvious connection! You would have John saying he was to preach to the Kings of the earth as one of the Two Witnesses! Reading 10:11 as the beginning of 11 would then be read together like this:
And they said to me, "You [John] must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Rev. 10:11-11:3
Elijah & John!
So there you have it, Elijah and John are the Two Witnesses. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, neatly tying the entire Bible together-the Law in the Old tied to Jesus in the New. This is hugely important because in the Tribulation the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish Evangelists preach that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Messiah (Rev. 14:4;15:3).
Franklin Graham says summer UK tour will go on, despite most venues cancelling visits
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