We know that prophecy is both practical and positive, not all gloom and doom. Most of prophecy begins negatively, but ends positively because God is confident that what He prophesied will accomplish His end, which is always good! That sets the stage for today's study.
Have you ever read the Book of Amos? I like to call him "Famous Amos" because many of the earlier accounts of prophets found in the Old Testament are found within the context of other accounts of Israel's history. Amos, however, is the first prophet (even though he's considered a "minor" one) whose name also serves as the title of the corresponding biblical book in which his story is found.
He was a contemporary of the prophet Hosea, but likely preceded him. Amos was a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam ben Joash (Jeroboam II), ruler of Israel from 793 BCE to 753 BCE, and the reign of Uzziah, King of Judah, at a time when both kingdoms (Israel in the North and Judah in the South) were peaking in prosperity. For that reason, his sermon to Israel could also be used as a sermon to our world today especially to contemporary America.
Much of the thrust of Amos is an education for catastrophe. Amos followed Elijah about 90-100 years later. During that period, Israel's sins continued to mount horribly. Despite this, they became very wealthy and self-indulgent, even oppressively so. Religiously, they were trying to walk a tightrope between God and Baal. They were behaving and worshipping like Baal worshippers but doing it in the name of the Lord.
Does that not sound familiar to an informed observer of our modern, American scene? People in high places are claiming we all worship the same God; they say the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are the same!
Amos, a Jew from the southern kingdom, was sent by God to preach against the sins of the northern ten tribes. In those from the north, there would be a natural resistance to such an arrangement. The first thing Amos needed to do, then, was establish his authority to preach against them.
The prophet begins in the first two verses with a "thus saith the LORD," providing the foundation for all that follows. He sets out two things that construct a basis for what he says.
First, God and Israel have a special relationship: "You only have I known." This phrase indicates a very close bond, as in a marriage, from which ensues the sharing of life's experiences. This ties what Amos would say to correct them to their responsibilities within that close relationship.
Second, he makes a veiled warning, contained within the next five verses: Amos' words carry authority. Israel had better heed because his words are not idle. He establishes this through a series of illustrations posed as challenging questions that can logically be answered only one way. His aim is to awaken them from their spiritual lethargy. It is as if he is saying, "Think about the practical ramifications of this." What follows is a general pattern of God's operation in His people's behalf.
First: People traveling in the same direction toward exactly the same destination would hardly meet except by appointment. It is no accident that God and Israel have this relationship. This also applies on a smaller but more immediate scale: Amos has been sent by appointment, and he does not speak promiscuously. He is there by no accident. His utterances are not his own words; they began with God, who sent them because the close relationship is seriously threatened.
Second: Lions do not roar unless they have taken their prey because they do not want to scare their intended prey away. Israel is God's prey, as it were, and He is not roaring yet. This means, "Take heed! He is stalking you, and you are in mortal danger. Punishment is imminent, at the very door. Beware, for the margin of safety is very slim."
Third: One cannot snare a bird unless a trap is set, and then something - in this case a bird - has to cause the trap to spring shut. This illustration is declaring a cause-and-effect relationship, meaning, "Israel, you are already in the trap, and you, through your conduct, are just about to spring it shut on yourself. Your sins brought this warning, and punishment will follow if you continue sinning."
Fourth: All too often, the alarms go off, and then people take notice. "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Amos is declaring that God is involved in His creation; He has not gone way off. The Israelites must not allow themselves to be self-deceived. God is managing it, governing it. His warning of impending calamity would not come if they were not deserving of it. They have been flippantly careless and have no one to blame but themselves.
Fifth: It is illogical to think that God would punish without first warning His people. It is an aspect of His mercy. We can infer that Amos did not choose to be there before them. God appointed him to this task and "caused" him to speak. It is from God that the authority for the prophet's message emanates.
An important overall warning from Amos for those of us who have made the New Covenant with God is that great privileges must not be abused, or they will bring great penalties. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48). Our great privilege is to have access to Him and His Spirit, and therefore have a far closer relationship with Him than Israel ever had under the Old Covenant. Israel's sin was first neglecting and then departing from God and the relationship. This in turn produced great moral corruption through self-serving idolatry, illustrated as and called "fornication" in other books.
The overall effect of these sins produced a careless disregard for the simple duties people owe their neighbors, as well as oppression of the weak. Amos speaks strongly against public and private indifference toward the keeping of the second of the two great commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).
If the Book of Amos was summed up in one line it would probably read, "By human standards, you're measuring up, but by God's standards you're failing." The Israelites were doing some of the right ceremonial things, but they weren't worshipping God with the way they lived their own lives. For this, God, through Amos, condemned them.
When these are considered, we see that he is truly a prophet for our time, when public morality has fallen so low. We need to heed His words seriously because our cultural circumstances parallel what Amos confronted in his day.
Book of Amos
Prophecy and the Sixth-Century Axial Period by John W. Ritenbaugh
We know that prophecy is both practical and positive, not all gloom and doom. Most of prophecy begins negatively, but ends positively because God is confident that what He prophesied will accomplish His end, which is always good! That sets the stage for today's study.
A look back at the prophetically news stories/commentaries from this past week...
Today I humbly approach you all with a prayer request. I don't personally know this little boy or his family, but learned about him and them through another friend.
His name is Andrew Krolczyk. On 8/23 Andrew was diagnosed with a tumor on his kidney. All the catscans lean towards a Wilms' Tumor which is the better of the cancerous tumors (if there is such a thing).
Approximately 500 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. That's it. The majority (75%) occur in otherwise normal children; a minority (25%) is associated with other developmental abnormalities. It is highly responsive to treatment, with about 90% of patients surviving at least five years.
The actual type and severity of the tumor will not be confirmed until the biopsy which can take 1 to 2 days after surgery to complete. Surgery was performed yesterday and the latest update is that the Surgeon told the family that the tumor was more involved than he anticipated and not safe to attempt to take out. He felt is was not consistent with a Wilms' Tumor. He took a biopsy of the tumor and closed Andrew up. They should have results by Friday. Andrew is in the ICU now and they plan on taking his breathing tube out later today so his family will be able to hold him.
I would be extremely grateful if the Look Up Fellowship community could take a few minutes to pray for him to be healed (as well as for God to provide him and his family with the strength and courage.
Lord, we come to you today to ask for your healing hands to lay upon Andrew Korlczyk and his family. These are frightening and painful times for them and we ask that you keep them close and comfort them. Help to ease their pain, suffering, and distress. Help them to know that you are near and that you are in complete control no matter what the outcome. We have faith that you can perform miracles and that you can heal him completely, but trust your judgment and your will for him and his family even if we might not be able to fully understand things. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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When Seeing Isn't Believing (Miracles Do Happen!) by Jeffrey K. Radt
In another shining example of how people will embrace any kind of technology - even those that restrict their personal freedoms and take away their personal privacy just so that they can have more peace of mind - today I read about wealthy Mexicans who are spending thousands of dollars to implant tiny transmitters under their skin so satellites can help find them should they ever get kidnapped.
Sure, on the surface it all sounds like common sense and a practical investment especially for those living in high-crime parts of the world like Mexico where kidnappings are sadly all too common.
According to the article, kidnapping jumped almost 40% between 2004 and 2007 in Mexico. Mexico ranks with conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia as among the worst countries for abductions.
Personally, I'm wondering, whatever happened to good, law-abiding citizens taking matters into their own hands and standing up for what's right? Are the days of protecting your family and your community - working with your neighbors and police to clean things up - long gone? Have we become a generation of people who would rather lift a satellite into space rather than lift a finger to protect ourselves? It would appear that this is the case.
Xega, based in the central Mexican city of Quererato, is the company that designed global positioning systems to track stolen vehicles until a company owner was kidnapped in broad daylight in 2001. Frustrated by his powerlessness to call for help, the company adapted the technology to track stolen people.
The company injects the crystal-encased chip, the size and shape of a grain of rice, into clients' bodies with a syringe. A transmitter then sends signals via satellite to pinpoint the location of a person in distress.
Most people get the chips injected into their arms between the skin and muscle where they cannot be seen. Customers who fear they are being kidnapped press a panic button on an external device to alert Xega which then calls the police.
The chips cost $4,000 plus an annual fee of $2,200!
Outside of Mexico, U.S. company VeriChip Corp uses similar radio-wave technology to identify patients in critical condition at hospitals or find elderly people who wander away from their homes.
Please understand that I'm not saying that this technology is evil and that it shouldn't be used by anyone, but it is the kind of technology that will be used by the Antichrist in the near future and when things we reach that point anyone who is left behind needs to reject such tools and devices. Plus, I also want to encourage people to consider such things with caution especially as we Americans see an increase in this particular market here with our elderly and our children.
How is this relevant prophetically? Well, to recap, we're told that the Antichrist will use the powerful technology that's available to him to employ the Mark of the Beast system, which will be used to track and regulate every life on this planet when he is in power.
For years, our movement to a cashless society has contributed to the development of this system and the War on Terror has helped advance things exponentially all in the name of "security" as we see more and more of these types of things becoming popular and even trendy.
Peace of mind at any price? No thank you.
Simply put, it's just another sign that the technology now exists to make the fulfillment of end times prophecy possible in our time. What are you waiting for?
Bringing Microchips Mainstream
Should You Chip Your Children?
Hospitals And VeriChip Collaborate
Have you heard of CERN? What about the Large Hadron Collider? My guess is probably not unless you're a tech saavy individual who surfs the Net regularly. That's because the mainstream media has virtually ignored this story.
For a simple case study, ask your friends and family if they know what this is all about. I'm willing to bet you'll get the same puzzled looks and the same "who cares?" type of comments.
It's the world’s largest and most costly physics experiment located 300 feet below ground outside Geneva, Switzerland with a track that's 17 miles long.
By creating the environment that existed just prior to and just after the Big Bang, they hope to uncover secrets about the universe, life, and our existence and are even hoping to find what they call the "God particle" (isn't that ironic?).
As astute students of prophecy have been aware of for several months now, there is a legitimate concern that this type of machine and its subsequent "experiment" could have some unpredictable and catastrophic effects on our natural environment.
In fact, some consider such things so serious that they even launched a lawsuit against the European organization that's responsible, but you probably didn't read about that in your Sunday newspaper either.
One of those concerns is that this type of event could create a massive black hole. Yes, black holes are scientific fact - not fiction - so that possibility makes me somewhat glad that this will be taking place in Europe and not here. But what about an untold number of other unknown possibilities? What if something goes wrong? What if something goes right? I mean, just because we can envision doing something doesn't necessarily mean that we should unless we know for sure what we could be getting ourselves into.
Oh, did I mention that as an "observer country" the U.S. has contributed a total amount in taxpayer money of $531 million? Money well spent?
When is this test supposed to take place? September 10th. On September 10th, researchers will activate particle beams within the 17-mile-long ring, and the world’s most powerful particle accelerator will begin collecting experimental data. Beams of hydrogen protons will whizz around in opposite directions until, bent by powerful superconducting magnets, they will smash together in four bus-sized detector chambers, where they will be annihilated at temperatures hotter than the sun.
Recently, we learned that it was the bloggers and underground press who scooped the John Edwards story long before the mainstream media got on-board. My feeling is that this is simply another case of the mainstream media failing in their mandate to keep the public informed on matters that should be important to us.
The only question that remains is whether or not we'll wish they had warned us in advance. Of course, we know what the Bible has to say about these end times so any ill effects of such an event would not mean the end of the world as we know it.
However, it could very well become just another stepping stone that puts us that much closer to the end. Let's pray that that's not the case. Don't risk putting off a decision that you can make today.
End Of The World? by Michael G. Mickey
Black Hole Worries: Physicists Allay Fears Of The End Of The World
I'm sure it came as a complete shock this morning to many people to read about the co-author of the book "100 Things to Do Before You Die," a travel guide and ode to odd adventures that inspired readers and imitators, who died tragically and unexpectedly after hitting his head in a fall at his home. He was only 47.
The book's recommendations ranged from the obvious — attending the Academy Awards and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain — to the more obscure — taking a voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti and "land diving" on the Island of Vanuatu, which Freeman once called "the original bungee jumping."
Here's a question...I wonder, what was the #1 thing to do on his list before you die? I'm not sure what the answer to that question is, but I know what it should be. In fact, I could write a book titled "The One Thing To Do Before You Die" and I guarantee it would instantly become a best seller.
However, since there's just not enough time to do that (between running a business, raising a family, and managing several blogs) I've decided to give my advice to everyone for free!
Things to do before you die? This is the ONLY thing you need to do before you die that will have any meaning and/or lasting value.
In case you're wondering about the strange title of this post it's all I could come up with this evening before heading off to bed! This entry is about the U.S. Secretary of State and the state of Israel. Rice was used for obvious reasons and apples were mentioned due to the fact that God refers to Israel as the apple of His eye in the Bible.
There are a number of things running through my head tonight. I'll start with the most important.
If you haven't made a decision for Christ - if you haven't been saved yet - you might want to take a few minutes and consider the eternal implications of such a simple act of faith. What are you waiting for?
Forget about the convergence of world events over these past few weeks (all of which have been reported here) that seem to be quickening and all pointing to some kind of a grand climax with prophetic significance. Just think of things practically for a moment.
In the last week, I've known of two people who were younger than 30 and one who was closer to 70 who all died suddenly and tragically. One of those individuals miraculously accepted Christ only A FEW DAYS before she suddenly became ill and passed away! I can't speak for the other two, but I sincerely hope that they accepted Him also, and that they recognized that their life could be gone at any moment and that the thinking "I'll worry about things like that when I get older..." would be a self prescribed death sentence.
Why am I so passionate this evening about reaching those who are lost or those who remain on the fence when it comes to matters of life and death? Because every day for the past month or so I have been witnessing news headline after news headline that all seem to be saying the same thing - whether months away or still years away, our time is short, our Lord and Savior is coming again!
Case in point, whenever major news emerges that involves Israel (the size of Texas and yet they hold the world's attention day after day, night after night. Why is that?) we expectant believers need to take notice.
Sometimes I'd swear that our national leaders have a deathwish because how else can you explain their constant pursuit of not only trying to be the broker of peace in the Middle East, but of also attempting to be the one to force Israel to divide Jerusalem?
As this article published today by WorldNetDaily tells us, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing a visit to the region today, has been pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks.
Say that again? Are you kidding me!?!
I'm still baffled every time a so-called Christian President, along with his so-called Christian advisors and administration, conduct themselves and attempt to play politics in such a manner that is inconsistent with their supposed worldview.
Did they (we) learn nothing from the aftermath of the Annapolis Conference last year? How can a nation and its so-called Christian leaders be so ignorant of one of the Bible's most basic instructions?
"The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem. The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the U.S. supports the conclusions of the document. Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before Bush leaves office."
Did you catch that? We now have a precedent - complete with specific language and a specific process - to confirm a covenant of this maginitude. As students of prophecy, any talk of confirming an agreement (making it stronger) should raise some eyebrows.
How much longer will you wait before you admit that something bigger than yourself is going on here? I pray it won't be too much longer. I pray that you'll take this message to heart.
Global Warning by Jeffrey K. Radt
The Stage Is Set: Will It Be Judgment Or Destruction? by Jeffrey K. Radt
The Stage Is Set: Will We Ask For Destruction Or Plead For Mercy? by Jeffrey K. Radt
When Prophecies Collide by Jeffrey K. Radt
Israelistan, Part 2 by Michael G. Mickey
Do you have a temperature? I know that it's the summer, but are you heating up? I hope that you're on fire for the Lord and not simply lukewarm about your relationship with him.
Why is it so important to gauge your spiritual temperature regularly?
Well, Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
While prayer is important, notice that in Luke 21:36, Jesus does not use just the word "pray" but the phrase "pray always." Why is this significant?
As we begin to answer this question, it is good to know that the word "always" is a translation of 3 Greek words. A literal translation of those 3 words, en pantí kairoó, would be "in all times," and many Bible translations have chosen to use similar wording, such as "at all times." Other versions may use "all the time," while some use words like "constant" and "constantly." Weymouth's New Testament goes so far as to read, "every moment."
Christ is speaking, not just about prayer, but also about the frequency of our prayers. How often are we in contact with God throughout our day? Do we give Him some time in the morning or evening, but the rest of the day He is in none, or very few, of our thoughts? Doing so places us in very dangerous company (Psalm 10:4).
Laodiceans have lukewarm relationships with God, thus Christ has to say to them in Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." He calls for them to rekindle the relationship.
Making the first move, He suggests what friends who have a close relationship do—they share a meal. What happens at a meal with friends? Conversation, which is what prayer is. Humans, whether with people or with God, build their relationships the same way: They talk to each other—a lot.
We can see why Christ tells those living at the end, when Laodiceanism reigns, that we have to overcome and pray always. Generally, the relationship between God and the Christian is weak and must be rebuilt, requiring considerable conversation, prayer, at all times of the day.
If we observed a marriage in which the husband and wife only mumbled to each other a little in the morning and/or a little at night, we would conclude that that relationship was in trouble. Our God who sees all knows the same thing when He experiences it.
How does a Christian "pray always"? In one of Herbert W. Armstrong's radio broadcasts on the book of Hebrews, he says, paraphrased, "You need to be in contact with God every hour!" I Thessalonians 5:17 instructs, "Pray without ceasing." Hebrews 13:15 urges us to offer prayer to God "continually." God's purpose for us requires a great deal of contact with Him.
A look back at the prophetically news stories/commentaries from this past week...
- UltraChrist is ultra blasphemous!
- If he can find Him so can you - it's not too late!
- Who still thinks that persecution of Christians won't happen here?
- The significance of blood moons and Jewish Feasts
- Iran talking spiritual trash - again - taunting God regarding Israel
- When Olympians put others before themselves...
- God's divine institutions no longer revered
- The modern method for sharing one's faith and the Gospel is lacking
Hallmark, a privately owned company and the biggest name in greeting cards, is releasing same-sex marriage cards.
This latest marketing venture comes despite the fact that homosexual "marriage" has only been imposed by the courts in two states. The cards include two tuxedos on the front or two hearts intertwined.
The company made the controversial decision to begin releasing the cards, despite the fact that a vast majority of Americans support traditional marriage as between one man and one woman.
We can only wonder whether the company, which also owns the Hallmark Channel that defines itself as "the quintessential 24-hour television destination for family-friendly programming and a leader in the production of original movies," will try to push this new view of "family values" through its television broadcasting.
We shouldn't be totally surprised by this latest move.
Last year, Hallmark started offering "coming out" cards for homosexuals to announce their sexual orientation to their family and friends. As a business owner myself, I assert that placing profits over character should never be a good business decision.
We've all given or received Hallmark Cards – remember their slogan – "when you care enough to send the very best." But promoting same-sex marriage for profit is not the very best for families or our nation.
Hallmark is a private company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards, Hallmark's competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.
Send an e-mail to Hallmark. Ask them to stop promoting a lifestyle that is not only unhealthy, but is also illegal in 48 states. Please forward this to your friends and family.
These are exciting times we are living in aren't they!?! Today, yet ANOTHER headline caught my eye for its obvious prophetic implications.
Simply put, Syria's leader Bashar Assad has decided to side with Russia over their conflict with Georgia (no surprise there!) and has asked Russia to put her missles on Syrian soil.
Instantaneously, almost as if within the blinking of an eye (obvious attempt to conjure up thoughts of the Rapture given the nature of the world news headlines the past couple of weeks!), I believe we are seeing 2 major unfulfilled prophecies beginning to take shape as the pre-destined participants take their place upon the world's stage of history.
Of course, I'm talking about the Gag-Magog War and the prophesied destruction of Damascus (the capital of Syria). One prophecy is found in the book of Ezekiel and the other in Isaiah.
I'll remind you that it will be 1 year ago in September when the world wondered if the prophesied destruction of Damascus was imminent following a July 2007 explosion at a Syrian military base at al-Safir, near Aleppo, in which reportedly "dozens" of Iranian engineers were killed along with their Syrian counterparts.
It seemed clear from those events that Syria was preparing chemical and biological weapons, and possibly some form of nuclear weapon for use in some future war against Israel. Syria and Iran have been outfitting Hezbollah with the latest in offensive weaponry since the war of June 2006 so the scenario is certainly plausible, which makes the 2,500+ year-old prophecy of Isaiah that much more incredible.
That brings us to the present day. Is this an example of when prophecies collide? Are we seeing these 2 major unfulfilled prophetic events lining up? YES! Is the fulfillment of these events imminent? Only God knows the answer to that question.
I must admit that one thing that keeps replaying over and over in my mind since learning about this today is the actual sequence of events that will take place to help fulfill these prophecies. I'm beginning to wonder if they will erupt suddenly and happen close to one another rather than being several months or even years apart.
I could see a situation where Iran encourages Syria to attack Israel perhaps with chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction. Israel responds decisively by totally obliterating Damascus thus fulfilling the Damascus prophecy. There will be "an uproar of many peoples" and "the rumbling of nations" but that they will flee at God's rebuke. Then, perhaps in response to Israel's action (or as their justification for such a move), Russia along with her regional allies will decide to attack Israel as "payback" for destroying one of their staunch supporters in the Middle East thus fulfilling the Gag-Magog prophecy.
Of course, this is all pure speculation. However, the mere fact that we are able to think of this as a plausible scenario should give ANYONE cause for concern that we are close - very close - to those end times discussed in the Bible.
It's not too late to get right with the Lord. Not sure where to even start? Maybe this will help.
I'm sure that many of you who are new to your faith (or perhaps our family and friends who think we're a complete nut for believing all this Bible prophecy stuff) will think, "How in the world is the threat of death and utter destruction - complete chaos on a worldwide scale - anything to be excited about?"
It's a legitimate question for those who aren't saved or those who are new to their faith. That's ok because I remember being there myself once. Yet, as you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ you'll soon begin to lose all fears and seeing the fulfillment of prophecy around you will only serve to STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH as you clearly realize that what God says in the pages of the Bible is true and it can be trusted 100%.
My prayer is that these news items and events (as they continue to prove to you that our time here is short) encourages you to spread the word to other loved ones before it's too late for them.
Finding Comfort Where Others Find Fear by Jeffrey K. Radt
Is A New Mideast War Imminent? by Steven Collins
Pakistan instability deepens with the news that President Pervez Musharraf resigned. Pakistan's pro-Western government is in shambles.
His departure could trigger further instability for the nuclear-armed U.S. ally if the country's fractious coalition government can't hold together without its common enemy.
While Washington benefited from having Pakistan's cooperation since 9/11 that could all change with this move.
Prophetically speaking, this news is big considering the recent developments involving Iran, Russia, Georgia, NATO, and now Poland.
***UPDATE: Even Syria wants in on the action as all the key pieces of this prophetic puzzle are lining up for their predetermined role in history.***
Plus, as Jack Kinsella suggests in one of his recent columns, the threat of an Indo-Pakistani war is very real with the political unrest in Pakistan today.
His conclusion to that piece is appropriate here...
"The Bible divides the world in the last days into four spheres of regional power; the Antichrist's Western empire, the Islamic Kings of the South, (Islamic North Africa and the southern Mediterranean states) the Gog-Magog Alliance and the 'Kings of the East.' The Antichrist's Western Empire is under construction. The Gog-Magog Alliance is already in place. Islamic North Africa, as a power bloc, is on the rise. What remains to be defined is the alliance John calls 'the Kings of the East.' We may soon witness the emergence of that alliance. 'For when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh,' Jesus said. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this may not be the end. It may not even be the beginning of the end. But we are well past the end of the beginning. Stay tuned."
The Forgotten War Revisited by Jack Kinsella
In case you've never been to my neck of the woods, I live in Buffalo, NY or the Northeastern United States. What's nice about the City of Buffalo amongst other things is its close proximity to one of the great natural wonders of this world - Niagara Falls.
With just a brief 20-minute drive to our neighbor up north one can feast their eyes on one of God's most beautiful, magnificent, and powerful creations. Growing up, my parents made it an annual summer ritual for us to visit Canada and the Clifton Hill/Lundy's Lane area of souvenir gift shops, restaurants, and wax museums and rides.
Sadly, I'm afraid the days of conveniently loading my own young family into the car and heading to Canada for a day trip is about to become a lot more inconvenient and all in the name of homeland security.
Gone are the days of simply showing your Driver's License and answering a few quick questions about your citizenship status. Here are the days of mandatory passports even if you just want to visit for the day or afternoon. In fact, travelers (including all American citizens like the Radt family) are already subject to search without suspicion at border crossings and occasionally have electronic devices searched, duplicated, and stored.
Next summer, all passports used at border crossings must be machine readable, and many will contain radio-frequency chips that — at least in theory — could allow border guards to scan arriving and departing visitors as their cars roll through checkpoints. That's the hope anyway—an EZ-Pass-style system for border crossings.
It's all part of Homeland Security's ambitious plan to cause everyone to surrender their personal biometric data.
Sounds an awful lot like our society is moving closer and closer to one that will accept the mark-of-the-best-technology with open arms.
But I guess that's ok because it will protect us from the "bad guys" (since when did we become the enemy ourselves?) and we all know that technology only makes our lives easier, right?
Are Christians Being Groomed To Accept The Coming Antichrist? by Tom Horn
In the latest sign of trouble in the planet's chemistry, the number of oxygen-starved "dead zones" in coastal waters around the world has roughly doubled every decade since the 1960s, killing fish, crabs and massive amounts of marine life at the base of the food chain, according to a study released yesterday.
"These zones are popping up all over," said Robert Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who led the study, published online by the journal Science.
Diaz and co-author Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Goteborg in Sweden counted more than 400 dead zones globally, which collectively covers about 95,000 square miles.
The study is the latest alarm sounded by scientists and environmentalists about deteriorating oceans and watersheds.
The study is also the latest alarm sounded by Christians about the world's need for repentance and salvation before it's too late.
Global Warning by Jeffrey K. Radt
It's quite possible that with the release of David Flynn's new book Temple At The Center Of Time we are sitting on the single greatest discovery of our time since the book asserts it has "deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than 'the unified field theory' of Bible prophecy."
It's also quite possible that Satan will attempt to deceive us once again and lead us down a rabbit hole on a road to nowhere since we all know that his greatest lies always contain an element of truth (or just enough to make us think we're on to something). For as one astute blogger commented, "God has no reason to follow pagan calendars and theories. Why should any Christian believe they contain truth?"
Still, I think it's definitely worth our time to examine this work.
Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy.
Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure.
According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology. Read the article for a few breathtaking examples of what he means and you'll quickly see that they defy the laws of probability.
Flynn's book is causing a sensation in some circles where it is being compared to The Bible Code and let's face it, if it is what we are being told it is then this is PRECISELY the key we have been waiting for from the Lord at exactly His perfect timing for this specific time in human history!
Plus, it sheds a whole new light on Daniel 12:4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
Here's a promo video that will send chills up your spine...
Don Koenig's rebuttal to all the hype over Flynn's new book
Are you a proud member of MADD? No, not "Mothers Against Drunk Driving," but the new organization - "Mothers Against Daughters Driving (Their Drunk Moms Home)" - that's sure to be created after this news item today.
In yet another sign of the moral decline in this world (as if we needed another one, right?) I came across a truly sad story today about a mother (and I use that term rather loosely) who used her 12-year-old daughter as a designated driver so that she could go to a bar to celebrate her 35th birthday.
I wonder if Jennifer Rosenberg still feels like the booze and a night out was worth losing her child.
Sadly, the same report indicated that similar cases have involved children as young as 7 and even 5!
How can your heart not break for a woman who clearly needs help and for a precious child who is treated as nothing more than a slave instead of the amazing gift that she is?
Unfortunately, it will only continue to get worse the closer we get to the end.
A look back at the prophetically news stories/commentaries from this past week...
- Bentley decides to drive spiritual deception from Florida to Europe
- Chuck Baldwin writes about America's greatest threat
- Russia begins to take her place in the end-time scenario
- Purpose Driven drivel (or what's wrong with the church today)
- Britt Gillette one hour interview on “Recognizing Signs of Christ’s Return”
- What role will Turkey play in the last days? This might give us a clue
What is Russia doing? Why is it such a big deal? Why should we care?
WHAT IS RUSSIA DOING?
I'm sure that many of you have been wondering what's going on with Russia and her neighbors and why it's causing such a stir in the media. Simply put, Russia hates democracy and anything/anyone who threatens to shift the balance of power in their global sphere of influence.
Many people incorrectly assume that since the end of the Cold War and the destruction of the Berlin Wall that Russia has become nothing but a mere afterthought on our nation's political radar or, in other words, that they're nothing for us to worry about any longer. Big mistake.
If anyone is still wondering about the kind of threat that Russia poses to the world they need not look any further than the world news headlines from the past week or from even today.
Russia keeps up blockade of strategic Georgia city. Russian troops on Friday allowed some humanitarian supplies into the city of Gori, but kept up their blockade of the strategically located city, raising doubts about Russia's intentions in the war-battered country. A flurry of international diplomacy, meanwhile, was set in motion to clear the way for a Russian withdrawal. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived Friday in Georgia for talks with President Mikhail Saakashvili.
In Washington, President Bush demanded that Russia get out of Georgia, saying the people there have cast their lot with the free world and "we will not cast them aside." He said that "bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that Georgia's two separatist regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, were unlikely to ever be parts of that country again.
On Friday, Russian military vehicles were blocking the eastern road into the city of Gori, although they allowed in one Georgia bus filled with loaves of bread. Gori is on the country's main east-west highway about 45 miles west of the capital, Tbilisi. By holding it, Russian forces effectively cut Georgia in half.
What happens in Gori is key to when — or if — Russia will honor the terms of a cease-fire that calls for both sides to pull their forces back to the positions they held before fighting broke out last week in the separatist region of South Ossetia.
Escalating things dramatically this morning, Russia now says that Poland risks attack because of U.S. missiles that will be present there soon!
A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.
The statement by General Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.
Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force.
"Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.
He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them." Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.
At a news conference earlier Friday, Nogovitsyn had reiterated Russia's frequently stated warning that placing missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic would bring an unspecified military response. But his subsequent reported statement substantially stepped up a war of words.
WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL?
For the past few years, Russia has felt threatened by her smaller neighbors (all ex-communist states that were once a part of Russia) because they seek independence and many want entrance into either NATO, the European Union, or both - any scenario would represent a threat to Russia's sovereignty in the region at least according to their perspective.
Complicating matters is the fact that many in the Western world (many of these member nations) have allied themselves with these same states politically if not militarily as well. As previously mentioned, the U.S. has agreements to establish missle bases in the region as a deterrent to any threats against them or their allies in the region.
So, why is it such a big deal to us what happens in a far off place on the planet? Well, prophetically speaking this could be HUGE and have serious implications for telling us where we are on the prophetic timeline of events to come!
This weekend I'll post a more thorough description of the Gag-Magog War (surprise attack upon Israel) that's prophesied to occur, but for now we'll just focus on the fact that the Bible says that in the last days events will shape up to cause Russia to make a move against Israel while the world stands by and does nothing. Specifically, Russia and Iran are going to oppose Israel militarily, according to the book of Ezekiel (written in approximately 593-571 BC or almost 3,000 years ago!).
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
I know that when the news first broke about war breaking out in that part of the world some people joked, "Why would Russia attack Georgia? I mean, if they want peaches that badly we could just give them some!" Obviously, war is no laughing matter, but given the potential spiritual significance of these developments we should be on our knees in prayer for those who still haven't accepted God's free gift yet before it's too late for them.
The Gog-Magog attack prophesied by Ezekiel is one that is controversial, so far as to where it specifically will fit into the end-times timeline. Some have the event just before or in conjunction with the rapture, while others believe it will happen right after the rapture or nearer the mid-point of the 7-year tribulation period.
Russia is destined to present some of the most fearsome trials and tribulations for Israel. In the last days, Russia will be the leading nation of the Gog-Magog coalition of nations that will make a move against Israel and be defeated by a supernatural act of God. Persia (Iran) comes right along beside Russia in prophetic parlance. According to Ezekiel 38:5, Iran will aid Russia in attacking Israel. Apparently, this event isn't just pure speculation since many are beginning to see the signs all around them as evidenced by this international news report from last year.
Low and behold, we find it is Russia (and China) who has been arming the nations that surround Israel in the Middle East as well as posturing with them to make the events foretold in the Bible a plausible scenario that could occur at any moment. Isn't it AMAZING that Russia and her Arab allies were mentioned thousands of years ago with such precision and detail so that we couldn't mistake the times that we are living in as being prophetically significant?
But why should we care? Surely, an attack on the small state of Georgia in an isolated part of the world hardly indicates that Russia is poised to attack Israel tomorrow, right? Well, not so fast.
A few things should stand out to us regarding these events as they unfold because they're relevant to this discussion. First, the manner in which crisis erupted has been described by many as "a complete surprise" and it was even our own U.S. military analysts who also commented on how "surprised" and "shocked" they were at how quickly and effectively Russia was able to mobilize her forces in the region given the scale. In addition, today's surprising comments that Poland is now on Russia's radar defies logic and was met with equal shock and bewilderment by many.
Why is all of this significant? Because we know that the future attack on Israel will be a complete surprise! We are also told that when the Gog-Magog invasion occurs, it appears that the only response from the Western democracies will be a diplomatic protest (Ezekiel 38:13)!
We are seeing similar trends regarding this whole issue, which surely makes the Gog-Magog scenario a plausible one today for those of you who are still on the fence regarding this whole biblical prophecy thing.
Please stay tuned in the coming days for more on this topic as this is a serious escalation of prophetic events lining up in order to fulfill end times biblical prophecy.
Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny by Grant R. Jeffrey
Russia Goes To War To Accomplish Its Goals by Steven Collins
Timing Of The Gog Magog War: A Pre-Tribulation Scenario by Ray Gano
I'm sure many of you thought this was going to be a commentary on Materialism vs. Christianity when you first read the title. Christians realize that a soul can be saved by grace from any sin, however, he personally claims that he was demon possessed after having been born-again, which poses a problem considering his self-acclaimed position. Did I fail to mention that he also talks often about an angelic experience with an angel named Emma? He causes physical harm to the sick and the dying in the name of our Lord and Savior and yet so-called Christians think that he was sent to us from God Himself for a time such as this.
Although it's an equally important topic to discuss in these last days, I want to draw attention to one of our world's most popular wolves in sheep's clothing - Todd Betley and his Fresh Fire Ministries and Lakeland Revival.
Canadian Todd Bentley doesn't look like a minister as some would expect. The 32-year-old openly sports body piercings and tattoos on his arms and neck, which has caused many to question his purpose and motivations.
On April 2, 2008, Bentley was invited by Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, to lead a 1-week revival. The revival quickly became a religious and media phenomenon, attracting up to 10,000 attendees nightly. It continued after the first week. In addition to showcasing Bentley's evangelism (an important distinction because it truly is HIS BRAND OF EVANGELISM AND NOT JESUS CHRIST'S!), the revival features colorful light shows and power-chord Christian rock music.
In other words, it was more show than substance and another shining example of everything that's wrong with the Emerging Church these in these troubled times.
As background information, Todd Bentley is relatively a new Christian with no formal training or experience in the exposition of Scripture - and it shows! Consider so of these blasphemous comments from Bentley...
Without any exception that I have found, every questionable spiritual movement is marked by intervening Angels giving guidance, not necessarily God’s Word or the Holy Spirit of Truth. Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, Jerry and Esther Hicks, Rhonda Byrne, Helen Schucman, JZ Knight…the list is long for those who are popular and have "spirit guides" from the fallen realm.
Todd Bentley believes God acts through him to cure cancer, heal the deaf, and raise the dead. This same Todd "Bam" Bentley also runs and kicks people in the stomach with metastatic stage IV colon cancer while ignoring children lined up in wheelchairs, who hope in vain that the revival is real and they might get healed. You read that correctly. In other videos readily available, Bentley explains how he kicked an elderly lady in the face, choked a man, banged a crippled woman's legs on a platform, "leg-dropped" a pastor, and hit a man so hard it dislodged a tooth.
If that doesn't make you sick and want to weep for these poor people who are being deceived then consider the following.
The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be many false workers, or many “Who are called by His name”, but very few will be genuinely authentic, this is just the facts (Matthew 7:22). The anointed servant are those who work without seeking recognition or fanfare as Christ and the Apostles humbly served. The Holy Spirit filled doesn’t seek fame, recognition, money and may never be known, such is the humble and contrite of heart.
Those of the Pharisee spirit, egocentric and endued by principalities and powers, seek an exuberant audience, accolades, affirmation, financial gain and make a spectacle of the precious gifts of God like a side show circus. Those given to the extreme charismatic (emotional or fleshly) bent are susceptible prey to these types of leaders, whereas such is the power of hypnotic manipulation through the drone of their voice.
With his website getting 8 million hits per month and his "ministry" gaining widespread popularity, pray for those who are caught in this spiritual deception and pray that Todd Bentley will genuinely repent and seek forgiveness before it's too late.
The situation with Todd Bentley makes Matthew 7:15-20 really stand out..
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
It seems that on occasion we so want to believe that something is from God that we ignore the obvious. Hopefully, we'll all learn from this so that we're not decieved next time.
J. Lee Grady said it best when he wrote, "I blame this lack of discernment, partly, on raw zeal for God. We’re spiritually hungry - which can be a good thing. But sometimes, hungry people will eat anything. Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study."
God help us to discern the truth.
***UPDATE ARTICLE: BENTLEY ANNOUNCES THAT AS OF 8/23 HE IS LEAVING LAKELAND, FL TO TAKE HIS MINISTRY OVERSEAS***
***UPDATE 12/4/2008: Todd Bentley Controversy Continues***
Some 'Healing Revivals' Draw Even Pentecostal Critics
Life After Lakeland: Sorting Out The Confusion by J. Lee Grady
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
Christians realize that a soul can be saved by grace from any sin, however, he personally claims that he was demon possessed after having been born-again, which poses a problem considering his self-acclaimed position. Did I fail to mention that he also talks often about an angelic experience with an angel named Emma?
He causes physical harm to the sick and the dying in the name of our Lord and Savior and yet so-called Christians think that he was sent to us from God Himself for a time such as this.
It would seem that as events continue to unfold at a quickening pace in Russia and the Middle East, we've expanded our coverage of these regions and the situation there by seeking as many different documented sources of information across the Internet as possible. That has brought us to many informative online ministries that we never even knew existed!
So, that being said, I would like to introduce 5 new additions to Look Up Fellowship's Blogroll Banner on the lefthand side of this screen...
The Christ In Prophecy Journal
This is the Lamb & Lion Ministries Blog and it's purpose is to proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Steven M. Collins
Steven M. Collins has authored five books documenting the migrations, kingdoms and locations of the biblical ten tribes of Israel after their exile from the Promised Land. He has also written many articles on a variety of biblical topics, prophecy related to the modern tribes of Israel and presented lectures to various audiences. After a career-ending injury, Mr. Collins directed his research skills to a comparison of secular historical records with the historical accounts of the Bible.
Collins Prophecy Log
This is Steven Collins' main prophecy blog with an emphasis on the Lost Ten Tribes and the Gog Magog War.
The source for Bible prophecy and world events.
Discerning The Times Online
DTTO's mission is to show you the world in Scripture. It's the place to go where Bible Prophecy in today's headlines is collected, discussed, and shared.
Fans on one-hit wonders from the eighties will read the title of this post and probably chuckle to themselves as it comes from the song "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls.
However, make no mistake that the political landscape (if it were to include a nuclear Iran) is absolutely no laughing matter.
Actually, I'm beginning to wonder if all the actors are beginning to take their place upon the stage of war (World War III? Gog Magog Ear prophesied in Ezekiel?), which threatens to erupt and engulf the entire world at any moment. More on that in future posts.
As this article published by the Northeast Intelligence Network astutely suggests, "how many Americans know that Ahmadinejad ordered the digging of 320,000 graves to bury the enemies of Islam, and that he is calling for the unification of the Islamic world politically and economically, including the creation of a single currency? By all accounts, time appears to be running out. Are we bearing witness to the last days according to Christian prophecy? Is it coming upon us like a 'thief in the night?'"
Within the last 30 days, Ahmadinejad again declared that the United States and Israel would soon be "annihilated." Some believe the Iranian President to be blustering and bluffing, while a number of top leaders in the U.S. and Israel see the undeniable clouds of war forming.
In fact, did you know that 3 major U.S. Naval Strike Forces are due to arrive this week in the Persian Gulf? Military sources note that the arrival of these units will raise to 5 the number of U.S. strike forces in Middle East waters – an unprecedented build-up since the crisis erupted over Iran’s nuclear program.
This vast naval and air strength consists of more than 40 carriers, warships and submarines, some of the last nuclear-armed, opposite the Islamic Republic, a concentration last seen just before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
As you'll see in an upcoming post, given Irans strong ties to Russia (and the prophetic significance of that partnership) these military events around the world within the past week cannot be viewed as solely isolated ones for together they make up a larger picture of what's really going on.
What will you do now that you have seen yet another example of facts meeting prophecy? If you're uncertain here's a great place to start.
Did you know that Technology is a sign of the end times? If fact, Daniel 12 teaches that this very acceleration of technology is a sign of the end of this age and the soon return of Jesus Christ.
As Nathan E. Jones from Lamb & Lion Ministries recently wrote, "The prophet Daniel 2,500 years ago was trying to get his mind around all the fantastic events the Lord was laying out to him and he just couldn't understand them. The Lord responded, 'But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.' For Daniel to understand what he was hearing, he needed to understand what we today understand and take for granted — modern technology."
He goes on to cite 4 major technological signs/categories for us to consider:
- Knowledge & Communications
- Computers & Medicine
I encourage you to take 5 minutes to read his brief summaries of each and their relevance to biblical prophecy.
I would like to introduce 1 new addition to Look Up Fellowship's Blogroll Banner on the lefthand side of this screen...
The Hal Lindsey Report
Politically Incorrect. Prophetically Correct.
With the impact he's had on modern eschatology with his The Late Great Planet Earth and other valuable works, how did I leave this site off the original list!?!
I was asking myself that same question for days! I'm sure many of you noticed a problem with the website since this past weekend. My apologies for the error and for a lack of posting, but I'm pleased to report that the problem has been fixed for good!
I noticed a problem back on Saturday/Sunday and I wasn't sure what happened to cause the layout to display improperly. For those who missed it, ALL the key graphics disappered entirely and it was difficult to read any of the recent entries!
I knew there was a problem right away when I opened the Internet Browser and got a "Done, but with errors on page" message in the bottom lefthand portion of the screen.
Please note that I have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again. I'm sorry that we've had somewhat of a major issue only 2-3 weeks in and I thank you for your patience and continued interest.
It was almost 1 year ago when the following report was published by Chris Perver from Prophecy In The News...
"The World Meteorological Organization has published a new report stating that the world has witnessed a record breaking series of extreme weather patterns during the first half of 2007. The United Nations organization said that global land surface temperatures from January to April were most likely the hottest since records began, and that it was difficult to predict what sort of weather we should expect in the latter half of the year. The report listed some of the unusual weather patterns, with record breaking heatwaves across Europe in April and May, followed by the worst flooding since records began. South Africa, Argentina and Chile experienced unusually cold weather last month. Floods in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uruguay, Mozambique and China killed hundreds of people and displaced millions more. The Arabian Sea also witnessed the biggest storm in 60 years to hit the region, coming on the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. The year 2005 entered the record books for the most hurricanes in one year. The year 2006 entered the record books for being the warmest in at least 2000 years. It looks like the year 2007 is already on record for being the wettest year in history.
And to think we're just that much closer now that it's a full 1 year later! At the same time, we continue to see Israel and the Middle East dominate the headlines, the threat of war in various parts of the globe, and economic as well as moral decline worldwide to boot.
Surely, this is all a coincidence, right? Are you willing to take the chance that it's not?
A look back at the prophetically correct stories/commentaries from this past week...
As we awoke to the dawning of a new day we find Russia and her military (the great bear of the political stage) awakening to the prospect of war.
Nations In Prophecy by Terry James
One sure sign of the times has to do with the contemporary Christian church as well as our so-called religious leaders.
We know that false Bible teachers will arise who are money hungry. These same individuals will be smooth talkers (telling us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear), they will have many followers, and they will slur the Christian faith (2 Peter 2:1-3).
Sadly, we already find ourselves in the midst of of this prophetic fulfillment as I'm sure that many of you may already attend one of these mega-churches with a larger-than-life leader.
There are many directions I could take today's commentary, but in the spirit of learning to crawl before we can walk...I wanted to first bring attention to a common problem with the church as well as to a new book I just learned about.
It's called "Reveal: Where Are You?" and it tells the story of the mega-church Willow Creek's discovery that the "seeker-friendly" church model (telling us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear; more show than substance) fails to
Chicago-based Willow Creek Community Church, deemed to be the largest church in America at one time, undertook a 3-year landmark research project to determine if their methodology of appealing to the unchurched via a contemporary seeker-friendly model of church ministry was effective.
Their results? Startling! Long-held assumptions crumbled!
Their findings revealed that their strategy was successful at putting people in pews, but failed miserably at making disciples of Jesus Christ. To put it in the words of one leader, "their discipleship was ten miles wide, but one inch deep."
Senior pastor Bill Hybels, in an amazing admission, said:
"Some of the stuff we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for."
Now, Willow Creek invites you to learn from its mistakes and what they plan to do differently. It's a wake up call to the mega-church, seeker-sensitive churches of America.
From the little bit I know about this work, if you're a pastor, you need to read this book. If you're a business leader who has leadership responsibilities in a local church, you need to read this book. If you're like me and you just desire greater spiritual influence through let's say an online ministry like this then you need to read this book.
I haven't read it, but I'll be ordering it really soon. Stay tuned for my review and findings in a few weeks.
I would like to introduce 2 new additions to Look Up Fellowship's Blogroll Banner on the lefthand side of this screen...
An apologetics ministry emphasizing the miracle of Israel's modern rebirth - the single greatest sign to us that ours could be the generation that sees the complete fulfillment of Bible prophecy!
Abandoning Religion + Clinging To Jesus. Focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ!
We already know that the tiny state of Israel is God's prophetic timepiece. That being said, whenever major news headlines involve Israel we students of Bible prophecy know we need to take notice.
For months or maybe longer, we've speculated about whether or not the Bush administration would engage Iran militarily before their time was up. Now, with Israel's Ehud Olmert set to leave the political stage as well it would seem rather unlikely.
Yet, while this type of headline isn't anything new and these recent political circumstances make this type of event unlikely in the near future, it still feels like we're only seconds away from a major military conflict in the Middle East. Why is that? The answer must be that it's because these events are supernatural in origin and that they were written before their time - not just in the pages of the Bible, but in our DNA as spiritual beings created by God - so that we would respond to His call to get our attention that time is short.
Who would argue that a conflict instantly involving the U.S., Israel, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and perhaps even Russia and China (those responsible for arming the nations who want to see Israel's destruction) could erupt at any moment in that unstable and volatile piece of God's real estate?
Therefore, it's not simply a matter of "if," but a matter of "when" these things will happen.
So, for now, this headline will get classified as just another example of "wars and rumors of wars" from Mark 13:7-8 or more evidence that we should look up for the time is near.
Nations In Prophecy by Terry James
It would appear that our nation's next President will not do a single thing to stem the tide that's forcing this country towards global government or, at the very least, a North American Union.
Sadly, the march towards a one-world government and new order continues.
Chuck Baldwin recently wrote an eye-opening commentary on this subject called The Three Amigos. You can read it in its entirity by clicking this link.
The gist of the article is this: Associating with the National Council of La Raza is not a good thing - at all. Don't believe me? Maybe this will help fill in the blanks for you. McCain and Obama, along with many others in Washington, D.C., do not believe in putting America first. They are globalists through and through.
The real battle today is not between liberals and conservatives. Those labels are meaningless. It is not between Republicans and Democrats. Pat Buchanan was right when he said that the two major parties are merely "two wings of the same bird of prey."
The real battle today is between Americans and globalists. Between those who believe in constitutional government, national sovereignty and independence, secure borders, and putting America first, and those who want to merge the United States into some kind of global New World Order.
John McCain and Barack Obama are globalists. Their pandering before an anti-American, racist organization such as La Raza proves it. The prophetic puzzle pieces continue to line up.
I pray that we all fight the good fight as we continue to march to the beat of a different drummer - our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - because we have the promise and security of a new world that will be ordered by Him out of complete and utter chaos.
As we continue along in these early parts of the 21st century, we are experiencing an unprecedented assault on our privacy and freedom that is setting the stage for the totalitarian future global government of the coming Antichrist. He will use this system as the all-seeing eye to exert total domination over everyone.
We live in a surveillance society with growing attacks by government, corporations, and individuals on our private communications as well as our personal financial transactions. Every citizen needs to become aware of this unprecedented attack on our freedom and privacy.
I remember reading Grant R Jeffrey's book Surveillance Society shortly after 9/11 and being utterly amazed by his body of work that presented compelling evidence that we are witnessing the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies of the Bible about the events of the last days, which will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ to establish His eternal kingdom on earth.
Some of the fascinating (and frightening!) things he discussed included how our E-mail and Internet surfing are constantly monitored; how Echelon global surveillance monitors all of our calls and faxes; how NATO and the UN plan to create a world government; how electronic weapons will be used for global economic war and for advancing the Antichrist's one-world government one day; and how every detail of your life is now available in a computer database.
This well documented book warned that remarkable new surveillance technologies are creating "Big Brother" monitoring of every activity that was foretold 2,000 years ago by the book of Revelation. Truly a must read for anyone interested in the relationship between emerging technology and biblical prophecy.
If I were a betting man I would venture to guess that the magnitude of recent natural disasters and uncharacteristic weather patterns are probably the most popular means of getting people's attention that something strange is going on in the world these days.
Sometimes God uses signs of nature to underline the importance of major events. More often, He uses signs of nature as remedial judgments to call nations to repentance. He has always spoken to the world through signs of nature. One example that comes readily to mind is the birth of Jesus when God placed a special light in the heavens. Another is when Jesus was crucified and the earth experienced three hours of darkness and a major earthquake.
Do all natural catastrophes represent remedial judgments of God? No - most are just the products of the natural processes of our weather systems in a fallen world. How then can we determine when a natural calamity is a remedial judgment?
One important factor is the timing of the event as it relates to the sins of the nation. Another factor is the magnitude of the event. Remedial judgments are designed to have great shock value in order to capture people’s attention and force them to think with an eternal perspective.
A casual reading of any of the media’s news reports over the past several months should raise some eyebrows.
Mother Nature goes to extremes in the summer, spoiling the gift of good weather with hurricanes, heat waves, fires and floods. This year she started early. On May 2, Cyclone Nargis laid waste to large parts of Myanmar. According to the latest counts, the disaster left 2.4 million people destitute, more than 50,000 missing and at least 84,000 dead.
On May 12, China’s Sichuan Province suffered an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. China’s state media reported that more than 5 million people lost their homes; an estimated 80,000 people, many of them children, were killed.
Consider the U.S. in June: Iowa experienced a deluge of historic proportions, with large-scale crop destruction spiking the cost of food and raising fears of an inflationary spiral.
California, where the driest two months of spring on record turned grass and brush into kindling, endured more than 1,000 wildfires and braced for more to come.
On the East Coast in June, more than 30 people perished during the kind of heat wave that usually comes in July or August.
Earlier this month, Natural News reported that natural disasters are up more than 400% in the last 20 years! Natural disasters are increasing in frequency, ravaging the world, our country, and even our own homes.
These events follow a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable, and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people.
That's the key to understanding all of this.
Bible Prophecy And Environmentalism by Todd Strandberg at Rapture Ready
Global Warning by Jeffrey K. Radt published by Raiders News Network (RNN)
The Stage Is Set: Will It Be Judgment Or Destruction? by Jeffrey K. Radt published by Raiders News Network (RNN)
The Stage Is Set: Will We Ask For Destruction Or Plead For Mercy? by Jeffrey K. Radt published by Raiders News Network (RNN)
It's important to me to not only share the truth and the Gospel during these times, but to also maintain some sort of structure and consistency in this forum. I figure that if I can come up with a Weekly Schedule at least that will give everyone a firm idea of what to expect from this ministry day-in-and-day-out.
Of course, we'll report on the news and topics that are relevant (and as they happen), but for the most part we'll try to maintain the following Weekly Schedule:
Sunday / Sound Doctrine of Scripture
Sunday's will be the day when we highlight and present what the Bible literally has to say about certain aspects of these last days. It will hopefully serve as a primer for the rest of the week.
Monday / Nature & Enironment
I guess you could also call this "Mother Earth Mondays" if you were an environmentalist who was green and full of skepticism. However, we believers know that there's nothing man-made about any of this as the world is simply performing exactly the way God said that it would. We'll try to keep track of all the changes to the natural environment that are relevant to prophecy and report on them on this day.
Tuesday / Technology & Science
We'd like to spend this day focusing on all the technological advances that are taking place at a quickening pace to make the fulfillment of the end times scenario plausible in our own lifetime. Some of these things will blow your mind!
Wednesday / World Politics
What's going on politically in other parts of the world that have a prophetic significance? You'll find out on Wenesdays.
Thursday / Israel & The Middle East
If you want to know where we are on God's prophetic clock look no further than Israel - God's prophetic timepiece. Here we'll report on the recent developments in the most important geographic territory on the planet.
Friday / Moral Decline & Spiritual Deception
On Fridays we'll highlight those things that are going on in our own backyard. Here we'll address how the moral and cultural decline of this country is directly related to prophecy.
Saturday / Weekly Recap
A list of hyperlinks to the week's top stories and posts.